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New years resolutions or reflections?




My history with new year resolutions is rather patchy, I imagine I am not the only one! I tend to think about something in a half hearted way, do it religiously for the first 5 days, and then realise on Jan 18th that I haven’t done it for a few weeks! The start of a new year can be a powerful motivator for some, if this is you then that is a great start. However, it is not just about the time of year, but about you as an individual, how motivated you are to achieve your resolutions, what they mean to you, and how well you know yourself.

As I started to think about this blog, I realised what I really wanted to talk about was the power of reflection and understanding yourself, before jumping into goal setting, which is the focus of most new year blogs.

So what did you learn from last year? Understanding what went well is a good place to start. We are wired to remember the negatives (this is a protection mechanism to keep us safe by recognising possible threats) rather than the positives, so taking time to actively think about the positives is useful to remind us that even after a pretty challenging year for most (2020), there will still be some positives, however small.

My learning has been about my response to rapid, worldwide change that is out of my control. I know I am pretty level headed and resilient, but I was challenged significantly at times, when I could see a close family member struggling who would not accept my help, and when I realised I would have to adapt my business development plans to account for the economic downturn post Covid19. So what learning am I taking forwards? I can offer help but I am not in control of what others do with that offer. I can adapt my business plans and approach, and paid work has now returned. I recognise earlier when my resilience is starting to lower, and have learnt this year to change my thinking and prioritise better, and seek support earlier from my networks.

Now you have reflected on what you have achieved and what went well, what skills or strengths did you use to achieve these things or ensure success? Was it your tenacity, communication skills or ability to adapt? Knowing what assisted you is useful when thinking about new goals, so you can use these strengths going forwards.

Regular reflection helps you to learn about yourself. Doing this consistently and with the assistance of a trained coach (for all or part of the journey) you will start to see patterns in how you approach things, what is present when you are successful, and what barriers are preventing you moving forwards. Armed with this knowledge and the support of a coach, goal setting becomes easier, along with achieving the desired outcomes.

For those of you that want to use the new year as a spring board, self reflection should be your first goal. Seek out a coach if you need some support with this. Great questioning can really help shift your perspective and provide clarity about where you are, your strengths, and what your future goals look like.

Last of all good luck! Be kind to yourself if things don’t go to plan, reflect on what needs to change, draw on your strengths and try again.

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