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New year, new you! Making 2020 your year

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Is 2020 your year to start doing what you want to do and being who you want to be? Then read on. Jason Broderick can help

What do I want to do with my life?” This is a question most of us ask ourselves from time to time and, as often as not, at this time of year. There’s something about entering a new year, and in this case a new decade, that makes us reassess our lives, reflect on what’s missing, and look for ways to change things up.

Before we get into how we can create change in our lives, it’s important to acknowledge that there are going to be obstacles to overcome. Sometimes, the core issue is that we don’t know what we truly want. We’re afraid to make the conscious decision to live in a different way because we’re not even sure what we need to change. All we know is that there’s something missing.

Another thing that holds us back is fear of change, and let’s face it, fear of failure. As we weigh up the pros and cons of taking a new path, we convince ourselves that it’s easier to continue on the road we’re on, going through the motions, doing what’s comfortable and familiar. We decide it’s too late to leave all that stability behind to embark on a completely new journey of discovery. It just doesn’t seem logical to risk a current way of being that at least ‘works,’ in order to pursue an alternative that might (and only might) bring more meaning to life.

But enough of the negative; it really is time to ring in the new! If 2020 is your year to seek fulfilment, here are some questions to ask yourself. Your answers will help you paint a clearer picture of what you actually want to do with your life, and from there you can start making good things happen.

What makes me feel alive?

Start by thinking about what fulfils you. For instance, which part of your job doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing up reports, analysing data, creating solutions, or collaborating with colleagues. If so, magnify that task and make it a larger part of your day. The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

What do I resent doing?

The next step is working out what you don’t want to do. Your aim is to remove the negative from all aspects of your life, so start with your current role. What are the things you have little time for, the tasks you consistently put towards the end of the to-do list? If you resent being away from your family or friends due to late nights at the office or business travel, it’s time to find a new job or restructure your current one. Find a role that allows you to have less to none of what you dislike doing, and more of what makes you feel happy.

What would I do if I could?

Now think about what you would do if you had no limits. If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with? Answering these questions will help you envisage the life you want to live. From there, you can begin setting goals to reach certain milestones – you can start creating a path towards happiness and fulfilment. Stop thinking about limitations and what may be impossible, focus on what you want and find out if you have the courage to pursue it.

Who do I admire?

Once you have taken a good look at yourself and what you like and dislike about your current way of being, focus on the people you surround yourself with. In your  current circle, who do you admire the most? What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them? As motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So, don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams. Spend time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

Time to break free

With these questions answered, you now need to decide whether you are going to take that first step toward improving your life. Remember, it’s never too late to do what you’re passionate about and become the person you truly want to be. Don’t give in to self-doubt.

The real question is how hard you are willing to work to get what you  want. Big changes never come easily. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and effort even to start doing something that you believe will bring more meaning to your life. In all likelihood, you’ll be working more hours than the average person to begin with, living outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can. The good news here is that once you’re on the right path and actively making changes, life becomes more interesting. You’ll find that things start falling into place, and you’ll immediately feel energised and more empowered.

A lot of this really is about positive thinking, after all you shape your reality by the way you perceive it. Being able to control how you look at things is the key to breaking free, and starting over again. Shaping your perception is so powerful that just a small change in perspective can completely change everything. Once you learn to take control of your mind and break free of self-imposed limitations, you are on your way to doing what you want to do with your life.

Jason Broderick is a wellbeing coach and counselling psychologist at Discovery Bay International School (www.dbis.edu.hk). To follow him on Instagram, head to @wellbeingcoach101.

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