Finding the Joy and Planning the Change as the Year Swings Over
Thanks to my friend Bon, I discovered Top Ten lists in 2004. I was certainly familiar with the concept before, but had never applied it to things I was thankful for. She shared her 2004 list with her friends, and challenged us to do the same. In accepting the challenge, I learned a few things about myself and wanted to start off the new year by sharing my discoveries with you.
I'll start by sharing my Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For in 2004 list with you.
1. Enjoyed a healthy son and family
2. Had a chance to visit my grandmother and my sister
3. Spent two weeks in Ecuador visiting family, and healed strained relationships there
4. Met Serge and began a strong international coaching group, building a network and gaining new friends in the process
5. Stopped tolerating how I view and handle finances, and changed my whole attitude about how important money is(n't) to my life
6. Successfully coached clients into happier situations and out of their tolerations
7. Became aware of how proud I was and how it was affecting my life
8. Learned to receive gifts
9. Met new friends in NYC (a recent move for me)
10. Convinced my parents to visit NYC for the first time in 20 years
Once I completed the list, I decided to roll right on in the spirit of goal setting for 2005, and wrote down the Top Ten Things I Hope to Accomplish in the next 12 months. It seemed an easy task, and one that helped me focus on the future. Here they are in the glow of January 1, 2005 optimism and promise.
1. Find local spiritual fellowship
2. Graduate from ICA
3. Fill my coaching practice
4. Get out of debt
5. Learn to relax and not overcompensate in my marriage
6. Meet Anna Rose Michelin, and get to see her mother again
7. Visit Bon in Arizona
8. Spend more time with my grandmother
9. Get pregnant
10. Get more sleep!
What happened when I reviewed my lists side-by-side was startling to me. I noticed that of my Ten Thankfuls, only half of them could have been defined as goals at the beginning of 2004. A simple rule for goals is that they must be tangible, measureable, and attainable in order to tackle them consciously and effectively. Half of my list were things I never strove for or defined as a goal, but the results were wonderful, useful, and most definitely timely. Of my 2005 Goals, #10 (get more sleep) will never happen unless I set specific boundaries and stick to them. All of my goals need to be broken down into smaller steps and have measures defined. I have no doubts that they're all attainable! However, know this: the parts of my life that are the most challenging and non-goal oriented have brought some of the greatest personal rewards.
My challenge to you on this first day of 2005 is this ... in the next 24 hours, write down your Top Ten Things I'm Thankful for in 2004 list and see how it looks. Know your blessings and enjoy them. Then spend a few minutes jotting down measurable, specific, and attainable goals for 2005. Pick one and start breaking it down into manageable steps. Let me know if I can help you tackle any of them, and enjoy a blessed and balanced year!