Happy 2026! It’s Time to Look Backwards!
And my favorite exercise for visceral visioning.
Greetings – and a Very Happy New Year!
And yes, I did indeed mean exactly what the subject line says. It’s time to look backwards.
One of my favorite ways of visioning – or planning, if you prefer – is jumping forward in time and imagining the world of the future as if I’m already there.
This ain’t about wishful thinking, I’m talking the full-body buzz of playfully applied imagination. Don’t get me wrong, thinking is great. But when I play in imaginal realms, I want my mind, emotions, and as many senses as possible lit up and engaged.
Because it’s only once we get there that we’re going to turn around and look at how we did it.
I don’t have an explanation for why this works so powerfully. Nor would I ever suggest that I came up with this. For instance, Steven Covey spends a lot of pages in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People urging readers to “begin with the end in mind.”
A key to having this work is to go far enough into the future that you’re beyond concerns that’ll have you bogged down in the minutia of potential “how?” questions.
As a great mentor of mine says, “a ‘how’ will spoil a good ‘what’ every time.”
The trick and discipline is to let your imagination run as freely and vividly as possible, then to invite (and allow) your emotions to bubble up in response to your vision.
You want to feel your vision.
And yes, it helps having someone on hand to facilitate your process if you’ve never done it before. (We humans are remarkably adept at getting off track. Directed support can go a long way to staying out of the weeds.)
The mission is to imagine your 2024 journey from the vantage point of January 2025 – or 2026, 2035, or anywhere in between.
As you look back, notice the milestones you passed along the way. Once you’ve mapped out your reverse timeline, then start asking yourself what it took to get from quarter to quarter, month to month, week to week, finally landing on the days and hours immediately in front of you.
Yeah, this is a discipline – and it’s some of the secret sauce that makes visionaries… visionary.
2024 was a great year! Hit reply and let me know how yours goes!