When it comes to the new year, I like to draw out where I’m spending my time and energy and position the activities by how they relate to each other, and then I look at whether that makes sense and aligns with where I want to be going in life.
After I map out where I’m spending my time and energy, I map out how I want to be spending it in the new year. Then I look at the gaps between the two maps and figure out how to get the first map to look like the second one. The actions I need to take to fill those gaps are the things I need to do during the year.
For instance, over the past couple of years, I’ve picked up a bunch of volunteer roles that don’t connect with everything else I’m doing, so in the 2013 map, I drew my volunteer activities far away from everything else. In the 2014 map I drew them much closer to everything else. So that’s going to mean I need to ditch some of those old volunteer activities and pick up new roles that more closely align with everything else I’m doing.
The gaps you see between the bubbles in the 2013 map aren’t just figurative. When we’re doing a wide range of things in our lives that don’t connect with each other, we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to move between those different areas. That’s exhausting and it means we do much less than we’d like to. So figuring out how to close those gaps, and get each of the activities supporting each other, gives me more time to put into the things I love.
Placing writing, videos, and meditation on the right side of the 2014 map is to remind me that those things are going to take more prominence in 2014 and on into next year, so when I’m doing many of the other things on the map, I need to think of how my actions are going to feed into those areas, and do what I can to keep them connected.
This exercise is helpful at any time of year. It’s also something that I recommend people do if they’re struggling with compulsions. Seeing the time and energy you’re pumping into your compulsions can help you realize that you want the map of your life to look very different. Give it a try and see where your journey through 2014 can take you.