How are those New Year’s resolutions going?
Did you start your year with a plan? Are you making great progress, or have you hit your goals already?
Or was your list so long you still haven’t managed to start? Or perhaps you made a start but you’ve given up?
We’ve all been there…I cringe when I remember some of the goals I’ve created for myself over the years – big targets to smash and usually during January! Lose half a stone, get a new job, launch a new business – you know the kind of small goals I mean! I’ve learnt a lot along the way so here’s some thoughts as we say goodbye to another January.
Reflect and celebrate
Ok, so your January may not have gone quite to plan but every day can be a new start and each month brings another opportunity to reflect and consider where you are and where you’d like to go. Say hello to February and take some time to reflect and celebrate all that’s good in your life.
Think back over the last year (or maybe longer if like me you’ve had a significant birthday recently!)
- What are you most proud of?
- What moments made you smile?
- What have you achieved?
These can be as big or as small as you like.
Maybe use a tool like this:
Simply make a note each time something makes you smile throughout the year and add it to your jar. It can be anything you like, big or small. Significant achievements or things you feel grateful for.
We had a go during 2014 and had a great time on New Year’s Day this year looking through our notes and remembering some lovely family moments over the past year; from my son losing his first tooth to me running a 10k race!
Visualise a happy future
Now spend some time thinking about how you’d like your life to look in the future – by this time next year where would you like to be? What will you be doing? How much of your time will be spent on different areas of your life? How does work, family, fun fit in?
Plan the steps to get there
Once you have a picture in your mind, ask yourself what 10 things you could do to get there. Now narrow that down to the top 3 things that will make the biggest difference.
Do you need to break these 3 things down further into smaller steps? Be realistic about what you have time to do and always add in more time than you think you will need at this planning stage.
Work out the details
When you will carry out the steps?
How will you know when you have been successful?
Remember you have a whole year to gradually move towards your happy future so break the steps down and take it steady.
Commit it all to paper
But think creatively! You don’t have to write out a big list of all of your goals if that doesn’t fit with your preferred way of working.
You could draw a picture of your vision – as detailed and colourful as you like.
Or try writing a letter from your future self – imagine you are there, a year from now writing to yourself today to explain where you are, how you feel, what has happened over the last year and so on.
But remember to enjoy all of this planning and working towards your future – don’t constrain yourself by your goals so much that you forget to enjoy the present moment.
A card given to me by a wonderful coach and mentor reminds me daily to “do what I love and do it often”.
Good luck. Have a wonderful February and the rest of 2015!
Emma Shute & Jenny Pollock are the Founders and Coaches with Women to Work. We offer one to one coaching, group coaching workshops, a Business Club for self-employed mums and bespoke programmes for organisations.