Resolutions—bah humbug! It drives me crazy that people insist on making New Year’s resolutions on January 1 after one of the most exhausting and busy times of the year. Bad timing is just one of the reasons research shows that 80% of New Year’s resolutions will not come to fruition.
January should be a time for reflection. I am fine with setting goals in February or March, but there are important steps to take first. I encourage you to focus on the following three questions for the month of January.
- What went well in 2017? What are the career and personal accomplishments you’re excited about? Start the year by focusing on what went well and celebrating the good in your life!
- What did you learn? Sometimes, a specific situation will make you realize it’s time for an important decision or change.
- What would you have done differently? This question will begin to prepare you for creating 2018 goals that can really make an impact on your success and happiness.
Every January, I force myself to take out my journal and answer these questions. When I thought about my wins for 2017, I first focused on some exciting personal ones. The biggest was getting our puppy Maple. I said no to my daughters for over ten years but realized with all the stress in this world, this was the year to say yes. The universe does talk to us if we listen—I cannot tell you the joy this puppy has brought to my life! Although having a puppy is challenging at times, I love almost every minute of it. Even on the most challenging days, seeing her sweet face is a ray of sunshine. I can now see why they have puppy days at colleges before finals and why they bring dogs to hospitals and senior centers.
When I think about my career accomplishments, there are four that stand out. The first is seeing the impact of my coaching using my Benatti Resiliency Model. I now have all my leadership and career-coaching clients working through my model. The feedback from my clients has been that focusing on their resilience has made them more energized, focused, and productive.
My second major accomplishment is that meditation has become a regular habit for me. I spent 2016 piloting five meditation apps and in 2017, narrowed it down to two. I am hooked on Calm.com. I am less reactive, super-focused, and more productive because of my morning meditation. Every morning, I receive a new 10-minute meditation on my phone to jump-start my day. I meditate before I check email and have even had success on trains and planes. It only takes 10 minutes to energize your day!
The third accomplishment was significant business travel to present on resiliency and branding at amazing organizations. I even had an opportunity to facilitate an MBTI Team building session for my college roommate’s school, The Augusta Levy Center in West Virginia, an incredible school she began for children with autism. I enjoyed both the new training opportunities and the travel.
Last was the decision I made to join a one-year book-writing program that had just what I needed—amazing leadership, accountability, and a process that yielded results. The program included going away for four separate weeks to enjoy focused distraction-free writing. Among the many gifts of this program was a week in Costa Rica and amazing new friendships with other aspiring authors. The program ends on January 30 and at that time I will be 80% done with the first draft of my book.
Never does a year go by without a major learning incident. This year I was again reminded that life is short. My sales coach Pat, with whom I worked for over nine years, passed away suddenly. This experience reminded me that my philosophy of making sure life is filled with fun and self-care continues to be an important part of who I am and how I practice.
The final question will take some deeper reflection and I plan to have my 2018 goals done by Valentine’s Day as my gift to myself. Remember that life is short, so take time to reflect, recharge, and figure out how you want your year to go!