January 2012 Reflections


 2012!  Sounds strange doesn't it?  Now that the excitement and busyness of Christmas is over I hope you have had some time to relax and enjoy some time with family and friends.  The start of another year often conjures up ideas about changes we might want to make in our lives.  Most of us think vaguely about making some New Year resolutions.  Before you think about these, why not reflect on the year just gone by.  Take a few minutes to ask yourself a few questions about what you have achieved, what you have learned and bring to mind some of the special moments you have enjoyed with friends and family.


The Year in Review Exercise

 Take a large sheet of paper and draw a small circle in the middle of it.  This represents you.  Draw some lines going out from the circle and write down activities, events and experiences you had during last year.  To help jog your memory consult your diary, calendar or personal journal (if you keep one).  Try using headings such as work, relationships, personal care, hobbies/recreation, personal development etc.  Include any changes you made during the year eg. got a new job, moved house, lost weight, quit smoking or other personal milestones.  Think about people you have met - have you made a new friend, formed a special relationship, rekindled an old friendship?  Have you supported someone in need?  What new skills have you acquired, what have you learned about yourself?  What have you done to improve your  physical and mental wellbeing?  What special events did you attend which were particularly enjoyable or meaningful to you?  Don't forget the small things - everyday actions which gave you or someone in your life pleasure.

After you have completed your list take time to appreciate all of the things you have achieved and experienced.  Allow yourself to acknowledge your efforts and appreciate the good things that happened.  Doing this exercise often surprises people as they recognize the many things they can feel grateful for.  There may be things that did not go so well for you or difficult experiences which come to mind.  Think about what you have learned from these and how you have become stronger and more resilient as a result.

Now let's talk about how you might go about setting resolutions that don't leave you feeling frustrated and guilty for not sticking to them.  The process of making changes and choices in life and work starts with you having a thought about some aspect of your life being different.  You need to be able to imagine yourself experiencing this new way of doing or being and then take meaningful steps towards your goals.  Making any type of change requires you to believe in your intention and practice working on it to make it a reality.  Below are some tips to help you get started.


How to Set Realistic, Achievable and Measurable Goals

1.  Be Specific - Have a clear measurable outcome eg. be able to run 5 km. by the end of June 2012.  make one new connection each month for the next 6 months, cook 6 new recipes before Easter.

2.  Write your goals down

3.  Have a schedule - set aside time to work towards your goal - block out time in your diary eg. exercise bet. 6.30 - 7.30 am Mon. Wed. & Frid.  For personal development goals think of actions you can do each day eg. do one kind thing today for a friend/colleague, family member.

4.  Don't allow your negative thoughts to sabotage you.  Ignore the voice in your head that tells you not to bother because you are too tired, or dont have enough time or are not good enough.

5.  Buddy up with a friend who shares your goal so you can support each other or use a coach/mentor you can learn from.  You may want to seek out a counsellor or coach to help you.

6.  Make time to relax and be at peace with yourself.  If you are stressed it will be harder for you to focus on your goals and you will start to feel overwhelmed and lose motivation.  Practice some mindfulness meditation or breathing techniques or spend time with nature enjoying its beauty and sense of calm it brings.

7.  Don't feel guilty if you slip up and don't always follow through.  If the goal is really what you want then there will be a right time for you to pursue this.  Sometimes we just have to give ourselves permission to have some time out and then revisit the goal to ask ourselves if it is still what we want, or reflect on what is holding us back from committing to it fully.

8.  Monitor your progress and reward yourself as you see the gradual improvements or changes you are making.

9.  Be persistent and keep your focus on how good you will feel about yourself when you achieve what you set out to do.

10.  Celebrate your success.


If you would like help with  identifying your goals and making changes and choices in life and work, I would love to assist you.  Whether you are wanting to improve some aspect of yourself, your relationships or are looking for career direction in 2012 I can work with you to make these happen.

I am available from 10th January so give me a call on 0438 855328.


In the meantime,  HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR.