A good way to start the new year is with a clear perspective. The first step is to know what is important to you and what you value. Take some time with this. You probably have your top three right off the top of your head but there is more to it.
Coaching with my clients begins with them writing down what is important to them and what they value. The reaction is the same from everyone. Taking the time to do this is very grounding and helps them focus. I suggest they write their first thoughts then come back and look at it again preferably in a quiet place where they can clear their thinking, quiet their body and listen within.
This process creates many ahas! One woman, Carmen, thought her family was most important to her but when she really looked at it money was most important because of financial uncertainty. In terms of her values her family was first but money was most important at this point in time. There is nothing to judge here and there are no right answers. What is important is that we know and acknowledge what is important to us and what we value. Some of this is based on circumstances and so it changes. Some of it reflects who we are at our core and that does not change.
Once we know this then every action we take and decision we make needs to support this otherwise we get off track. This happens all the time. Part of my role is to help you stay aligned to who you are, what is important to you and what you value.
This week I was meeting with a business owner excited to expand his company, an expansion that would make his role more global. I asked Rick to go back and read what he wrote about what was important to him and what he valued. In both, family and spending time with family was first. He sat back and reflected on how he could still grow his company globally and not take him away from his family. His solution was to let go of control, to trust his top executive team and to hire a VP of Global Sales. This sounds easy but it was hard for Rick because he is a hands on person. His impulse is to get involved but his first value was his family and still is. So for him sticking with his values is important but in this case not easy.
A professional woman stated that the most important thing to her was to have a loving and supportive relationship with her sons and her husband. These holidays challenged those values. Kathy was frustrated because she wanted to attend a number of holiday parties. Her husband and sons did not. They wanted to stay home and have a family holiday. Kathy was angry, feeling like she cannot get what she wants, etc. Her resentment and judgment of her husband and sons were foremost in her mind. When she reread what was important to her and what she valued she was taken back. Things were not very loving and supportive at this moment. Kathy decided she had to engage her family in an agreement to attend one or more of the parties in a loving and supportive way or she had to let the parties go. This was not easy because she was feeling as though she was not getting what she wanted. I suggested that after the holidays she go back to what she wrote about what was important to her and what she valued to make sure the list is complete and that it reflects who she is at her core. Professional and social pressures often cause us to loose our perspective.
Write It Down & Change Your World
There were many more stories from this week about where we move away from what is important to us and what we value. If you do not have this written down for yourself I suggest you take the time. It will change everything and will set the course for the new year. If you have written what is important to you and what you value, read it over. It does change so make sure it is true for you in present time. Keep this in your view. Read it often. When you have a tough decision to make or things seem out of sorts so back and read your list before you make a decision or take an action. It will help you stay on track and will support your vision of success.
Best wishes on your success,