“Where did the year go?”

We’re all asking ourselves that question as 2017 draws to a close.

Some of us are so eager to get ahead, we’ve already planned 2018 in great detail, set our goals, drawn up schedules, put new systems in place, etc. etc.

Good to go in 2018?

Of course it’s important to get ready for the year ahead. But are we turning our backs on 2017 too soon and with the wrong attitude?

I bet some of you are looking back on this year with judgemental eyes, labelling events & experiences under ‘failure’, ‘disappointment’, ‘success’, etc.

Sure, some things didn’t work out as planned, or some things that we never planned caused unforeseen problems or opportunities. Maybe this was your worst/best year to date. But the truth is, it’s not really about what happened to us. It’s about what we learned from what happened to us.

“The best of times, the worst of times.”

For me it was a year that ended with the great unravelling. I had worked on my first programme launch over the summer months, had all the pieces in place, was on schedule for the autumn. Then … The week of the actual launch I found myself in hospital and was discharged with the warning to “totally rest” for the rest for the year.

I’ve rested and gained some perspective on the whole year in the process.

Get out of judgement mode

With the benefit of rest and reflection I’ve come to revise my quick judgement of 2017 as my annus horribillis. A lot of good and great things happened in the first half of the year that got eclipsed by focusing on my illness and the fallout from it for my business.

I’ve also stopped judging events as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ and shifted into just acknowledging the events from a neutral perspective and seeing what I’ve gained from them.

So instead of rushing to embrace the coming year as the much needed ‘turning point’, the ‘new beginning’, I’ve stopped the forward planning, turned my focus back to this year and found much to take with me into 2018.

Pearls of Wisdom from 2017

Here’s the pearl of wisdom from my illness in October to guide me into next year and beyond.

Focus on creating the conditions for my plans and intentions to thrive and be realised, instead of focusing on the outcome of plans/ intentions themselves.

We think we’re good-to-go, we’ve done the work, we’ve checked and double-checked. But are we really, really as ready as we think we are? Being ready is not just about the DOING; it’s about the BEING. I had planned the launch in October and had done all the prep work over the summer. In September, however I questioned whether I should go ahead with the launch in October as I was juggling so many balls in my personal life (selling my house, packing, moving, organising new schools). Yet, I felt still somehow felt compelled to stay on course with my business plans for 2017.

Had the launch actually gone ahead, I couldn’t have given my new programme the attention and time it would have demanded.  Having to slow down, actually stop completely, gave me the chance to stand back, take stock and change course on some fundamental plans and priorities for 2018.

Number ONE priority as I move into the new year: Self Care. It’s the cornerstone to creating optimum conditions for my business and personal life to thrive. AND self-care will always take precedence over plans!

Mining the Gold of 2017

Want to move into 2018 enriched by your experiences this year?

Here a simple 15 minute exercise to do just that!

To begin:

  • spread this exercise over a few days to give yourself time to reflect
  • get yourself something to write on (paper, mobile, tablet, etc.)
  • find a quiet time in your day
  • give yourself about 5 minutes for each step each day (more if you need it)

Step 1 Inventory

  • What are the 3 most important events (personal & professional ) that happened to you in 2017?
  • Do NOT judge these events as either positive or negative. They are just IMPORTANT
  • Describe each event in a simple, concise sentence, i.e. 5-7 words

Step 2 Inquiry

  • How did this event shape you? / What did you gain from that experience?
  • Be specific here which means you might have to spend a bit of time reflecting on each event to distil the ‘wisdom’ that it produced for you

Step 3 Implementation

  • How can you take the wisdom of these three events into 2018 and use them to enrich & grow your life and your business during the year?
  • Avoid generalising. If you find yourself writing ‘nice’ words or phrases, STOP! Get real and be specific about how you intend to translate this wisdom into a new practice
  • Look ahead to how you want/ don’t want the year to unfold.
  • Ask yourself what changes will this wisdom help create in how you do business, in how you life your life? Be specific about the small steps that will get you started