Leap year’s a funny old day isn’t it? It pops up when you’re least expecting it and everyone makes a fuss, then it goes to ground again and we all forget about it for the next 4 years.
But there’s something I find almost mysterious about it; a day of opportunity; a day that shouldn’t really be there… it just appears out of the mist then fades away again…
It feels like anything could be possible on a day like this…
So to celebrate Leap Year 2020, here’s a goal-setting technique to help you identify where you’d like to see yourself in 4 years’ time, and start putting actions into place to get yourself there.
If you want to create anything in your life – whether that means a healthy fit body, a calm confident outlook, a good career, great relationships etc – the first step is to get an idea of what that successful life might look like.
A good way to think of it is this: when you get in your car to go somewhere that you’ve never been before, you need to program your Sat Nav before you set off – otherwise you could end up anywhere – driving around in circles even.
So I’m going to show you a simple, fun technique that’s kind of like programming your internal Sat Nav so you can eventually reach your destination.
Each day you do this simple exercise, you can continue to refine and adjust things to keep yourself on course for your goals.
STEP ONE: MEET YOUR 2024 SELF
Did I mention time travel was involved?
To start this process, get comfortable in a quiet place, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, relax, and imagine sending yourself into the future to the year 2024.
In this future reality, I want you to create a meeting place.
This meeting place can be anything you like: maybe it’s somewhere natural like outside in a forest or at the beach, or maybe it’s quite business-like, for example in a conference room. It’s entirely up to you – you really can’t do this wrong, whatever you do.
Create every detail as vividly as possible. Design this place with the perfect colours, sounds, and feelings, so you can really make yourself comfortable here.
Now, invite your 2024 future self into this meeting room. This isn’t just any future self though. This is the best possible version of you, four years from now. The version who’s the healthiest, happiest, most successful version of you, in every way possible.
Imagine as much detail about them as possible. What do they look like? What do they sound like when they talk? What energy are they giving off? Be as specific as you can, have fun with it, and really make them come to life. You might even want to give them a special name.
Now that you have them here, ask them as many questions as you’d like. Ask them what their life’s like, what they do each day, and who they spend their time with.
You could ask them for advice. How did they make all this possible? What steps did they take? What words of wisdom do they have for you?
Be prepared for this wisdom to come in a variety of ways. Some people may get clear visuals or words that are very easy to understand. Others may get more abstract feelings or symbols.
Just pay attention to everything that happens here in this meeting room. Other people, creatures or objects may turn up out of the blue – don’t dismiss anything as just a trick of the mind.
When you use your imagination and creativity, you’re tapping into a very powerful part of your mind, and it will often communicate in rich metaphor. So pay attention, even if nothing quite makes sense straight away.
Take your time just enjoying this process, and when it feels like it’s reached a natural conclusion, thank your future self (and anybody else who showed up) and gently bring yourself back to the present moment.
Now (and this is important), write down anything and everything you can remember from this encounter. It’s good to keep a specific notebook just for this purpose so you can add to it as time goes on. You may find that things can fall into place and make more sense when you look back at them from a future perspective.
Keep it handy so you can add notes to it if any insights come to you as time goes on. Don’t be surprised if you get some extra info coming through in your dreams, or when you first wake up in the mornings. These quiet times are when we can feel most connected to our subconscious mind, before we’ve allowed all the distractions of the day to interfere.
STEP TWO: DAILY CHECK-INS
Now you’ve made that initial connection with your future self, it will be easy to return to that meeting place and keep in contact on a regular basis. Use them like a good friend that you can check in with every so often to get some advice and inspiration.
You may find yourself making adjustments to the meeting place as time goes on. And be prepared for your future self to transform too, as you expand your horizons and discover what more is possible for you.
Then, whenever you make a decision – maybe even something small like what you’re going to eat for breakfast – ask yourself, ‘what would my future self do?’
Because, after all, they didn’t just magically appear one day, all happy and successful and glowing with health. They worked at it.
Each decision they made (YOU made!), day by day, brought them slowly but surely to where they are now.
So ask yourself, what habits could I adopt today, to align me with that future self?
STEP THREE: GRATITUDE
At the end of each day, write in your notebook three choices you made that day, that brought you closer to your desired future. Send yourself some appreciation, even if they were tiny things – remind yourself that everything makes a difference.
Then close your eyes, take yourself to your ‘meeting place’, and imagine your future self expressing their gratitude to you too.
Because after all, without all your good choices in the present day, they would never get the chance to exist.
Do you need some individual support in identifying your goals and taking positive steps to reach them?
Would you like to experience the journey to your best future self within a personalised guided hypnotherapy session?
Then get in touch below and book an appointment with me.
Sessions can be face-to-face in the Glasgow area, or via online video chat service such as Skype.
Lisa Murphy is a counsellor and hypnotherapist based in Glasgow who specialises in anxiety, anger management, and weight loss.