_picturing a year

Drawn to the big views, thinking about what it will be like to get all the way over there and look back, on January 1st this year, I sat at the shore and looked out to the horizon. Visualising, dreaming, designing, imagining, picturing; de-wording, seeing where to go. Making resolutions?

“Conquer the world and have a perfect love life.”

Well, those are resolutions, I suppose, but they don’t set anyone apart and I would have no better idea how to achieve them than marshall a wrestling match between Mary Berry and The Soggy Bottom Boys.

I’ve written about not making resolutions but creating objectives a few times over on Lightbox. For a few years, friends and I have helped each other reflect on the year past and set objectives for the coming 12 months. The objectives have helped us do some major things in life, with some colour. They are about taking a journey towards things that matter with solid mates whose opinion and respect you value.

Having a long view in mind, choosing objectives based on what that vision is, designing your way towards it and—crucially—letting other people in on it will stop life being monotone. Visualising this helps find courage to push at new doors to see which ones will fling open.

Using pictures to visualise the year ahead works, and I want to encourage you to do it.

Here are some ideas, if you’re wondering where to begin:

  • Grab a huge piece of paper and draw images/tear pictures from mags to represent your vision; discover how things are connected and design pathways between them. If it’s too personal to stick on the wall, roll it up and stash it for review in 6 months’ time.
  • Make a Pinterest board to focus you on a project. Be specific, and make it real by designing tasks that relate to the things you have collected. I don’t use my boards nearly enough but there is a link between them and this:
  • Choose a picture this week, and pin it above your desk. Tell someone about it, and why you chose it. Let it be something that carries an attitude (eg. patience, courage, generosity) and remind you why you keep on with your journey at all. Hockney helps me currently – I wrote about that too.)
  • Photographs are there for most of us, but be intentional – edit and print them! Put together a screensaver to absorb from time to time, or set yourself a visual blog project.

Life’s path is far from straightforward. Enduring through inevitable fierce gusts and lumpy swell, will we be able to look back over that sea in time and say, Yes, I navigated well? Don’t be afraid to accept if the horizon keeps moving and the navigation needs a redraw.
Let pictures help you find your way this year – focal points that remind you often why you choose to travel towards those things in the first place.

Have a really happy new year people.

* and btw, music does it too:

{Today’s Soundtrack: Tom Odell – Sense}

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