Another year has flown by and as I reflect on my 2017 goals, It’s bittersweet to see what I’ve accomplished and what still needs some work.
If you can relate to feeling this way….
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP.
Instead of going down the rabbit hole of “what I did wrong,” it’s a great time to reflect on what went right!
Celebrating our victories, both big and small, are fueling. It gives us the momentum to focus on what’s working FOR US, rather than what’s working AGAINST us.
Life is about learning how to fall down, wiping the dirt off our knees, and learning how to get back up. If we stay crying on the floor, we’ll stay stuck in the same cycle of never exploring or discovering what works best for us.
And a little disclaimer here—feelings of self- doubt, fear, resistance, and procrastination show up EVEN MORE when you’re going after the life you want.
One of my biggest obstacles for 2017, was and continues to be, my Type B personality. It’s made it challenging to create any sort of structure in my life and business.
So if you’re the “go with the flow” type, and feel like you’re spinning your wheels in the same direction, here are some things I’ve learned in 2017 that have made my personal and business life less stressful and created more freedom.
1.Use a calendar
I found that relying on my memory to remember what was planned for the day, week and/or month was incredibly overwhelming. I spent hours shuffling through emails and text messages, trying to recall my scheduled hair appointments, friend-time, and coaching sessions, along with other life demands. Not having a system in place to stay on task resulted in two things—reduced productivity and burnout.
When it comes to managing your time, It helps to have a “second brain.” A calendar frees up time and helps focus your energy on what matters, rather than feeling overwhelmed and trying to playing ‘catch up.’ Not having a system in place can create a lot of anxiety and worry if you’re, for instance, starting a business or have a busy lifestyle.
I’ve experimented with a few different mediums, and I recommend using google calendar. It’s free for Gmail users. You can download the app on your smartphone or iPhone. It’s simple and user-friendly.
If google calendar isn’t your thing, here are a few other options that might work for you.
Play around. Experiment. See what works.
- Use a physical planner/calendar like MoleSkine
- Use a whiteboard. Create a daily, weekly, or monthly calendar, write down your appointments, and everything else that needs to get done. Put it where you can see it, daily.
- Have an iPhone or Mac? Try iCalendar
It’s probably safe to say that if you have big visions, dreams and goals, and ideas come too often, having a separate journal for this really comes in handy.
2. Never stop learning (your craft)
Wouldn’t it be strange if your personal trainer was in the best shape of his/her life 5 years ago but stopped going to the gym? Wouldn’t it feel odd if a college professor was teaching material from the 70’s? Wouldn’t it be terrifying if a doctor stopped keeping up with the latest research on germs, sanitation, and surgical procedures?
Quite frankly, I’d be shitting bricks!
If you’re not learning, you’re dying. Even if you feel like you’ve mastered a skill or trait, there’s always more to learn. The best leaders, musicians, artists, coaches, etc… —are great students too.
In addition, not only does learning prevent Alzheimer’s, “the benefits of learning and engagement are particularly important in promoting healthy aging.” Learning more about your craft or what brings joy also increases happiness.
“A close companion of learning is the degree of engagement people have with tasks that provide them with knowledge and fulfillment. People who are intensely absorbed in a task can lose track of time and place. Hours pass like minutes. They may be tired by the task but emerge energized and happy. This condition is known as “flow,” a name coined 30 years ago by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.”
3. Figure out what keeps you motivated
Is there something you see or do that gets your heart pounding or creative juices flowing? Is there a physical activity that just gets you fired up? Personally, I immerse myself in self-development on the daily, depending on what my focus or intention is. If I’m feeling uninspired, I watch inspiring videos on youtube. If I’m feeling burnt out, I give myself time to relax. Learning how to unplug actually increases my motivation— I come back stronger, more refreshed and with less “mental fog.” If I’m feeling insecure about my competence as a friend, lover, leader or coach, I watch empowering videos. Yoga has also been an incredible “break” away from the push and pulls of life’s demands. To keep my creativity going, I journal, I write what I’m grateful for every night, and create floral arrangements for my apartment 1x a week. Figure out what keeps you inspired and motivated, and if you feel yourself “slipping away”, it’s a perfect time to check in with yourself and ask, do I need a kick in the butt, some “me time”, or R & R? Experiment and see what works for you.
4. Discover your strengths
One of my best friends and strengths coach, Shannon Philip, introduced me to StregnthsFinder a few years ago – and it completely changed my perspective about myself, and how I engage with others.
I always felt like an odd-ball in social settings, but after discovering my #1 strength (relator), I didn’t feel like such a weirdo. This strength really loves getting to know people on a deeper and intimate level. It involves wanting to hear peoples fears, dreams, desires, and passions. I’ve always hated small talk, so discovering my top strength made perfect sense. It helped me accept what I thought was a flaw, was actually a gift.
I highly highly recommend taking this quiz. It’s a $19.99 investment but worth every penny. Click here to discover your top 5 strengths.
I love the strengths perspective because instead of focusing on our weaknesses and trying to relentlessly improve what isn’t working, it shines a light on what IS working intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Go check it out!
So there you have it! My top 4 ways on how to prepare for success for 2018.
I’d love to hear from you! What has helped you the most in 2017? What did you learn about yourself? What keeps you motivated and/or what are your top 5 strengths? Feel free to comment below. 🙂