We all know how it goes. We start the year in a sea of anticipation, ever hopeful that this year will be the year. You know, the year that we finally do all the things we truly want to do, and none of the stuff we don’t. We will hit the big career goals, make our business a success, lose the weight, find the guy/gal, get organised. Remove the stuff that doesn’t serve us. It all feels very idealistic and yet completely doable.
But then a heartbeat later, when the enthusiasm burns off as it inevitably does, and the willpower runs out, we are left with the same old same old. Ourselves. Just as we are. With the same life, habits and challenges we had before the new year bell tolled.
Don’t despair. And please don’t panic. You can create the things you actually want this year. To get the most meaningful things done this year. To have a year that you can feel your best, regardless of where you are at.
So here are some strategies that will help you to ensure you are living the life you really want to live, and not simply existing, making do, getting through it, or just surviving it.
1.Get laser clarity.
So what’s on your list? What are your goals? What do you really truly absolutely want to get done, achieve or be this year? Write the big monster list and see what comes out. If you’ve already done this, go back and revisit it. Some things may drop off, others may come on. Circle the items that are absolute must do’s.
2. See how you feel. Look at your list.
Sit with each item on it and feel into your stomach and your chest. How do you feel as you ponder each goal? If you feel those butterflies of excitement in your gut, wonderful. If you feel your breath catch in your chest or your stomach start to churn, then you may want to look a little deeper at whether this is something you really want/need on your list this year.
3. How many things?
We typically under estimate what we can get done in a year and over estimate what we can get done in a day or week. If you look at your list in terms of projects, and count out the hours per week or month it will take to get them done, where does this leave you? We have 168 hours in a week, 728 hours in a month, 8,736 hours in a year. Once you remove 8 hours a day of sleep from your week you’re down to 112. That’s 16 hours a day to work, rest, eat, interact, exercise, meditate, create, and do all the other things in your life. 16 hours! If you take the basic 8 hour work day, and then look at your project list and the hours calculation, what’s your number? I did this recently and had about 16 hours a day just for the work stuff. Obviously I took some major projects off my list. It hurt, but it was necessary. How about you?
4. Run your own agenda.
Once you have clarity, get your calendar for the next month. Put all of your personal priorities in it. Whether it’s exercise time, creative pursuits, family time, block it all out. All of it. Then you can add in the work/business/career agenda items. This is now your agenda. Protect it for all it’s worth.
5. Keep it fluid.
We get stuck when we set goals at the start of the year, and then hang on for dear life even when we’re not feeling them anymore, when the goal posts have shifted or when we instinctively know we need to let something go but don’t. Check in with yourself, or with a coach or mentor, once a month to make sure you are on track with what you truly want to be doing. Also check in on how you are showing up in your life and how you are feeling, not just how you are hustling through it.
My best advice comes from how I am aiming to live my own life:
A final word
Be careful what you say yes to. Every yes, even those small things that creep in that you think won’t have an impact, make a difference. Every yes means you are saying no to something else. We need to be relentlessly careful that saying a yes to somebody else doesn’t mean we are saying no to ourselves. Sadly, it is often exactly the case. I know in my own business, that saying yes to small things I think won’t matter end up being a major distraction in time, energy and attention from the things my heart and soul want to be doing. A disciplined ‘no’ or ‘not now’ can be your very best friend, and save you a lot of headaches and heartache. Get acquainted with both phrases.
Get laser clear on what you want for yourself this year. Focus in on your career, business and life goals. And be ridiculously, audaciously focussed on staying true to those goals. And to yourself.
Megan Dalla Camina