The New Year, with its talk of goals, resolutions, and new beginnings, can be alternatively inspiring and anxiety producing. What if you don't have a clear goal or resolution for 2016? Maybe you're one of those people who's never kept a New Years Resolution? Statistically, this is a big per cent of us. So how do we put this New Year hype in a place where it works as a positive rather than a reminder of our previous failures or present areas of discontent?
First off, don't be too quick to commit to new resolutions and goals without first acknowledging and celebrating your successes from last year. And success can be qualified as everything from attending your first yoga class, to learning how to communicate with your ex-husband with more respect and compassion, to celebrating the successful completion of a post secondary certification. Write them down; you might be surprised at how many are on your list. You might also notice that there are many in one area of your life and not as many in another.
Not surprisingly, I have many achievements on the physical side of my life and a long list on the family side, but in the last year I've seen fewer successes on the business side of my life. This causes me a moment of despair: Why haven't I achieved more this year in my business? My list has prompted me to reflect on how much has been changing over the last five years, and how demanding it can be to bring two families together. I am now ready -- truly ready -- to put more time into my work.
But as always, more thoughts come to mind: Is fear getting in the way of me taking more risks in business? Do I need to become less insular in the way that I work, and perhaps create a circle of people I reach out to regularly for mutual support and inspiration? All this from a single list. I encourage you to make your list; if nothing else, it will remind you of how full your years have been.
Whatever is on your list, take the time to acknowledge all the great things you have done last year, and celebrate your successes, however small. I am really proud of the success I had with two of my clients last year. It was my first year as a Life Coach, and it just delighted and amazed me to see these two individuals totally change their lives: New jobs, better health, stronger relationships. I felt honoured and thrilled to be part of their transformation. This is definitely going on my list.
Once you've reflected on 2015, move on to intentions for 2016; one informs the other. I will be putting a lot more goals in the area of business this year, and less in the area of physical fitness and family. This is not because I have any intention of letting go of my fitness routine or making my family a low priority; I just want to make sure I create enough intention in the area of my business to really succeed on some of the goals I have in my professional life.
I used to think of a new Years Resolution as one big promise that you made for yourself. The problem was, it never worked for me. I never kept that one big promise. I find by writing lists of my past and future accomplishments, I put myself in the mindset that is more realistic in my life. Change is incremental and usually builds from the many small decisions and changes you make in your life on a daily basis. By celebrating the fact that I got on my yoga mat three times a week last year, by acknowledging that I did not start another book as I said I would, I get clarity on what I need to work on in the upcoming year, and I stop beating myself up on a vague concept that I am not achieving enough, and get very specific on what I want to achieve in the upcoming year.
The New Year doesn't have to start with a New Years' Resolution. Frankly, that's just too much pressure for most of us, and New Years' Resolutions usually don't work. Try the kinder, gentler approach of these two lists.
I would love to hear from you about things that made your list. Things you are proud of, and intentions that you have made for the upcoming year.