Pledges and Perefectionism. Time to change the record

Time to close the door on 2010. A relief for many of us, me included, not my best year by far, pretty challenging and nothing like a serious health scare to aid reflection and gratitude.

My husband was rushed into hospital at the end of November and after one life saving procedure and two emergency operations he finally arrived home, like Santa, just in time for Christmas, minus the pot belly, red suit and ho ho ho! Without doubt THE best Christmas present I have ever received and pretty sure it will never be topped!

So now our thoughts turn to the year ahead and setting those predictable, habitual and discouraging New Year Resolutions. You may detect from my tone I am a non believer and you would be right! I have nothing against reflection, measurement and motivational goal setting but I fear for many people this does not aptly describe the process they embark on at this time of year. Endings and beginnings are exciting but how many of you can even remember the promises you made to yourself in January 2010 let alone now use them as a benchmark to celebrate your success and learnings? Ouch!

Here’s a novel idea – instead of beating yourself up once a year and pledging, to no one in particular, that life will be different from 1st January why not become focused on what really matters and what you really want all year round?

Personally, I am one of those rare creatures that is goal centric, yet recognises that things happen to question my faith, to test whether I really, really want what I profess to and believe that in every negative result or failure the lessons abound. I know, I know sounds too good to be true but I have been faced with enough critical moments in my life to recognise life does not happen on a linear plan, I cannot control EVERYTHING and quite often I make mistakes! Sometimes I ignore the signs, sometimes I don’t want to acknowledge them and sometimes I simply need to learn the lesson!

I enjoy the closure of saying farewell to a year. It is a great opportunity to spend some time in reflective mode, in a state of gratitude where I am open to recognising my learnings, but in my household this process is a positive one and NOT followed by recriminations and the creation of an endless list of what I am going to do when Big Ben welcomes 2011.

Be kind to yourself this time around, no more self flagellation. Take stock of your year, learn and move on.

Ask yourself …

* What did I learn about myself and what I am capable of in 2010?

* How did I challenge myself in 2010?

* What skills did I add to my kitbag? What new stuff did I learn? What books did I read? How did I invest in me?

* Who did I meet that enhanced my network, family, business, career prospects?

* Who did I let go of because of the negative impact they were having on my life?

* What were my proudest moments? Moments of despair? Moments of joy? Love?

* What critical moments demanded courage and how did I step up?

* When did I shine? How did I help others shine?

* What will I remember 2010 for?

* What does my gratitude list look like for the year? Compile it NOW!

And when all this is done, and let’s be honest to do this justice is at least 2 hours – be proud, take a deep breath and say thank you and farewell to 2010, put it to bed, it’s over.

As for goals, if January is the time of year to set them then so be it but make sure they are meaningful, challenging, motivating, realistic and action orientated. I see so many women with degrees in self hatred, denial and procrastination. They spend all year looking, researching, thinking and planning but fail to step up; jump in the pool or get in the game! Life is for living, we have to stop waiting for perfection to arrive, we are already perfect, my motto – GET GOING AND GET BETTER, STOP SEARCHING, JUST BE AND DO!

Whatever you decide you deserve in 2011 invest in developing the mindset to make it happen and take massive action to realise it, because no matter how many times you dream it, focus on it or create an intention for it, very little happens without you actually stepping up and doing something! The Law of Attraction phenomenon has a lot to answer for!

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