It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost New Year’s! The year has flown by once again. And while you may be waiting for New Year’s Eve to write out your resolutions, it’s not too early to start thinking about 2012, and what you want to happen.
Life coaching and executive coaching are about first dreaming and then doing. Think of these last weeks of the year as your dreaming time. Your dreams, hopes, and intentions are the sparks that ignite your future plans both personally and professionally, so nothing is more important.
To help you plan ahead, I have some questions to share with you that I like to ask my life coach clients. Take some time in this last month of 2011 to ask yourself these key questions. They will help create a structure to guide your life and work in 2012:
What do you want to add to your life in the coming year?
What do you want to discard? Though you may feel that January 1st is just another day, the New Year creates a perfect time to reinvent yourself. As you think back over your past year, identify what worked well (let’s call these your “Dids”) and what you’d like to change (these are your “Duds”). It can help to write your thoughts down make a list of successes, as well as things that didn’t go as planned.
The list that you compile contains valuable information for 2012. In life coaching, our mission is to build on your “Dids” and learn from your “Duds.” Look at your “Dids” list first. What worked well for you in 2011, how can you keep the momentum going? Are there things you need to add to your life, whether by reaching out to key people, figuring out new processes, or investing in upgraded tools?
Now look at your list of 2011 “Duds.” Although it may be painful to remind yourself about things that didn’t work out, the challenges that you faced and goals you didn’t reach can serve as a bellwether pointing you toward what you need to do next. “Duds” should lead to “discards.” Think about what you can eliminate from your life going forward in 2012 to ensure that your “Duds” list is shorter next year.
How do you feel about your current priorities?
Does anything need readjusting? Let’s build on the work you’ve done above. Make a list of the priorities that you’ve been focusing on this past year, both personally and professionally. Now that you have a clear visual of what worked well for you in 2011, do any of your priorities need fine-tuning?
Perhaps you reached some of the goals that you had been working toward, and need a fresh vision. Or maybe you discovered that something you thought was vital to your success isn’t really for you. Create a clear list of updated priorities that can take you confidently into 2012.
By this time next year, what do you want to have accomplished?
Next, let’s use a “visioning” process to help uncover what you really want in the New Year. Imagine yourself a year from now, with 2012 almost over. In the best-case scenario, what is happening in your career and relationships? Where do you hope to be financially?
Then think through the steps you will need to take in 2012 to reach each of your goals. Be very specific about what you’ll need to do, and when. By being clear on what you want to accomplish over the next year, you’ll be in a much better position to prepare to make it happen.