‘Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal.
Live this day as if it were your last.
The past is over and gone.
The future is not guaranteed.’
The beginning of a calendar year is a fabulous time to recognised what we achieved during the past calendar year. As a coach it is something that I do and encourage my clients to do. It is so seldom that we focus on ourselves. For those of us in the Christian faith, we have just celebrated the birth of Christ, and we have all observed the final day of the Gregorian year by celebrating what is commonly recognised as New Year’s Eve. The Scottish culture recognise the close of one year and the opening of the next with the words from the famous Rabbie Burns song – Auld Lang Syne – which talks about friends and friendship of long ago. Other cultures have their own way of recognising the close of one year and the opening of the next – not all at this time of year though. The Islamic New Year was on the 8th December, 2010; the Egyptian New Year begins on the 7th January, 2011; the Eastern Orthodox on the 14th January, 2011; the Celtic, Korean and Lunar New Year on the 21st January, 2011; and without going into the various New Year Days through the world, I’ll end with the Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit) begins on the 2nd March, 2011. For the purposes of this article though I am talking about the Gregorian year, also known as the Western calendar or the Christian calendar, which ends on the 31st December and the New Year starts on the 1st January.
This is a fabulous time to find a quiet space, take out your journal, and start to think about 2010. What did you achieve? Where were your successes? Thinking back to the New Year’s resolutions that you had written down at the beginning of 2010 – how many have you achieved? For some of us we may feel that we’ve achieved a lot, but for most of us we may feel that we haven’t achieved anything. Either way you look at this it makes sense, although more frequently it is shown that we feel that we haven’t achieved anything. There are a number of reasons for this which include that we focus on others before we focus on ourselves, and that we very rarely recognise our own achievements. So this is your opportunity to write down all the positive things that have happened to or for you this year. Once you’ve written these down, spend a few moments and work out which of these is an achievement and/or a success. You will surprise yourself when you have realised how much you have achieved or succeeded in.
‘The truly important things in life — love, beauty, and one’s own uniqueness — are constantly being overlooked.’ Pablo Casals. Take this time to recognise some of the truly important things in life – Pablo recognises in his quote that one of the truly important things in life is your own uniqueness, so in this it is important to recognise the things that you have achieved and/or succeeded in.
As you go into this new year – 2011 – I want you to ask yourself the question ‘If I don’t focus on my life and what I want to achieve in it, who will?’ This is an interesting question and one that we very rarely want to ask ourselves, but spend a few moments now and write down all the answers that come to you when you do ask it. If you don’t want to focus on your own life, what will happen to all those dreams that you had or have?
New Year’s Resolutions are generally those things that we want to achieve in the next calendar year. According to Wikipedia the more popular resolutions include improving health, losing weight, exercising more, quit smoking, quit drinking, improve finances, change job/career. Research shows that while 52% of the participants in a New Year’s Resolution study were confident of the success of their resolutions only 12% actually achieved the goals that they set. There were a number of reasons for this which included that resolutions are frequently not thought through and are stated as the year changes from the Old Year to the New Year.
‘Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.’
Going back to the article I published on the 27th September, 2010 – Dreams are what makes life worth living – this is your opportunity to make a success of your New Year’s Resolutions. ‘Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.’ Nido Qubein. As you take the time to work with each resolution you stated over the New Year, you will have your opportunity to see how these fit into your own Wheel of Life. If you select to you will then have the opportunity to map these into goals and taking one step at a time achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.
Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.