Yesterday + Today = Tomorrow
Making 2012 a Great Year
Probably, not everything in 2011 went according to plan. No doubt, the past year has been a source of both pleasant and painful experiences for you. You might have lived through great challenges, your perception of the world might have changed and your priorities may have demanded a closer look. You may have found yourself questioning your life or struggling with many scary unknowns and uncertainties. Some of the events of last year have surpassed your wildest imaginings, both terrible and triumphant.
During good times and bad times — in your own personal life or in our world — you have the choice to rise to the occasion and display your greatest strengths or to draw back, feel scared and remain powerless. It can be difficult to reconcile your own hurtful mistakes from the past and get ready for an unknown future too. You know that you can’t change the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to let go of. And because none of us are privy to all of where our lives are going, the best we can manage to do sometimes is simply trust that everything will come together when we need it most.
I encourage you to step back and take a moment to reflect on 2011 and acknowledge all that you’ve accomplished. Appreciate yourself for all that you’ve endured and overcome. Honor all that you began in 2011. Maybe you didn’t do everything that you set out to do or get as far as you thought you would, but you can let go of that now. Wash your hands of regrets from last year. Forgive yourself for what you haven’t finished yet and clear a path to begin again in the New Year.
“True creativeness is finding new possibilities in old situations.” ~ Unknown
January is a Time of New Beginnings
Today is the first day of January and holds the promise of a fresh start. Sometimes you do need the opportunity to start over again, in whatever part of your life needs it most. It could be that you want to reignite passion in an old relationship, or end one altogether to make room for someone new. Maybe you feel called to change the type of work that you do. 2012 could be the year to leave your place of employment so that you can pursue another path. Maybe it’s time to choose a new outlook or better attitude; even if everything else stays the same, what a great year you’ll have with this different perspective! You can make the decision to begin today because there is nothing but a blank canvas in front of you now. 2012 is your chance to be healthier physically, or to be new again in your career and in your relationships.
Coaching Tips for 2012
1) Let Yourself off the Hook
We tend to be our own harshest critic and exaggerate the truth about how miserably we’ve failed ourselves. Stop being so hard on yourself and put the hammer away for good. Don’t let the things that have happened in the past dampen your enthusiasm for what is possible now. Just because you’ve made mistakes or have difficulties to overcome doesn’t mean that your life can’t get better now. None of you past mistakes mean that you’re a forever failure, no matter how bad they were.
A lot of good things will happen for you in the year ahead. All you have to do is embrace them. You might miss the full enjoyment of new experiences if you’re carrying the past around with you. Your past experiences be your greatest teachers so learn from your mistakes and benefit from the wisdom gained in the lessons, but don’t drag unhappy memories around anymore. Put the baggage down and leave unpleasant experiences behind you. Today is your opportunity to let go of any unproductive thoughts and feelings that have plagued you or that keep you rooted in negativity. And as you go forward, continue to release anything that is preventing you from enjoying your best life.
2) Learn from 2011
How can 2011 help you decide what to get rid of in 2012? It could be that list of ‘shoulds’. These are the things you think you should do, but don’t want to do. Are you ready to drop anything inauthentic or anything that has become an obligation versus a joy? This is a good place to start because as you permit fewer things to drain your energy or establish healthy boundaries that better serve you, you’ll feel lighter, and will be free to move forward again. Decide to remove the things that hold you back, steal your energy or cause you worry. Take at least one deliberate step to eliminate or reduce the things that don’t bring you fulfilment or happiness. Practice speaking up for yourself and saying ‘No’ when you need to. This means telling the truth on your own behalf and being more authentic in 2012. Give yourself permission to live a life that reflects who you really are. This would be something to celebrate at the end of 2012.
3) Dream Again
Every time you dream of the good things to come in the year ahead, you increase the chances of them happening in your life. When you give deliberate thought to where you want to go from here, you open the doors of opportunity. Every time you revisit your goals and dreams, you will gain more clarity, and one day they will suddenly become crystal clear in your mind. Your new hopes, ambitions and ideas will take your life to a whole new place. And don’t worry if you can’t see everything ahead of you. You won’t fully understand all of where you are going right now. Just keep dreaming, hoping and finding life’s magic, even in the face of trouble or confusion. On the hardest days, stay optimistic by trusting that these hard times will pass and that all things will get better over time.
Here is a Coaching Action Challenge for you: Choose one area of your life to focus on now because whatever you focus on and give energy to will grow and take shape. Enjoy this new beginning and this chance to start over again with a fresh approach. A new beginning holds the promise of new lessons to be learned, new opportunities to be discovered, and new interests or creative ideas to be explored. You might be thinking that the only way you can have a new beginning is to become a new or different person, but this is not true. All you have to do to start over again is adopt a new outlook and decide that you will try again.
”Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” ~ Joseph Addison
You have the gift of another year so ready yourself for the journey! Take along some humility from the past and toss in some curiosity and excitement about what’s coming up next. Great things are in store for you. So grab your map, set your course, and hoist your sails. Discover and explore the new places and exciting destinations waiting for you in the year ahead!
Have a beautiful, magical and wondrous 2012.