NOTE: I recently addressed 120 beautiful ladies, members of Lean In Canada, as part of an event: “Make This Your Year: What Can You Do Better in 2017?” This is the substance of my talk, which I hope will help you to make this your best year!
One summer, many years ago, decades in the heady years of my undergraduate days, my friend Howard and I were sitting on the front porch of my home in Jamaica, catching up on life. I was sharing with him that I was thinking of doing my MBA. Howard, I think who was coming from a place of an unrequited crush, blurted:
“Marguerite! You know that if you do your MBA you will never get married!”
And that was my introduction to the idea that maybe, I couldn’t have it all. Well Howard, I did get my MBA and I did get married. But that’s another story.
As you look at 2017, and consider what you can do better this year to make it YOUR year, you may be asking yourself: Can I have it all? To which I say YES! But what is your ALL?
Because that is the challenge we face. We don’t want someone else’s all. We want our own all. We have may lost sight of what we truly desire so bombarded are we with the should and should nots. Here are 3 questions that I invite you to ponder to help define your personal all
- What will you ALLOW in your life?
- What do you LOVE?
- What must you LEAVE?
Let’s explore each of these questions. I start with LOVE, because for me, everything starts and ends with LOVE:
What do you love? What makes your heart sing? What energises and keeps you alive and vibrant, even when you are physically exhausted? What will bring you joy as you look at 2017?
What will you allow or accept in your life, that’s important and necessary for you to have your best year ever? For example, are you allowing:
- Time for your own personal wellbeing?
- People to help you?
- Yourself to make mistakes?
- Adequate time?
What you choose to allow may not be totally to your liking or preference. For example, you may have to allow or accept that you have that terrible boss, or co-worker, at least for now, to accomplish what you want. Personal example – many years ago, I decided to leave corporate life. It took me 18 months to implement the decision. I allowed for time to get the right things in place for me, even though the situation with the head honchos of the corporation was not to my liking. I was clear on my allowing, and so it bothered me a lot less.
What must you leave? I think this is the hardest one to answer. Leaving things that no longer serve you will free up your mental, physical and emotional energy to focus on what you want to accomplish this year. Things to leave, or let go of include:
And sometimes you have to leave things and people you love – remember my example about deciding to leave corporate life? I cried every time I thought about the 200 wonderful team members I was leaving, and the culture of camaraderie and love we had created. To this day, it’s the best job I ever had. But I had to leave it for my own growth.
So how can you use these questions to help you do better in 2017?
IN PLANNING YOUR YEAR:
Review your goals and ask yourself:
- Do these reflect what I love?
- For these to happen, what do I need to accept or allow?
- For these to happen, what must I leave?
IN MONITORING HOW YOU ARE DOING:
You can also use them to regularly review your progress and you keep in alignment. At the end of each month, or week, or even day, review what happened and answer honestly if it reflected what you loved. What might you have allowed? And what could you have left? Once you have answered these questions, you are now able to plan to do better the next day, week or month.
These questions help you focus on what you want to do better, but there’s another aspect that’s important to making this your year – how are you going BE? In what state do you want these to be accomplished? With stress and burnout? Because you can probably accomplish quite a lot on your list in that way! Or do you want to achieve them in a different way? Tagged to the end of each of my resolutions is this phrase “ease, grace and joy”. EVERYTHING I am committed to this year, I intend to manifest with ease, grace and joy. I have been doing this for over 10 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how easy, graceful and joyous achieving my goals has been.
But that’s my ALL – yours will be different. As you go through the year, just keep in mind what your ALL is. Because you can have it.
HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL, ACTION TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY FOCUSED THIS YEAR:
- Try Sanebox, or some other email management tool. Sanebox took my morning Inbox from over 200 emails to less than 10 most days.
- Check your social media no more than twice per day – I don’t do it often enough, but when I do, what a fantastic day!
SET TWO TYPES OF GOALS:
- Set 2 types of goals – leading and lagging or input/output
- Output – could be a revenue goal – I will earn $XX this year
- Input – what do I need to do to make this happen e.g. I will attend 1 networking event per month
REFRAME “BAD” DAYS:
- One of the things to accept is a “bad” day. But there aren’t totally bad days, just days where some not so nice things happened. That is all.
- Remember: “There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so “– Shakespeare
- 3 suggestions:
• Take a break from the situation – bathroom, walk, whatever – just physically get away
• Look for the silver lining – find something good about the day
• Use Affirmations – “This too shall pass”; “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing”
For similar blogs by Marguerite:
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