This isn’t an article about #newyearsresolutions. I lost interest in them years ago. Everyone knows that they’re short lived. Does that make me a grumpy middle-aged man now too set in his ways to bother? Let’s find out.
The start of a new year does symbolise something important in your life and mine. It represents a change. Something has ended and something else is beginning.
So, what’s wrong with a new year’s resolution?
You’ve heard a lot of these arguments before. They don’t last and they’re often about punishing yourself for what you regret e.g. eating too much or not exercising enough. It’s not aiming for a change that’s the problem. It’s the ways you go about it.
Look forwards by first looking back
To truly benefit from a new year’s plan, it helps to begin with learning as much as you can about what has happened in the last 12 months. This creates the platform for more meaningful and successful pursuits in the year ahead. The work begins with a period of reflection.
I’ve been doing some reflective work myself over Christmas break. I’ve been doing it with the help of a #YearCompass. I’d like to thank my friend Olivia Donnelly for bringing this self-help tool in to my awareness. And, I wanted to share it with you.
How does one reflect?
Reflection is one of those words you know, and that people talk about. Rarely do people talk about how you reflect. Is it just thinking about stuff and trying to learn from my mistakes? Well, in part, yes! Reflection is about thinking, and it is about learning.
Let’s look at how to reflect in closer detail, so you know just what to do.
Reflection occurs when you ask yourself questions about what has happened. This is when you identify the answers to questions. This is when you slow down and focus. This is when you spend the time on yourself that you deserve.
But what questions do you ask?
• What was your wisest decision?
• What was the biggest risk you took?
• What are you most grateful for?
It asks you to look through your calendar and write down all the meaningful events that took place. It asks you to describe what your personal life was about and to highlight your best moments.
It also shows you how to plan for 2018. It helps you to think about:
• What you want to accomplish
• Who you’ll turn to when you need support
• Where in the world you’ll want to visit
It asks you to describe:
• What you will no longer put-off
• How you will be brave
• How you will be kind and compassionate to yourself
What’s the verdict?
I’ve found the YearCompass an extremely useful self-help tool. It is well designed with clever questions. It shows you what to focus on and how to think about what you’ve learned. It guides you to plan ahead in meaningful and practical ways. And, it speaks you to with an awareness that this process needs time, patience and courage.
I’ve not yet finished my own YearCompass. I’ve still my planning ahead to complete. The experience so far has been rewarding and painful. I’ve reminded myself of my accomplishments and it has made me feel proud. And, it has taken me right back to my scariest and most shameful moments. As you can imagine, this wasn’t easy. But, I am grateful for it. It’s a new year’s gift to myself.
Seize this moment
Download your own free copy of the YearCompass and say goodbye to 2017. Seize this moment and connect courageously with the year ahead. What will your 2018 have in store? You needn’t only wonder. You can dream big. You can decide what and how to get there. You need only try.