It’s almost 2 weeks into the new year and already the posts that promise a “New You for the New Year in 6 easy steps” are fading to the bottom of the social media news pile. Add to that the increasing pile of anti-new-year-resolutions posts and it almost feels as if we should simply pick up where we left off in a fug of mulled wine and mince pies sometime in mid-December. After all, if we believe everything that’s written we’re doomed to failure even if we do buck the trend and make some resolutions. And so we resolve not to resolve.

This is all good. We are enough exactly as we are right now. We can commit to change at any time if that’s what we want and need.

Although I’m going to give New Year’s Resolutions a final hurrah. Right now, in the depths of winter is a great time to start something.

Firstly there’s often a break in routine over Christmas – and whether we view this positively or negatively – it gives us a chance to take a step back and review where we’re at. You may do this consciously or it may happen somewhere deep in the subconscious. Have you loved spending time with your family? Are you looking forward to going back to work? Did you enjoy your Boxing Day walk? Whatever brought you joy and made you feel alive is the start of identifying what you need more of in your life. If there were things that filled you with tension then find a way to do less of these over the coming months.

Secondly let’s look at the word resolution to mean a firm decision to do or not do something; or the action of solving a problem or contentious matter. So what do you want to decide to do or not this year? What is the problem you see in your life that by “solving” would give you a lighter, happier day?

And finally, what to do about it, once you have your resolution? It’s a new year so there’s enough time to resolve without over committing to a short term deadline. Give yourself time to really imagine what life will be like once you’re living your decision; problem solved. (Yes, this is day dreaming) And only once you’ve got that picture can you start doing the things to get you there.  It could be a big leap – quitting you job – or it could be smaller steps – a regular lunchtime walk or an evening class. The trick to make it stick is to do those things that make you come alive when you’re doing them. Don’t focus on the end goal all the time. Enjoy the journey, you’ll make it to your destination quicker and with a smile on your face.

What are your next steps? What are you finding hard to start? I’d love to hear about it on my Facebook page. If you need a helping hand, get in touch for information on 1:1 coaching to help you start doing your dreams

A New Year’s Resolution

Have you made resolutions but have no faith that you’ll stick to them?

Now, we all know that new year’s resolutions are doomed to failure, and I’m not about to argue the case for the resolution, nor give a list of “good” resolutions and “bad” ones.  This is a piece about taking time, not going into a panic, but also about recognising that the start of a new year is a good time to review and reflect and an opportunity to make positive changes.

Here in the northern hemisphere we’re at our darkest time of the year where my natural urge is to adopt a state close to hibernation, when I physically and mentally feel the need to slow down, sleep and feed up on wholesome food. And yet, without fail, I set myself a long list of things to do to get me set up for next year.  Inevitably the twixtmas period passes with a feeling of dissatisfaction due to not making maximum use of my time off work.

This year was no exception.  I returned home from my winter sun holiday determined to be refreshed and recharged and ready to get going over the festive period after a week back at work.  However, the wind down to Christmas kicked in, the nights were longer, daylight sparse and this is where I took a different course of action.

I let it go. I tuned into what my body wanted and relaxed into it.  That isn’t to say I’ve been completely idle.  I’ve been reading, puzzling, running and even done some decorating.  I’ve been doing what I need to do for myself so I can be there fully for family, friends and clients.

And what’s the rush to get things done now? There’s 12 months coming up; 52 weeks, 365 days to be busy.  And now I feel ready for it.  I’ve set my intentions and am collating my list of what I want to do in 2017.  This year is all about exploring my limits, of committing to the things I want to do and probably needing to be creative about how to achieve them.

I use a few tools to help me reflect, review and plan for the year ahead and they can be used at any time, please don’t feel like you’ve missed the boat because you’re reading this at the end of February! It’s perhaps convenient to do it now, when everyone else is doing it, but 1 Jan is just an arbitrary date, so why not take the whole month to get stuck into planning your actions? I like to summarise things into some sort of visual reminder that I keep visible – a cross between a mood board, vision board and list of things to do.  That way, whenever I get the feeling of why? or what was I thinking? I have something to refer to.

If you want to do this but have no idea where to start, or have been staring at a blank piece of paper for too long, get in touch: I can help you to put things in perspective, prioritise things and create an action plan with built in accountability so before long you have some progress to review.

Do something today, no matter how small to kick this off and you’ll be one step along the way towards doing not dreaming.