Tuesday Tales: Creating your dream year – Donna Thistlethwaite

Towards the end of the funk I experienced a few months ago, I found myself contemplating an upcoming speaking gig at Brisbane’s Relaxation Centre. The plan was to share my personal story of recovering from a suicidal crisis and the resilience practices that have be instrumental in transforming my life … in allowing me to THRIVE.

Only problem was, at the time, I didn’t feel like I was actually thriving.

As I prepared for the talk I decided that I had no choice but to be honest. That I would share what I’d been experiencing and let people know that even when we have a good suite of resilience strategies, it doesn’t mean that life won’t challenge us from time to time.

After sharing some of the incredible lessons my experience has gifted me, I introduced my resilience practices. I talked about the benefits of gratitude, the value of being still and breathing and then I came to “Create Your Best Year Goals”.

Suddenly it hit me … I had not dreamt about my best year since the pandemic smashed into our lives. The uncertainty and restrictiveness of the Covid-world had stopped my dreaming in its tracks.

But times were a changing. What if I dared to think about the future again? What would that future look like? I guided my audience through the activity of imagining their best year …

Let’s imagine we meet again in 12 months time and you were to say to me “I’ve just had my best year ever”.

What would have happened?

Who would be there?

What can you see?

What can you hear?

How do you feel?

That final question is an important one. Feel into it, connect with the emotion of seeing your desires turn into reality.

Once you’ve come up with a list of five or six goals, write them in the past tense – as though they’ve already happened and put an image next to the outcome to remind you. (They say the subconscious works in pictures and you might as well get all of you working on bringing in what you want.)

As I shared this process, I became excited about what might be possible. I came home from the talk and pulled together my first goal list in two years. It helped. Focusing on possibilities shifted my attention from what I felt wasn’t working or was going wrong.

The simple best year goals technique I use has helped me to get clarity about what I want to bring into my life. Once I have that clarity, it is as though the universe conspires to co-create it with me. If that’s a bit woo woo for you, maybe the clarity even just guides the micro-decisions we make day to day to help us achieve what we want.

The technique hasn’t just helped me, I’ve had clients and friends reach out to me to share how the process worked for them too.

Now I can’t guarantee that you’ll always get exactly what you want but what have you got to lose? For the time it takes it’s well worth the investment.

What would you like your next year to look like? I dare you. Check out the templates we’ve put together for you – Celtic, Waves, Rainbow, and let me know how you go!

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Donna Thistlethwaite is a Brisbane-based speaker and trainer specialising in mental health and resilience. She is an accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Resilience at Work Facilitator with a passion for suicide prevention and for helping individuals, teams and organisations to THRIVE. You can find out about her next Mental Health First Aid courses here.

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