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Fast Forward to the Life You Want in Just One Year

Fast Forward

YOUR entire life can change in one year. Fast forward one year and ask yourself, “Where do I want to be?” We have to believe that we have the power to create the life we want.

In Fast Forward: 5 Power Principles to Create the Life You Want in Just One Year, Wendy Leshgold and Lisa McCarthy say we often feel powerless because we are too focused on the present. “We can be so immersed in our present circumstances and in the stories we tell about them, we can’t lift our heads and gain perspective.” We can become so focused on the things we are lacking instead of the place we want to be.

To move forward, you need to take responsibility for the things you can control—your behaviors and reactions—and getting uncomfortable. To help you on your journey, they offer five Power Principles to bring clarity and the inner strength to move forward.

Power Principle 1: Declare a Bold Vision

You need a bold vision that motivates you to act—to go all in. A bold vision is energizing and possible, but it also is uncomfortable and requires growth and change. Your past experiences may cause you to focus on what you have to lose and play it safe. “The moments when you played big and didn’t succeed can dominate your thinking, and the longer you stay in a situation, the more attached you become to what you have rather than what you could gain.” Begin, then, by changing your mindset. “The most inspiring visions are those that are informed but not limited by our past and present.”

Share your vision with the people that can offer you the most support.

Because we aren’t intentional with our outlook, many of us are also postponing our happiness because we believe it’s tied to some future event or set of circumstances.

We’ve seen many relationships totally transform because somebody believed that something different could be possible—and then took action to make it a reality. Despite the limiting beliefs running through your head, you have the power to make this change happen.

Power Principle 2: Choose a New Perspective

You can choose your perspective on anything that happens to you. “Choosing a new perspective is one of the most empowering steps you can take to improve your life in the present and in the future.” It is important to define for yourself what will change in the way you think, behave, and speak as a result of your new perspective. Acknowledge your strengths and quiet your inner critic.

Power Principle 3: Plan the Work and Work the Plan

Be intentional with your time, energy, and focus. “Your reactive behaviors can and will derail you from achieving your vision and creating the life you want.” Identify those areas of your life where you are being reactive.

You have the time; you just need to use it differently. “Create a 90-day action plan that ‘helps you focus on small, actionable, specific steps to achieve important outcomes in your vision.” Create a “Say No” list.

Power Principle 4: Use Language of Action

Get out of the stands and onto the field. Use language that moves you forward. Complaining will impede your progress. “Language of action is direct, specific, and compelling. It brings people on board with your vision and plan.”

Transform your conversations and meetings into opportunities to build relationships, produce results, and make progress by setting a desired outcome ahead of time. “Ask yourself, ‘At the end of this conversation, what will they believe, how will they feel, and as a result, what will they do?’” Think about how you speak and eliminate language that limits your impact. The authors recommend:

Cut disclaimers: Phrases like “You might already know this,” This may not be the right idea.”

Stop apologizing: Apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong undermines your credibility and power.

Eliminate “just”: Adding “just” before we say what we’re going to do makes it seem small or unimportant, as in “I’m just going to share this data.”

Be concise: Being concise is always more powerful.

Tell rather than ask: If you have a recommendation, make it clearly and confidently rather than asking for it. For instance, “Let’s set a time to review our proposal next week” instead of “Can we schedule a time to review our proposal next week?”

Use “and” rather than “but”: Substituting “and” for “but” will avoid disempowering people and putting them on the defensive. You want them to be open to your ideas and feedback. For instance, “I appreciate your insights, but we have another perspective,” versus “I appreciate your insights, and we have another perspective.”

Reduce filler words: Often, we fill time and gaps in our line of thought with words and phrases like “to be honest,” “um, “uh,” “like,” “actually,” “sort of,” “kind of,” “you know,” “right,” or “by of the way.”

Power Principle 5: Stop Talking and Get Curious

Most of the time, we listen unconsciously, and it comes at a high cost. When we do this, “we’re cut off from deeper relationships, from ideas that could propel us forward, and from the benefits of allowing other people to think out loud—all of which can help us achieve outcomes in our visions.”

Be interested. Don’t let the fact that you think you already know or should know something get in your way. Intentional listening and curiosity also means freeing yourself from solving other people’s problems. Instead of solving, coach. “You can empower the people in your life if you resist the temptation to try to solve their problems and instead coach them through their challenges. When you assume they have the answers already, your role is simply creating the time and space for them to show up as brilliant, creative, and resourceful.”

Each power principle comes with exercises to help you work through the thought process required to change your life one year from today.

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