How To Start Planning Your Future In An Afternoon

I started using The Cartoon after watching a video by Life Coach Luke Benoit (see the end of this post). I was struck by how simple, visual and powerful it is. It has the power to unlock your thoughts on what you truly want for yourself, rather than what you’re used to or what you think you should want. After all, there’s no point setting goals and making plans if you don’t know what you want. It’s about generating ideas at this point, so enjoy the process and don’t worry about anything that looks unrealistic or ‘out there’. Anything goes!

It’s also useful to re-do this exercise now and then, as your needs and wants will change. In fact writing about it has got me wanting to go and do it again, so I’ll be working through it myself after writing this.

How to do it

All you need is a piece of paper, a pen and time to yourself.

Turn your paper to landscape and start by drawing two stick figures, one on each side of the paper. Label the figure on the right as ‘Me Now’ and the figure on the left as ‘Where I Want To Be’.

Around ‘Where I Want To Be’ write down all the ways you want things to be different, including:

  • What it will look like
  • What it will feel like
  • How you’ll spend your time
  • Who will be there
  • Who won’t be there

But here’s the extra twist! If you’re an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person think about the points below too. They recognise that we have some different needs than less sensitive people, so by including them you’re honouring needs that often get brushed to one side. Note down how you want these to figure in your future:

  • How much time you want to wind down
  • What you want your environment to be like
  • Who you want to be around
  • Who you don’t want to be around
  • Relationships you want to tend to
  • Support you’d like
  • Healthy, supportive habits
  • Creative needs
  • Spiritual needs
  • What will give you meaning and a sense of purpose
  • What pace you want to live at

Once you’ve emptied out all your thoughts on where you want to be think about where you are now and around ‘Me Now’ write down all the things you don’t want anymore.

Enjoy exploring the potential of how you want to live, generating ideas and possibilities. Have fun with it and don’t put limits on yourself, or worry that what you want looks far away or unlikely. This stage is about potential, not planning, so have fun with it, and next week I’ll share a planning method with you that’s great for getting your ideas in order and charting a course.

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How To Start Planning Your Future In An Afternoon

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