On January 1st, I logged on to my personal Facebook page to see my news feed crammed with status updates that looked something like this:
"This is THE year!"
"2014 will be the year that it all comes together for me!"
"2013 was an unlucky year- 2014 can - and will - only be better."
Interesting, because the same person who had an unlucky 2013 also had an unlucky 2012, so 2013 was supposed to be his year too.
The beginning of the year brings much enthusiasm for new beginnings, new experiences, and new successes. Unfortunately the beginning of a new year also brings on new pressure for a lot of people.
Some might feel pressure to let go of past grudges, negative relationships, unfulfilling jobs, etc. Others might feel pressure to move forward with pursuing goals they've put off, finding a soul mate, finally getting a perfect body and more. It's a lot of pressure to put on yourself just because the calendar date changed!
For many people, the beginning of a new year is a great reason to change course. As a Life Coach, I'm all for positive change and actively pursuing a fulfilling life. As a human, I'm also in favor of living with minimum stress - especially in areas of life where you can control it.
Here are three easy steps to making 2014 a productive year when you don't have a resolution or goal right out of the gate:
1. Give yourself space. It's great that your family and friends can come up with resolutions off the top of their heads, but it's ok if you can't or won't do that right now. The most valuable changes are the ones where you can take the time to consider and live with for a reasonable amount of time before taking action. Sustainable change takes time to manifest!
2. Get Specific. In 2014, when you get that idea of what you want to accomplish this year, next year, in five years, ten years or whatever works for you - define specifically what you want. What does the end result look like? How will you feel once you achieved your goal? What resources do you have available to help you on your journey? How long will it take for you to reach the finish line? The clearer your goal, the easier to facilitate!
3. Go! When you are clear about your goal, the steps needed to achieve it, and a realistic timeframe - the next phase is to put your plan in action. Everybody works differently - maybe a timeline works for you, or a checklist, or checking in with an accountability partner. There are many methods that can help keep you on track. Whether it's a good old-fashioned notebook and pen, or a smart phone app, find the method that works best for you. Don't be discouraged if things don't go exactly as planned or if you get thrown off track along the way. The road to success is rarely a straight line!