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  • Writer's pictureRuth Saw


Are you feeling uncertain about the road ahead? Maybe 2022 had not turned out to be what you expected and you worry about the future. I found that looking back on 2022 gave me clarity for 2023! Here's how.

Personally, my plans were completely thrown out of the water when my father transitioned to heaven this year. How do I dream again in 2023 when 2022 had been a tough year?

As I reflected, I found enough clues to plot my path in 2022 and continue them into 2023!

Regardless of how you feel, I encourage you to find the faith to write a vision down.

Jim Rohn, the mentor of renowned Tony Robbins said:

“If you don’t design your life plan, chances are, you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. Guess what they have planned for you? Not much”

If we approach our new year by just being reactive, we can be so distracted by the different things that come our way and may get tugged in different directions and end up in the same spot. Do you want that? No!

Let's seek to have a blueprint, and a general direction so that we can be proactively working towards where we want to be. Let us remain only reactive to the different circumstances that may surface, like COVID or in my case, the loss of my beloved father.

There is an ancient timeless wisdom or famous quote that says:

“Write your vision down, make it plain, ….. so that he may run who reads it” Habakkuk 2:2

When we have a vision, when it is so plain that we can understand it, it helps us to run forward, to gain distance with speed, regardless of what circumstances may be.

If you feel somewhat stagnant, then perhaps, writing a vision, a clear one, can set you up on a trajectory that helps you to grow and become who and where you want to be.

So how do we effectively write our vision?

This is what I had been practising for years, it had been my saving grace in my journey. It helped me count my blessings and showed me my path ahead. I trust it will for you too!

I encourage you to grab your journal or laptop and tuck yourself away for one morning/one day and take your time to pen this down.

1) Look back to look forward

Look back. Pen down all the things you are grateful for this year. Write down as many as you can. Being thankful gives us the courage to dream again for the coming year.

Then take time to write down the major 1 to 5 things you have learnt, identify your fears and what you would do differently in hindsight. If you find yourself repeating the same lessons and fears, writing this down will help!

Personally, when I noted down what I would do differently, it gave me the language and the information to face my fears, should the same scenario comes up. I take that as my second chance to grow and be better!

The pain of the loss of my father this year gave me clarity about my priorities and the people who matter. I learnt to narrow down the gazillion things I had wanted to do to the few that are in my heart. I learnt to say no. What freedom it brings! I also became mindful of my emotional and mental well-being. I had to learn to give myself grace, to put the oxygen mask on myself first while attending to my 83-year-old mother at the same time. I gave myself permission for "me" time, which I will continue into the new year! I will be more intentional to do ONLY what's important to me in the coming year. What about you? What matters to you?

I pray that you won't need such a hard knock in life to realise what's important to your heart.

Note: You can watch this 20mins video on how to effectively look back to look forward. I openly shared what happened to me during a difficult time in 2014 with a Christian community. I trust, regardless of your faith, it will provide practical insights for you to plot your 2023, especially if you are undergoing a transition.

2) Dream without judgement

Think about your ideal future self. Describe as much as you can who you’ll be in the long term. What do you want to be written on your tombstone? This had become so real to me this year. My father was a teacher. Sadly, I didn't know how great he was till his funeral. Students he taught even 20 or 30 years ago came to honour him. It really started me thinking about my own end-of-life goal.

Focus on WHO you want to be, then ask the what and the how. For example, what are you doing? What skills do you need? This will help you in your long-term vision. Allow yourself to dream. Don't limit yourself, don't rationalise yourself out of it. Dreams are free! What if you only achieved half of what you dreamed? It's still good right?

It’s ok if it looks blurry. Our vision gets enlarged or become clearer as we achieve our goals each year. At least we have a signpost of WHO we want to become. When opportunity comes our way, then we can ask with ease, is this contributing to who I want to be?

I saw myself on stage in a red jacket. I saw myself speaking to authors. It was then I knew I wanted to be an author but how can it be? It will be a huge transition from my corporate life. That was when I started asking WHAT I need and HOW I can write the books that are in me. I learnt that I had to read to write! I had to master public speaking to be able to share my thoughts and ideas. I wanted to be relevant so I continued training and coaching. I looked at all the options to write and publish, and I decided to self-publish, to freely write what's in my heart. All these came as I focussed on WHO I wanted to be.

Don't judge yourself and kill that dream. I did have this nagging voice, "I had failed my English, so who am I to write?" Thank God I persisted! Maybe that's why my books are easy to read as my English is poor. :) It turned out to be a blessing for me! I still laugh about it now.

3) Ask your future self for your goals next year

Think about the things you can learn or do this coming year to become your future self. List down the practical goals you can achieve this coming year, even if there are temporal things. For me, I had to set new goals to spend time with my mum and allow myself to heal, even if it meant a sacrifice for my business revenue. I knew it was temporal but very necessary. I want to write books as a healed and whole person, and that became my goal. I want to write books that are real, congruent and authentic. This means I have to face the pain and find the courage to rise again. As an author, I write it first in my life, so that I can publish it for the world to see.

For those who have attended my clarity workshop, I often share that we create goals in every area of our lives, just so that we can continue to shine in all aspects of our lives and find holistic fulfilment. These areas are spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, financial, growth, and contribution. Always include something that you can learn so that you can grow to become who you want to be. If you want the templates for such goals, you can download the bonus video and templates after Chapter 1 of the book CLARITY IS POWER.

This book is available in major bookstores in Singapore and Malaysia. It is currently available on Amazon and Book Depository for other regions.

4) Include one thing creative to feed your soul

Do you have something in your heart you want to do but you ignore it, thinking that it’s not important or practical? Can I encourage you to do just that? While it may not appear to have “practical” applications towards your career, I find that when we do something creative, it can trigger the right brain for us to dream again. When we do what we desire to do, it gives us permission to dream again. It can be something very random! Like baking a cake, learning a new hobby, singing karaoke, or returning to an old hobby.

For me, facing the loss of my father, I had no words to express how I feel. I realised dancing helped me to renew my soul. It helped me to let go. It helped me express my grief. It helped me observe the beauty around me as I danced. It became food for my soul.

What would bring a smile to your face? How about painting together with your child or doing something creative with your friends?

5) Create your WORD of the year

Do you have a theme of the year or a word you’ll like to focus on? As a Christian, I always pray for a theme verse for the year and create a word of the year. This helps me to be intentional, to remind myself of that word and the verse. I encourage you to change your handphone wallpaper or your laptop wallpaper to include the word or paste the word in places you can see often. I even printed a T-SHIRT for it!!

Having a word of the year, or an intentional focus is like shining the sun's rays through a magnifying glass. It can set things aflame! There’s power in focus.

For example, my word the last year was ADVENTURE. When my father suddenly passed away, it reminded me to hang on for the ride. It reminded me to let go, flow and enjoy the ride. The pain soon will pass.

What is your word for the coming year? Don’t underestimate one small word, it can set your heart and your life ablaze with joy and excitement! It can shine the light when all is dark.

I trust that if you would dig deep and do the above, the year ahead could be your best year yet! It doesn’t matter how the world is, we can still choose to be WHO we want to be, a step at a time.

If you are looking for clarity, the answer is already in you.

Find the clarity you need, and pen down your vision, to create the future you want.

I believe in you.

Much love,

Ruth Saw

Note: To celebrate the new year, all eBooks on Amazon will be $5.55 (U.P $9.90) for the first week of the year, including CLARITY IS POWER, CLARITY TO CREATE, ARISE and START WITH WHO.

For those in Singapore and Malaysia, both books CLARITY IS POWER and CLARITY TO CREATE are available in major bookstores.

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