The new year is a great time for reflection. It’s wise to think back over the year’s successes and dare I say it, things we could have done better. But a few years ago I stopped making new years resolutions to go to the gym three times a week when I hate the gym. It’s not exactly a unique anyway is it?
I strongly believe there’s no point in setting goals for the new year if you already know you won’t keep or don’t really want to keep them. Feebly attempting something for the first half of January and then giving up is only going to make you feel despondent.
Tom Butler-Bowdon hits the nail on the head with the Power of Thinking Long. Try thinking about what you want to achieve in 2013 in a different light. When you’re 80 and looking back over your life, what would you like to have achieved? What might you regret not throwing yourself into?
Write a list, choose one or a few things to work on and then focus on what you need to do to achieve that goal. Forget about what you need to do in January. Take the whole year and a few more if you need to. It doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as you have a plan to complete the goal.
Tom Butler-Bowdon uses a great quote in his book “Never too late to be great”: “No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: you can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” Warren Buffett
I know it works as I did just that in 2010. I decided I didn’t want to work for a big corporate anymore. I’d always dreamed of working for myself. I just didn’t know what I’d be doing so in 2010 I started working on why I’d like to change career and once I understood that I realised that complementary therapy matched my personality, values and skills. So I started the first of a four year homeopathy course in 2010 followed by a reflexology course in 2011.
My successes in 2012 were: Completing my reflexology diploma, handing in my notice and leaving my stressful corporate marketing job, setting up my business Relax Rebalance and my calm and quiet home treatment room with a separate access to the rest of my home, forming relationships with other local self employed health and well being specialists and obtaining my target number of new clients.
The things I aim to do better in 2013 are: 1. Knuckle down to my homeopathy studies as it took second place to my reflexology in 2012 and I still need to complete year 1! 2. Do more exercise but focus on my running and pilates which are cheap, easy to fit into my daily routine and great for my wellbeing. I still hate gyms! 3. Keep growing my reflexology business by assigning time to marketing even when my diary is busy with clients.
So two years later I’ve achieved half my goal by setting up my business. It will take me another 3 to complete my homeopathy but as Tom Butler-Bowdon has pointed out to me, I still have 42 productive years ahead of me and that’s plenty of time and…..“anything that has had years of love poured into it is by nature more valuable than what is churned out with stress and hurry.”
Maybe now you have a different perspective on new years resolutions. Perhaps there’s something you want to look back on with pride when you are 80?
I’d love to know what are you going to work on in 2013.
Happy New Year. All the best for 2013.