At this time of year, we start to think about next year and what we’re going to be doing, and how we’re going to achieve what we want. Before looking at next year, take a moment to reflect back on the year that was and celebrate all that you have achieved.
There are 5 simple steps that you can follow to make next year extraordinary. And by extraordinary, I mean doing something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. To me, that doesn't mean being a superwoman, it simply means putting a process in place that takes you out of your ‘ordinary’ into your ‘extraordinary’ so that you are moving towards achieving your goals in the coming year.
You can trust in the process, and you can use it in all areas of your life from your career to your relationships.
- Outcome. What have you always wanted to do but keeps putting it off until later? And later becomes never. Life is too short for later. So what is your big goal? What do you want to do? Who do you need to be? What do you need to have around you in order to achieve what you’ve always wanted? And you can think about that, can’t you? It might be something that is a whisper inside you, it might be some emotion (such as anger or hurt) that you want to release and that is holding you back from being limitless to live your life fully, or it might be that you want to enhance your relationships; with yourself, with your partner, or with your children. Whatever it is, know your outcome. What goal are you striving for?
- Action. The next step is to take action. Every journey begins with a single step and a determined decision to take it. I love this quote by Tony Robbins, “Do what you’ve always done, and you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”. Change only comes when we step out of our comfort zone and embrace uncertainty. We can go through life on autopilot, doing the same old stuff, day after day, year after year. If you want to make changes, it’s going to take action.
- Sensory Acuity. This is where you want to feel, to see, to hear your outcome. You want to have a clear understanding of where you’re heading and how you’re going to get there. Your outcome has to be enticing enough that it pulls you towards achieving it. When all your senses are engaged, then you can move towards your goal with your eyes wide open. It’s about being real, about being truthful and asking yourself, “What would happen if I stay the same and what wouldn’t happen if I stayed the same?” That’s a mind twister, but it gives you something to think about.
- Behavioural Flexibility. Life happens, things can go off track. Think about a baby beginning to walk. They’re on a mission and nothing will prevent them from taking their first teetering steps across the floor. They’ll fall down and get right back up again, won’t they? So as you venture onwards, things around you will change, people around you will change and you’ll be able to adapt. Some things you try will work out, and others won’t. Behavioural flexibility is about viewing failure as feedback and modifying your behaviour accordingly.
- Excellence. Your mind and your body are linked and closely entwined. It is necessary to be aware of your psychology, your physiology, and your emotions. This quote from Henry Ford is perfect, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. Your thinking has a direct impact on your emotions and feelings which govern your actions and behaviour. Remember, you are not superwoman and operating in a state of excellence every day is unrealistic. Embrace your ‘human-ness’ and have compassion for where you are.
You can be the change. You can be extraordinary. Ask yourself, if not now, then when? If not you, then who? You can achieve your goals and make next year your best year yet. Enjoy the journey and along the way, celebrate all that makes you whole and unique.
About the author
Suzanne Duncan, operates a coaching consultancy, called Discovery Within and she is the author of the upcoming book, All by Myself & Rocking It!: How to Be Successful at Single Parenting. She helps clients rediscover their potential, embrace their learning opportunities, and to generate positive relationships. Her inspiration to help others, especially single parents, comes from her own very personal awareness of the challenges facing all parents today.