The New Year and the whole month of January is the time of new beginnings. This is the time to look forward to the year ahead and to the journey we will need to take within to make change possible. And if nothing changes, nothing will change. Next year will be a repeat of this past year… that’s good and maybe, not so great.
When setting goals, people often do it backwards. They start with what they want more of, money, time and things, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. Start with who you really are and then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you really want.
A perfect example of this came from a recent conversation I had with a colleague. He has actively worked to create a lifestyle that he can build his career around. Clearly, that is the opposite of what most of us do. We work hard to advance our careers and live our lives around our work. My colleague knows what’s really important to him… time to be with his family, to be creative, to have a cup of coffee in the morning without being all stressed out. By building his work life around his ideal lifestyle, he feels fulfilled in both.
To figure out where you should begin, ask yourself who you really are. A big question, I know, but we have an exercise which can help you find the answer. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the exercise from the “It’s Time for a Change” blog. We’ll be happy to share.
I see a commonality in the population I am privileged to work with Executives, CEOs, Entrepreneurs/ Business Owners, VPs of Sales, HR Directors. They are frazzled, sometimes to the point of despair and often worn to a raveling. They are looking for solutions. The challenge is that there is no one size fits all answer for everyone, we are all unique. The good news is there is the one size fits all question… what do you really want?
We’ve heard the question many times… how much do you need or want? The thought of systemically answering that question brings dread to most people’s hearts. We opt for the simple answer… more. We want so much more…money, success, recognition, creative expression.
“More” typically comes in some form of the following:
- How can I make my life better?
- How can I attract more money?
- How can I find the perfect mate?
- How can I improve my physical condition?
- How can I find more fulfilling work?
At times our appetites for more are so voracious. For me, it was to the point of being a workaholic, careaholic and a perfectionist. And I had a very hard time being kind to myself. It was easier to be in denial than to look at all that.
Money is the big, emotionally charged issue that controls people’s lives and effects people’s ability to start from the place of choosing what they really want, like to be happy. Because money is the only way we measure our success and self-worth.
Another colleague shared with me something that she had been actively working on. She said that she has a difficult time relaxing or enjoying personal time when there is still “work” to be done. Even when she hit the wall and was struggling to be productive, she would forge on until completion. She now builds flexibility in her schedule and has been giving herself permission to stop work when she hits the wall. She started with a few minutes here and there, but now, she might stop for a whole hour or two. With that time, she actively enjoys something in her personal life such as taking her daughter shopping. She comes back refreshed and ready to tackle more work. Even though she often works until late in the evening, she is completing work assignments in less time, feels better about the quality of her work, and is enjoying more of her personal life.
How can we be the change we need to be in our own lives? Let’s begin by taking stock of what worked and didn’t work in our lives last year (and undoubtedly for many years before – old habits die hard). Be ruthlessly honest.
Now instead of asking what’s wrong (Nothing is wrong and there is nothing to fix. You are not broken.) start with gratitude. Acknowledge that you have a good life!
Next, like all other great champions, look at yourself in the game and ask the really important question…what’s missing? If I put that in my life, what would be possible?
Here are some of my answers and the ones most often received by the amazing people I’ve worked with: (after gratitude again being #1)
Simplicity, Organization, Harmony, Beauty, Joy. Add your own words. This is the list that will be the catalyst that will help you define the life and lifestyle you REALLY want. Then build your career and business around that.
It’s time for a change. If you’d like help about where to start, Cooperperson Performance Consultants has a team of experts and programs to assist you. Give us a call at 631-300-0009.