1st September marks the start of school. This year has been pretty unusual in that Emma has not physically been to school since mid-March because of Coronavirus restrictions. She didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to her educators and classmates and she’ll start the new year online for two weeks without the chance to meet her new class or teachers in person. Even so, she’s excited and ready to get back to learning and to be more with her friends. And Mona and I are excited because, although we love being together as a family, we’ll get some much needed couple time and work time.
First on our list of things to do with this welcome freedom is to review our progress as a couple and re-establish our direction and goals (actually it’s second on the list …).
How it started
Coming out of both a relationship and work crisis last summer, we decided to take more control of our life and the direction we were going. We realised we were riding the waves of life with only a very vague idea about where we wanted those waves to take us or which wave to catch. This meant that, although we mostly enjoyed the journey, we were not where we wanted to be in terms of how we live our life.
We signed up for a Mindvalley programme called Lifebook as a way to assess where we are and what we want from our life together. This programme helped us hugely to structure a review of where we were and where we wanted to be.
Briefly the process helped us individually look at 12 areas of our life through different perspectives and then put it together as a couple in the form of an integrated Lifestyle Vision plus tools for how to move towards it. It was a huge and transformative undertaking for us covering all key areas of our life:
- Health and Fitness
- Intellectual life
- Emotional Life
- Spiritual Life
- Love Relationship
- Social Life
- Financial Life
- Quality of Life
- Life Vision
It became even clearer to us that our couple relationship is at the centre of everything we do. This does not mean that we lose our individuality – quite the opposite – but it does mean that the lifestyle we want starts with combining and making space in our relationship for what is important to us as individuals. In other words our LifeVision captures all the essential elements as building blocks for the life we are choosing to build together.
One of the signs, for me, about how robust this process was, is that it was flexible and adaptive enough to help us ride (and continue to do so) the Coronavirus lockdowns and radical impact on our business life.
One Year On
As a result of this process we decided to adjust our own annual cycle to match the school cycle to be better in alignment. So 1st September is the start of our personal new year and a time to assess our progress and adjust our goals for the coming year.
Right now we are reviewing each of the Lifebook categories and celebrating what we achieved – for example, the launch of Parents to Lovers, moving apartments and significant improvement in the quality of time we spend together.
Next we will update our long term vision with what we learned over the last year and then set ourselves high level goals for the year ahead that will move us towards our vision. Those goals will then translate into more detailed focus areas for the next 3 months plus daily tracking of the habits and practices we want to sustain.
I would love to say that we achieved 100% of our goals for the last year. We didn’t. In fact, we are very far from most of the goals we set. But we didn’t approach this as a way to meet goals as we see life as more dynamic and flowing than rigid goals imply.
For us, goals are about direction and purpose. Personally I’m appreciating the structured approach we followed and it’s already clear to me how motivating it is to have a couple vision that we created together and the tools to set and track progress. The direction it gives is like a guiding light when the external environment is in chaos or my inner light is wavering. It gives focus and a very real sense of forward movement.
As you may have read elsewhere on our site, both Mona and I are trained and experienced coaches. If you would like help with your own Lifestyle Design then drop us an email and maybe one of us (or both) would be a good fit to support you.
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