Let me share something with you that’s shocking – to me anyway ….
There are only 40 days left in 2023. Wowsers!
I was talking to a good friend of mine last week about this – how we couldn’t believe that we are at the end of another year. I asked her how she felt 2022 panned out for her… she replied – “not so great. I felt I was all over the place without any real focus.”
I then asked her if she went into the new year (last year) with strong intentions and a plan to manifest those desires, goals, and dreams. What do you think her answer was?
And, as a result of not having a plan, she felt she didn’t get much headway. That she was in the same place (thinking and feeling the same thing) this time last year.
She asked me, “Would you help me with my plan?”
I said, “Sure, I’d love to. In fact, I always set my personal intentions and goals the weekend after Thanksgiving. That’s my practice – to spend a dedicated weekend to set intentions, visualize the future, fully review financials and set the 7-F-Word goals for the new year.
So, start there – and we can discuss the week following.”
*Make sure to read to the end to find out how I can help YOU with your plan too*
I call this practice: “Future-Selfing”
Recent findings reveal that there is an essential need for people to have a future purpose – it’s an emotional connection to the desired future that is necessary to be happy and healthy in the present.
As a species, we haven’t evolved to plan for a future. As a rule, our decision-making is myopic, short-sighted, and lacks imagination.
Therefore, we are heavily incentivized to seek immediate gratification – which most of the time is in conflict with the needs and desires of our future selves.
If this is true – and I believe it is – it’s imperative to “future self (v)” – which, by the way, is different from traditional “goal-setting.”
Goal setting usually doesn’t take too much thought or time. It usually goes something like this:
“Hmmm. I’m not happy with what I did this year. Next year I want to do more.”
So, we pull numbers (eg. I want to make 2x the money) and pictures (e.g. buy a vacation home in Bali) out of thin air. Some may even go the extra mile and write these down, put them in a simple business plan and/ or even create a vision board.
And, that’s about it. Check 2023 goal-setting off the list.
Future-Selfing is much different. First, it takes a good amount of thought, emotion, and time. Like I said earlier, I take an entire weekend.
The key is to truly connect to your future self. And you do this by thinking about your future self as a different person from who you are today.
This doesn’t come naturally.
Most of us assume our future self is the same person we are today. Think about it – are you the same person you were 10 years ago? I don’t know about you – but, I’m a different person than I was just a year ago!
By seeing your future self as a different person, you appreciate that this person sees things differently than you do now. He or she cares about different things.
For example, our 22-year-old self didn’t care so much about retirement. We couldn’t connect to the idea that one day we would have far less energy and wouldn’t want to work so hard because we would be less concerned about success and more concerned with time (to enjoy life outside of work).
The exercise is to emotionally connect to your future self. In this case – put your body, mind, and spirit into the person who will sit in this same spot 12 months from now. Where we hear ourselves saying, “wow, another year just flew by – can you believe it’s Thanksgiving and 2024 is right around the corner.” Who are you? How do you feel? What has changed? What does your life look like? What does your business look like?
Next, think of it as a report – like you are telling your past self (which is your present self today) what the last year was like. It might sound something like:
“Wow, I can’t believe it’s been such an amazing year. Here are all of the things that I accomplished, experienced, and was able to spend my money on to enhance life. And, it’s awesome that my business generated $1,000,000 in revenue and I paid my family $450,000 which enabled me to experience these things in life as well as invest $150,000 for my 10 year older future self.”
You have to emotionally connect to this vision. It has to be specific (the universe rewards specificity). And, here’s the most important piece – you pretend as though it’s already happened.
This is because your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what’s real or imagined. And, the more you emotionally connect to your vision out of a feeling of love, gratitude and desire, the more your present self will wish to comply because you know how important it is to your overall quality of life (fulfillment) to create this future (that will be your present 12 months from now).
You have to love your future self. So much so that you will invest today to create the life for him or her that he or she has declared as “a good life full of joy and happiness” ← mic drop.
There is a saying we’ve all heard, “You overestimate what you can do in a year but underestimate what you can do in 10.”
So, as you connect to your future self a year from now –it’s also essential that you connect to him or her 10 years from now. It’s part of the process.
Here’s my process (simplified):
- Block Your Calendar
- Block off an entire weekend either at home or a place offsite where there will be no distractions. You will want a whiteboard and/or flip charts, pens/markers, your computer, and your financials (business and personal)
- Create an Agenda
- Of what you wish to accomplish over the two days
- Set the Mood
- The weekend starts with meditation and gratitudes. It’s important to tap into grateful energy and feel how lucky you are to be alive and to have what you have and who you have it with
- It’s important to reflect on the past twelve months. What were your successes? Where did you fall short? And why? Honor yourself. Celebrate the amazing accomplishments. And, consider the reasons why other (important) goals and intentions were not met
- 7-F Words Future Self Exercise
- As described above. Take time here. A couple of hours to really go deep. Follow the 7-F Words Workbook as a guide. Draw pictures on your board. Here is a script: “I am so happy and grateful now that ….” Feel how happy and fulfilled your future self is feeling
- Personal Financials
- Look at 2022 personal financials – where did your money go? How well did your money do?
- Set 2023 Financial goals and targets – eventually, this should be in a spreadsheet of sorts. In Wise Money CURBS we give you the spreadsheet (wink wink)
- Business Financials
- Look at your 2022 business financials – where did your money go? How well did the business do financially? Did you hit your goals? If not, why not?
- Create your 2023 business proforma based on what you discovered in exercise 6 – because your personal financial goals inform your business financial goals (not the other way around!)
- Business Plan
- This is an entire day on its own – minimum. For example, I’ll spend the weekend on exercises 1-7. Then another weekend just on business planning with my business partner, Macy.
- If you want some help here, we are offering a Business Planning Seminar in December! Click here to register.
All of this to say, that by December 31, 2022, there will be no question as to what my future self intentions are for 2023. Remember, the more specificity the better.
After this – the rest of the year is creating the dream! What fun!!
Sounds easy, right?
The pushback I usually get on this is, “Krisstina, I don’t have the time …” I must admit, I simply do not understand this. I mean, life is precious. Is there anything more important than to architect out the life we want? Why would we leave it up to chance? Without “future-selfing” we resort to drift and are taken where life takes us versus the other way around.
I swear by this ritual. I’ve done it every year for 15 years. I think you know by now that I started in a trailer home. And, today – not only am I a financially independent multi-millionaire – but, I pinch myself regularly to realize that my life is this good. And, I know that it’s not by accident. It’s by design! I truly have manifested everything I’ve ever dreamed of… and, I still feel I’m just getting started on what’s possible.
I claim it’s this process (combined with regular check-ins throughout the year) that has enabled me to create this life and live my purpose. It’s available to all of us! If we design it this way, that is!
So, here’s your challenge – are you going to do this for yourself this year? If so, comment back saying Hell YES! I am going to design my life for my future self.
And remember, there is no need to business plan (v) until you life plan first!
So, your final Thanks Giving Gift is this 7-F Words worksheet to get you started.
Happy Thanksgiving my friend. I’m grateful you are on this amazing life journey with me
PS. As you saw, the process includes 8 “steps”. The 8th step is creating a business plan. I have a very methodical process in doing this. Every true business owner should.
Why? Because just like Keith Cunningham says, “Operators are tired, owners are rich.”
Too many small business owners are acting like operators and not CEOs. There’s a BIG difference. If you want to learn how to act (and plan) like a true business owner, join me for 90 minutes on December 1st @ 10:30 am CT – I’m hosting a “Plan like a true owner” workshop. You won’t want to miss it. I only teach this once a year.