How To Create a Life That Excites You In 2024

Forget resolutions, there's a more compassionate way to start the new year.

by Phil Poole, December 21, 2023
How to Create a Life That Excites You in 2024

As we enter 2024, the idea of New Year resolutions starts to appear. But how often do we keep resolutions?

Perhaps in 2024 - we’ll finally decide to live our purpose or find a new job.

And then, inevitably, the resolution falls to the side.

That’s because New Year's resolutions can be very judgmental and punitive.

We look at ourselves and say: this is not good about me, and I will change it. For example:

  • My body is not correct
  • I am crap at my job
  • I drink too much / take too many drugs
  • I am not good enough to have a job that makes me happy
  • I have no purpose

And then, in the first two months of the year, we try to punitively change ourselves by being very self-critical about any failure.

Who wants to keep punishing themselves like that for the rest of the year? And so we then give up.

But there is a more compassionate way to head into the new year that allows us to change.

Take 1-2 hours with this exercise, where you go somewhere quiet to meditate and relax. Also, take a notebook with you so you can write down notes.

Step 1: Answer these questions

  • What has supported you over 2023?
  • What has blocked you over 2023?
  • What changes have you made over 2023?

For example, you may need to do more at the gym to get your desired body. But when you reflect, you realise you have already done a lot; perhaps your diet is cleaner, or you go to the gym, whereas before, you did not.

Or you have started to research more about a new job or purpose, whereas before, you did not.

Write them all down in your notebook.

Step 2: Letting go

Now, write down what you would like to let go of. Write each thing on a post-it or one thing per piece of paper (or torn paper).

If you have a fire - burn them into the fire. - with reverence and humility. And - if appropriate - thank it for being there when it was helpful. (If you do not have a fire, rip it up).

As you burn or rip up the paper/post-it, visualise that you are letting go of this for the new year. This step is not to try and violently rip this thing out of you but to allow it to become part of the past. It is now part of your story but no longer defines you.

Step 3: Imagine two lives

I want you to imagine two possible lives:

Life 1

You stay as you are—the same habits, doing the same things as you did in 2023.

Perhaps in 2023, you wanted to step further into your purpose, maybe even a new lifestyle, but your habits and fears stopped you. How would this feel at the end of 2024 if you find yourself stuck in the same position as you do now?

Take some time to see how it feels. What emotions come up? How does it feel in the body? What thoughts come up in your head?

Write these down.

Life 2

Now, imagine you do move forward. You may have found a new job that gives you joy and purpose, or you are playing and experimenting and finding out what you want as a career. Or you want a new relationship. Or a relationship that is time to end.

Put yourself into the position of being at the end of 2024, and you have actually moved forward.

How does it feel different? Again, write down the emotions, the sensations in the body, and what thoughts come up in your head.

Step 4: Intentions for 2024

Write down what your intentions for the year will be. Not a huge task or goal but an intention.

A goal can be an end state, but an intention is how you will reach the goal. It is how you will choose to live, for example:

  • Suppose it is around changing your body. You may want an intention to be kinder and healthier to your body.
  • With your mental health - perhaps you want to improve your self-worth and belief in yourself.
  • Or it is to be more aware of your joy through different parts of your life so you can find your purpose or a new career.
    I love the phrase from Joseph Campbell on following your bliss. What do you need to live a life in line with what excites you or gives you a sense of fulfilment and purpose?
    Where do you think your bliss will be, and what intentions will help with that?

Why do this?

It can be easy to look back at what we did not do and where we failed and then get lost in self-criticism for a life not lived. This is especially true regarding significant life changes, such as a new career or finding our purpose.

We often know we need to change, but staying with what we know is easier. This exercise allows us to compare the two lives and their differences.

And then you can decide - to stay with what you know and do the same as you did this year or to choose to grow.

So, as you enter 2024, take a moment to look back and a moment to look forward and see what you need to do to follow your bliss and live a life that is yours. A life that excites you. And a life that gives you meaning and fulfilment.

Happy New Year, everyone, and may you all find your bliss.

About Phil 

Phil is a Coach, Educator and Entrepreneur.

In the past, Phil worked as an international executive in companies such as broadcasters in the UK and startups in Berlin. After moving to Berlin, he found himself depressed and burned out working in a career that, although successful, gave him no joy.

Now, he works as a coach, writer and entrepreneur, living his purpose and helping people find meaningful life and work.

You can find out more about Phil, along with a free download of 6 powerful questions to help you have a meaningful life at work, at