If you had one year left to live, how would you live it?
What would you do?
Who would you see?
How would you act, talk, be?
When we place constraints on our life, we get different answers to the same questions.
These constraints help us determine what is most important to us in our lives. It also shows us what is least important to us.
It gets interesting what becomes a priority when you focus on one year instead of 10, 30, or 50 years.
Ultimately, these five questions are what Brooke Castillo asked herself to start 2023 and prioritize her life.
She’s been asking herself some form of these questions for years, which has helped her create the life she lives today.
You can use these questions at the beginning of any new year to do the same.
If you had one year left to live…
What Would You Stop Doing?
When you think about the next year of your life being your last, your life comes into a fine focus.
For some, they would stop:
- Making excuses
- Avoiding tough conversations
- Stop working so much
Brooke shared her thoughts in Episode 457 of the Life Coach School Podcast and said:
“I would stop delaying travel. I always have reasons why I can’t travel, and I can’t travel for too long, or I can’t travel alone. And so I’ve kind of made excuses. Now, I travel. I definitely travel, and I travel around the United States a lot. And it’s not that I don’t travel. I do.
But I’m talking about serious travel, like going abroad and going to countries that are going to challenge me, and challenge my jetlag, and challenge my biases and my perceptions and my views and cultural norms, and that sort of thing. And so that was a really big one for me. I would stop delaying travel.”
The beautiful part about this question (and the remaining four questions) is that you can go through them every single year or multiple times per year.
Each time you ask yourself these questions, you will get slightly different answers.
Your desires, ambitions, focus, and more determine what you want to do as you continue to evolve and grow.
The one-year time constraint affects how you decide to spend your time. It asks you to get rid of the extra stuff you don’t want to actually do and focuses you on what matters.
As you stop doing certain things in your life like worrying or people-pleasing, your life will feel more free. You will become the center of your life instead of you being the center of someone else’s life.
Your experience in this life is limited. You’re not going to have full access to this life forever. So by condensing it to a year, it brings up your values and brings up what’s really important.
So, if you had one year left to live…
What Would You Start Doing?
The opposite of the first question, this one asks you to focus on what you love doing the most.
You may have a few things like baking, creating, or traveling more.
No matter how long or short your list of activities, it’s important to decide what you’re going to focus on, too.
In Episode 457 of the Life Coach School Podcast, Brooke shares what she’s going to start doing in 2023:
“I just recently asked myself this question, and I was like, what do I love doing the most? And the two things are hiking and my new love is pickleball. I love playing pickleball. And all my friends do, too. Like everyone’s obsessed with pickleball right now, so we’re all totally getting into it. So I would play more pickleball.”
Now, you may have said something like living your dreams or sharing how you feel about the people around you more. Maybe you want to start creating a body of art or building a legacy.
No matter where you’re starting, what you focus on is important. It’s yours. It’s your life.
The one year time constraint helps you narrow your focus and lean into what you love to do the most.
You are in control of your life.
And, if you had one year left to live…
What Would You No Longer Care About?
Imagine not caring about being judged or criticized for living life your way.
Just picture how your life would look if you cared less about what other people thought of you.
You’d live a life of freedom and authenticity unlike ever before.
Brooke shares what she would no longer care about In Episode 457 of the Life Coach School Podcast:
“I would no longer care what anyone thought about my life in terms of judgment. That includes myself. It’s so crazy when you think about walking on this Earth, knowing that you have a year to live it, how fewer effs you would give about what people thought about you.
And I feel like there is so much freedom in that. Like if someone gets mad at you for being a bad driver, or someone gets mad at you for cutting in front of them in line on accident or something, you’re just not going to give it any time. You’re just not going to give it any energy. You know, the whole idea is, if someone should be unhappy about your life, it shouldn’t be you. That’s the whole concept, right?”
When you care about less, you become more free.
You stop giving energy to what doesn’t matter to you, right now, in this life.
You start focusing more on what does matter and what you prioritize.
You do the things you want to do. You spend money on the things you want to spend on. And you give time to the people, places, and things that matter to you.
This is true freedom for YOUR life.
Which leads to our final question:
Why Do Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions Change If You Give Yourself Less Time To Live?
There’s no one correct answer to this question, but…
When you condense time and constrain it, your brain naturally attempts to fit people, places, and things into that time frame.
This means that the life you imagined for yourself over 50 years is probably much bigger than the one you imagine in the next year.
And while the life you imagine in the next year may not be as big as the one you see over the next 50, the one-year life can be more impactful.
So what if we lived every single year, not as a cliché, but to really live every year like this might be our last one?
Because one day, we’re going to be right about that, right?
What if this is your last year?
What do you want to stop doing?
What do you want to create?
How much confidence can you generate for yourself?
If you knew this was your last year on Earth, would you really care about that thing?
Would you make that phone call?
Would you tell someone that you loved them?
Would you stop holding back in your relationships, in your life, in what you want to do?
A condensed amount of time creates an intensity for who you truly want to be in this world.
And if you’re struggling to focus on YOU, then Get Coached in Self Coaching Scholars is your next best step.
No more feeling frustrated, anxious, worried, or unsatisfied about life.
Get Coached will help you get control of your thoughts, so you can live your biggest, best life.