So it's Blue Monday. Officially the most depressing day of the year. And what better day to decide to take control and ensure that 2016 is your best year yet?
Here are my five top tips to making the most of the year.
- Ask yourself what went well in 2015. We're not really programmed to blowing our own trumpet and focussing on the positives, but sit down for a good 15 minutes and keep writing. Small things, big things anything that you achieved should go on this list Take time to congratulate yourself on your victories, whatever the size. What strengths do your successes demonstrate? Remember that you can call on these resources when necessary this year.
- And now a question that a lot of us find easier to answer: what were your disappointments and how do you rationalise them? For example, how do you explain the fact that you didn't get that job you went for? Pay attention to the language you use when answering this question. The chances are that they will show you what limiting beliefs you have that will be holding you back from being the best you can be. For more information about limiting beliefs, look at December's blog.
- In order to create the best set of goals possible, you need to understand what's important to you. So many of us chase achievements and accolades, only to feel a bit empty once we reach them. That's often because the goal reflected somebody else's value. I know doctors who chose their profession because they came from a family of medics, and it was their expected route. Had they followed their true life calling, based on their own intrinsic values, their lives would have been quite different. I speak about a great exercise to discover your values here.
- "If you don't know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else". Isn't that a great quote? To have a brilliant year, you must understand where you want to be in 12 months' time. Visualisation can really help here. Find a quiet spot where you won't be interrupted and imagine where you want to be in December. What do you want to be hearing, seeing and feeling at the end of the year? What achievements will you be celebrating? Perhaps you want to create a vision board to give you a visual focus for 2016.
- The final step is to brainstorm how you want your year to be. Write down everything that jumps into your head. Make sure you have a good cross-section of areas - work, family, relationships, health and fitness, fun, personal growth, no matter how far fetched some of your ideas might seem. Once you have written everything down, prioritise your list and identify the top 5 goals that will be your focus for the rest of the year. These goals should be stated in the positive and be under your own control. Get your diary and set aside time to make progress. What steps can you take now? Don't procrastinate... start making progress today!