A New Year – a new beginning – and everything is up for review…
Including how I reflect on the old year and plan for the new one. How much time did I want to spend on this process? There are many different tools and suggestions available on the best way to do this, and you may have a system that works really well for you. I had a system of questions that worked well for me over the last few years, which I created an end of year retreat around. However this year I found myself asking – do I still want to spend this amount of time on review and retrospection? The past is over so how much time do I really want to spend on it? Is there a different way that I can be with this process this year?
As a result, I found myself pulling out questions from my end of year retreat workshop, which were the ones I felt really needed my attention …
What needs to be completed to wrap up last year? Is there any unfinished business that needs attention?
What’s calling me forward in the New Year? What possibilities exist that stimulate me, generate a hint of excitement or anticipation, or a potential challenge and growth? I printed out a one page year planner to pencil in any relevant dates.
What’s my theme for the year? What’s the one word or short phrase that captures the essence of what I want to focus my attention on this year?
And lastly I noted down a few things about what I desire under the headings …
As a result the whole reflection and review process became very simple. It took half an hour and 2 pages in my A5 journal. If you haven’t you haven’t taken time to think about your year ahead yet, why not give it a go with these questions. It’s all about keeping it simple and focusing on what really matters to you! Let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below.
The key take away from this call on Fri 2ndDec was that there is more than one way to approach life – it is more important that we all find a way to live our lives that feels authentic for us rather than trying to fit into someone else’s formula. Only then can we experience the peace and contentment that we desire.
Here are some of the learning’s from the call…
- I am a huge fan of journaling as a tool to clear my head; however a verbal process may work better for others, so become aware of the “shoulds” you experience even around this topic of taking time for reflection and choose to do it in a way that works for you!
- The process of reflection for the year reminds me of how far I have come, of all that I have learned and accomplished. This can be particularly inspiring, generating energy and excitement to propel us into a wonderful new year.
- Remember to celebrate your achievements. Create simple rituals with a partner or loved ones to acknowledge and share all that has been meaningful in your life each year. It is these special moments that will be remembered by all in years to come. Also remember that you don’t have to wait until the end of each year to do this – schedule a weekly celebration to remind you of how good life can be!
- As I have continued to simplify my life I no longer work with elaborate lists of goals for all areas of my life. The most useful technique I find is to choose a theme – a one line statement that encompasses all that I hope for in the coming year. So what would your theme be for 2012?
If you desire a more peaceful and contented life and need some support with implementing any of these ideas please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time for a chat.
The next community call is scheduled for Friday 3rd February 2012 at 9.30 am NZ time. I look forward to connecting with you then, if not before.
As you reflect on this year,
what would be useful to know, to give you a sense of completion and freedom to move confidently into 2012?
This was the theme for the community call last week. I was curious as to what made some days really great, when we feel energized and excited about our lives, while others can feel totally overwhelming and non productive. So the question to be answered was “what makes the difference?”
So these are the key points that came from the call…
- Start your day with some activities that are nourishing to your body, mind and soul. E.g. waking up slowly, reading something inspirational, meditating, taking your time to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast.
- Finish your day with time for reflection – acknowledge all that you have achieved that felt great and gave you a high level of satisfaction. If things didn’t go so well, take some time to identify why, and what you could do differently the next time. Keep a gratitude journal to list 10 things that you appreciated looking for something different each day.
- Find a way of working with lists that suit you and allows you to feel good about yourself. Getting all your tasks out of your head and onto paper is a great way to achieve clarity, however from there it is important to then choose what is necessary, and to fit everything else into your day around those tasks. It is also a good idea to throw all your lists out sometimes and to start again, especially if your list keeping starts to feel overwhelming.
- Become more conscious of the time you devote to relationships. Choose to spend your time with people that energize and inspire you, minimizing time with people that don’t. Practice setting strong boundaries to protect your time and energy with these people.
- Get real about how long tasks really take. We often believe things will take less time than they really do – monitor these tasks closely so you allow the appropriate amount of time – remember to include travel time for meetings away from home or the office as well.
- Make sure you have time in your day to allow yourself to just be – space with no agenda, no plans and no goals. Allow the space to follow your intuition and connect with new people along the way. This is when the magic can really happen and life can become a real pleasure and joy.
I hope you find these tips useful. Feel free to leave a comment or some more suggestions below. The next community call is scheduled for Friday 2nd December 2011 at 9.30 am NZ time. I look forward to connecting with you then,
So what did we cover on the Community Call and Inspirations Cafe this month?
In the past I felt that being stuck was not a good thing, so through the discussion I introduced a couple of different perspectives, one of these being that it may not be such a bad thing to be stuck, to feel like there is nothing that needs to be done right now.
I again shared Jan Lundy’s story about how she wanted to write another book and no matter how hard she tried it just wasn’t happening. It was only when she finally stopped trying to make something happen a particular way that she realised it was actually a course that she needed to write and deliver, not a book. Once this shift in her awareness occured she was off and the course was written and launched within a few months. So sometimes it is not the right time for something to be created, sometimes there needs to be more time and space for the creative process to evolve, or maybe there are other parts to the puzzle which need to be in place before a project can be completed. With different perspectives about what may be going on, it becomes much easier to feel at peace with this feeling of “being stuck”
Here is the link to her recording called In the Meantime where she shares her story and 8 tips to manage these times when there seems to be nothing that can be done.
Another thought I shared was the idea that we may not be stuck at all, that progress is happening, but just at quite a slow pace. This is when the tools of reflection are really useful to take stock of what has changed over the last day, week, month or year to help us recognise what progress has been made.
This also draws our attention to our expectations – we can can often feel that things “should” be happening much quicker or easier than they are. Recognise the “shoulds” you may have around being stuck, practice acceptance with what is, so the resistance can disappear and you can start to feel in the flow of life once again.
Finally some tips from our discussion:
- Focus on one step at a time – what is the next step for you to take right now?
- If you are tired – do you need rest, water or some good nourishing food?
- What do you really want to be doing right now?
- Some of the simplest things can shift our energy… moving a piece of furniture in our home, decluttering, cleaning, doing something playful like singing or dancing, reminding ourselves of all that we are grateful for in our lives or going for a walk to fill our lungs with fresh air.
I hope you find something useful here to help change your perspective if you are feeling stuck. As always I am available for coaching to help you create the change you are looking for in your life – just email me or give me a call/ text on +64 (0)21 240 6535 to arrange a complimentary call to discuss your challenge and see if I am the right person to support you.
Dates for your diary:
The next Community Call is scheduled for Friday 5th August 2011 at 8.30 am NZ and the next Inspirations Cafe is scheduled for Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 9.00 am in Lower Hutt. (PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Inspirations Cafe in August 2011)
I have been journaling for many years now and find it an invaluable tool for my own personal growth and development.
I use it in many ways at different times…
- I record any new awareness and insights that I have as a result of any courses, books or coaching that I am currently working with.
- I record observations from my day – especially synchronistic events.
- I have used it as a place to record those things I am grateful for at the end of the day. This has been particularly useful at times when I have felt discouraged or down.
- I have also used it at times when I have felt miserable or sorry for myself to focus my attention on those things that can lift me out of that place e.g. Today I enjoyed…, Today I have nurtured myself by…, Today at laughed at…, Today I challenged myself…, Today I had fun…, Tomorrow I am looking forward to …,
- I use it to reflect on the actions I took during the day – what was the result and what did I learn, with the intention of listing at least one thing I learned that day.
- I have used it to recognize my successes from the day.
- I have used it to set my intentions for the next day
- I have used it as a dumping ground when I need to clear my head and get clarity around what is most important for me to attend to at any moment.
- Recently I have used my journal as a way to monitor things I want to change – I do a quick check in on how am I feeling emotionally, mentally or physically so I can flick back and see any patterns that could be affecting my ability to make the changes I want to make.
- I use it as a place to remember things during the day – I always keep it with me in my bag.
- Sometimes I have ended my day with a question around what I want to know or support I need. Often the answer will pop up within the next day or two.
I hope this inspires you and gives you some ideas on how you can use journaling in your life for growth and development too. Remember to use it in whatever way feels right and enjoyable for you. I have written something in my journal every day in the past, however recently I am much more relaxed about the process and pick it up when I feel I want to write or have something to say or explore. There is no right or wrong way about doing this – it is about using your journal in whatever way you need to at any given time.
Please share your thoughts about journaling below by clicking on the word “comments” – I would love to hear about other ways of using a journal and how his process has been of value to you.
I had an action on my to do list that I kept avoiding and moving forward from one day to the next for a long time.
As a result of changing how I structure my days and work load I changed tact and wrote “make a decision about X” on my daily task list so I would commit to take time to reflect on what I needed to decide, make the decision and follow up with action.
So now I had a task on my daily list to “make a decision” on something that keeps getting moved from one day to the next!! I would look at the task and think, I’m not ready to make the decision, it’s too difficult to even think about.
After becoming aware of what I was doing I took a few minutes to stop and reflect on what was happening and realized that I needed more information before I could actually make the decision. So what really needed to be on my task list were the steps to gather the information so I could make an informed choice.
Seems obvious now but it wasn’t until I paused and reflected on what I was doing that I gained the clarity to stop procrastinating and take some useful action steps.
So what are you avoiding?
Would some clarity around what really needs to happen help? This is were coaching is so powerful. Email me now, or call text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to explore some actions to get you moving again.
One of the most common causes of feeling overwhelmed is thinking that we have to do everything ourselves. As we struggle through our days with our huge to do list it is very hard to find the space to take a step back and reflect on our business or life.
The good news is that learning how to delegate can create more freedom in our days. As usual the first step is awareness – start by observing how you handle tasks on your list today. Ask yourself is there anyone else who can do this activity for me.
Immediately all the reasons why you can’t ask someone else to do the task will spring to mind – one of the biggest excuses will probably be it is quicker to do this myself.
Learning to delegate takes time and a willingness to do things differently. The driving factor to learn this new skill will be your desire to have more free time to develop your business and yourself.
So how much do you really want to have more free time and what exactly are you willing to do to make it happen? Call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email email@example.com for support and resources to help you on your way.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and often as we review our week we will feel that there are things that we could have done differently or in a better way.
Yet in each moment we can only do the best that we can with the knowledge and experience available to us at that time. We can call on others for their opinion yet ultimately it is us that makes the decision about what action to take at any given moment.
So how do you feel about the decisions and actions that you have taken over the last week? Are you beating yourself up for not being better? Or do you wish you had handled something in a different way?
We cannot change what has already happened – we can only accept where we are now as a result of the actions we took and be willing to learn from the experiences, so that we can continue to improve and be better the next time.
- What awareness have you gained from your experiences over the last week?.
- Is there some extra knowledge that you need to gain and what action can you take to address this?
- Was there something that you avoided doing because it made you uncomfortable? If so how would you prefer to handle a similar situation the next time?
As we take time to reflect on what has happened and where we are as a result each week we will continue to make steady progress towards on our goals and dreams. For tools and resources to help you with reflection call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you experiencing setbacks or obstacles which are preventing you from achieving the success that is important to you?
Has everything been going smoothly in your life and then something has gotten in the way which is making your progress much more difficult, or even brings you to a grinding halt. When this happens our tendency is to battle on and to work even harder to achieve the results we want.
There does come a point, though, if the obstacles are not being resolved that we need to pause, and take stock.
Are the actions we are busy taking the wrong actions?
Maybe they are the right actions but at the wrong time?
Or is there another step that is even more important that needs to be attended to first?
Create some space to reflect on what has thrown you off course – we often lose the sense of flow and synchronicity that produces results when we have lost sight of our calling or purpose for the activity in the first place, or when we have compromised a Life Intention or Standard of Integrity. When this happens creating some space to reflect allows us to course correct and connect in with our Inner Guidance System which will get the ball rolling smoothly again. Heather can help with getting the clarity you need at these times – call her on 0212 406 535 or Email email@example.com