Thursday, January 15, 2009

Want Success in 2009?

A client of mine after the New Year said to me: “So I did the “Looking Back, Looking Forward” exercise [find it HERE]… now what?” Here are some thoughts about how to approach this:

Looking Back

My own coach has four questions that help to put closure around 2008 - so you can powerfully put the past behind you and move ahead into 2009. It can be applied to this portion of the exercise.

1) What did you accomplish that you intended to accomplish?
2) What did you accomplish above and beyond what you intended?
3) What didn’t you accomplish that you intended?
4) What would you like to be acknowledged for and by whom?

Take some time to write down these answers and share them with someone you are close to. That will help to close out 2008.

Looking Forward

As for 2009, how to go about it is up to you. This portion of the exercise is about creating a vision of what you want to be/do/have for the coming year. Some are continuations of something you have already been doing (keep smoke-free, continue going to the gym 2x a week), or might be new activities (be open to taking risks, take a vacation, lose 10 pounds).

Here are some suggestions for keeping your goals alive for yourself:

1) Just pick something and start. You will not take on all your goals at the same time. Pick the top 3-5 that you can start making a dent in right now, and begin practicing. You may even want to take on the easiest ones first, so you can experience immediate success to get you motivated.

2) Declare it. By keeping key friends informed of what you are doing, you are setting yourself up with a support system. Share your successes and challenges. This will not only help you, but will also motivate others and help them feel like they are not alone.

3) Partner with someone. Create structures or commitments to help keep you accountable. Find a workout buddy. Partner with someone to help you keep smoke-free. You don’t have to go it alone!

4) Use your calendar. Make sure you have time and space set aside in your day for your activities, goals, etc. If a competing priority comes up, reschedule that time – don’t just cancel it. By carving out the space, it is more likely to stay top-of-mind and you are more likely to do it.

5) Baby steps. Break your goals down into small chunks. See more explanation of this HERE. For example, if you want to lose weight or gain strength, set some targets for the next 3-6 months, then work backward to determine how you will achieve that target. Put in some milestones. Create some structures. But most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed by the bigger goal; remember that you only need to focus on TODAY.

Once again, these are not New Year's resolutions. Rather, they are what you want for yourself and your life for 2009. If you got even 10% of your Looking Forward goals, wouldn't it still be an amazing year?

No comments: