“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask your yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that.” – Howard Thurman
It’s a new year – whoohoo!
But after the page of the calendar turns, parties and celebrations are over, champagne bubbles popped, and confetti swept away, are you left wondering:
Will this year actually be different?
Or just more of the same?
If you sometimes wonder how on earth do you make a real change, one that actually makes a mark in your professional or personal life, you’re not alone.
Here’s the deal: New Year’s is arbitrary (sort of)
The turn of the year isn’t magical, per se… or is it?
As humans we love ritual: we create rituals to create meaning.
The freshness promised by a new year – a whole new date to write, a blank page on which to scribe our lives – does have meaning, if you make it meaningful.
But it’s guaranteed to be as meaningless as you might fear if you don’t put your own sense of meaning into it.
How to make your year mean more
- Be clear in your intent and desires: what are your deepest hopes, desires and longings for this year? Believe me, this isn’t pie-in-the-sky silliness. If you don’t know what you want, it’s much, much harder to actually achieve it. If you need help figuring this out, use my road map tool, or dive into the content from the mini-retreat I offered last year.
- Believe and trust in your own experience, competency and knowledge. There are no experts here: you are your own best source of data, information and wisdom about what is next for you this year. You eliminate an amazing source of information about what you want, what your gifts are, and what the “right” path is if you don’t lean into your own experience as a resource. It’s high time that you own what you know, and act accordingly.
- Create meaningful and flexible structures and plans. Meaningful, long-lasting change happens incrementally via small steps taken repeatedly over time. After you articulate your goals for the year, create a work plan, starting at where you want to be at the end of the year. Then, work backwards with the end in mind: what needs to be done, by when? Be sure to include how you’ll measure it: how will you know it happened? As you work your plan over the course of the year, anticipate that you’ll be adjusting and changing as you go, so focus on the learning as much as the results.
- Self-care is not optional. You simply can’t consistently do great work if you are running on fumes, exhausted, in chronic pain, etc. Be sure your plan for the year includes how you deeply care for yourself, through exercise, sleep, nutrition, and relaxation. Know that these investments in yourself reap great rewards.
- Ask for help. No one is an island; no one changes the world alone. Get or create a group of advisors, friends, or colleagues to support you along the way.
Need some support in getting traction on your goals for the new year? Download the encore of my mini-retreat webinar and get access to a proven process to help you get clarity and into action!
What will you do to be sure that you have the impact you want this year? Share your intentions, goals and plans in the comments below.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for content and relevancy.
Photo credit: Pixabay