So, is your pen at the ready? Have you already uttered a sentence beginning with a definitive ‘Right, in 2017 I’m going to….’?
A new year is such a logical time to take stock and make plans, with the crisp new diary inserts (if you’re nostalgic and still use a Filofax like me) as well as the flood of media encouraging us to get more fit, more trim, more fashionable, more domesticated, more organised, just MORE!
You may sense a touch of weariness seeping into my writing. Resolutions in the traditional sense do not work for me. I binned the very thought of them back in 2009 after my ‘near death/life circling the drain year’ (as it may become known should I ever write a book!). I cynically decided that if life can pull out the rug from under you in a catastrophic fashion at any given moment then what’s the point? And even if life’s rug remains in place I recognised that gym memberships are expensive if you only attend once a month and at the same time I came to terms with the unshakeable knowing that my house will never be without a reasonable supply of cheese.
So, as a significant part of my working life involves being a Life & Career Coach, is this view not counter-intuitive? I believe not. A (very unscientific) study of the failure by February of most resolutions made by me, my family, friends, colleagues, and clients resulted in the conclusion that it’s primarily because they’re made against a backdrop of a feeling of ‘should’. We tend to set goals or tasks that we hope will point us in the direction of a certain picture of perfection that we ‘should’ be aspiring to. I should be slimmer, fitter, trendier or a domestic god/goddess…
So, what’s the alternative?
I can suggest something that has served me well ever since I binned the resolutions; a subtle shift in thinking, a reframing of the question ‘what am I going to DO?’ It’s simply the use of 2 straightforward questions....
(1) How do I want to FEEL this year?
(2) What INSPIRED ACTION will help point me in the right direction?
I name this ‘right direction’ my ‘True North’; you may have other vocabulary for it. Importantly it’s MY True North; not society’s, my peers’, my parents’, or my friends’. The term and analogy works for me as I can always recalibrate to it even if I’ve veered well off path. And in this way, I’m not beating myself up for perceived failings in February, result!
Whether you choose to set resolutions, intentions, create vision boards or just play 2017 by ear I’d encourage you to be gentle with yourself, tune into how you really want to FEEL in 2017 and take action based on what is authentically, resolutely right for YOU!
Here’s to a fantastic 2017! May it shape up in the way you truly desire and if you feel that having me on your team to support you in feeling the way you want to feel in your Life or Career then you can book a FREE Introductory Session with me here.