Recently my daughter found her passion in singing. She had been struggling after a really rough two years and as a mom I was worried. Then suddenly, without warning, everything changed.
She found an environment that allowed her to shine. She found her people and she found her voice. When we set foot into her new music school, she suddenly lit up. It was like the skies parted, the angels were singing …. No, seriously – there was a major shift that you could see and feel.
Seeing this joy in my daughter has had me thinking about the importance of doing what you love. I was witnessing the change that occurs when you find your passion and your purpose.
So many people trudge off to work each day wishing they were somewhere else. I can remember my own father, heading off to the plant for night shift. Then making a change, becoming a career firefighter. The change in him was dramatic. He was now finally doing what he loved.
I can remember the days when I could feel the life getting sucked out of me as soon as I got to work. I didn’t want to be that person.
Can you relate?
Whether you’re still wondering what you want to be when you grow up or you’re feeling confident that you’re living your purpose, there is a little prep work that needs to be done before you dive into planning your best year ever.
Take some time to journal
One of my favorite exercises is to journal about how you would spend your day if money was no object. Head off to a coffee shop or quiet corner to daydream. What would you do with your time?
Would you sing?
Would you work with abused women?
Would you travel the world?
If you get stuck, think about how you spend your time on the weekend or vacation. What are those activities that you most enjoy?
Lose yourself in this exercise and don’t try to be practical. List all the possibilities without censoring yourself. Just write whatever it is that pops into your head, even if you think it sounds impossible. Brainstorming is about unfiltered ideas – you can sort those ideas out later.
Keep your list in a pretty journal, grab a favorite pen and some quiet time each day. Journaling is a great way to sort out your thoughts and express your creativity. It’s also a great source of inspiration and reflection.
For some great journaling prompts that will help you look forward to what you want to achieve and also look back on how far you’ve come, enter your information below:
The recurring themes in your journal are a powerful way to discover your passion. Take note of the days that energize you as well as the days that could have been better, if only you didn’t have to deal with a difficult client or co-worker.
Ask others what they think you are good at. Often what others think can offer valuable insight into your unique genius. Think of a few questions that you can ask your friends and family.
Are you the one they turn to for career advice?
Are you a great organizer?
Do they rely on you for advice with pets?
Your family and friends can often not only recognize a natural talent, but they know what lights you up. They know what your superpower is.
Superpowers can be anything. Maybe you are great at making business connections or amazing at creating healthy meals. Everyone has a superpower. Once you discover your superpower, you often find your passion.
Write Your Autobiography
The next step or exercise in finding your purpose and planning your best year ever, is to write your autobiography. Journal about your life from the point of view of your older self. Think about how you feel as you look back on your life.
What events made you feel powerful and gave you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
What is your favorite memory?
What will your children say is the most important lesson they learned from you?
This exercise doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can break it down into decades and write a few sentences about each. Use the workbook for writing prompts to help with this.
While working through the exercises to find your purpose, you will want to get out of the office and try new things. This is a great time to try those things you thought you may enjoy but never got around to doing. It’s also a great time to plan for new experiences. Start a list in your journal of the things you want to experience and continue adding to it as ideas come to you.
Planning your best year ever
So many people simply exist. They work hard each day, without a sense of purpose or a passion for their work. They may even resent the work they do. As you go through this process you will find moments of true joy, those moments that light you up. You’ll also recognize those things that drain your energy.
Look for ways to incorporate more of the things that light you up and begin planning your best year ever!