Better than any resolution

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past and had trouble lasting through the first month or even first week, it’s time to try something new.

The top reasons why so many people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions are:
1) they don’t have a clear plan of action
2) they don’t assess their progress

When a colleague introduced me to the Annual Review almost a decade ago, it immediately made sense to me. Chris Guillebeau, entrepreneur and author of The Art of Non-Conformity, addresses these challenges in his Annual Review. While it sounds like a retrospective of what you’ve accomplished this year, this resource facilitates planning for success with clear and actionable steps.

A summary of the steps to complete your Annual Review:
1) Make a list of what went well and what did not go well
2) Choose categories to focus your plans on such as Business, Friends/Family, Health and Service
3) Identify “Actions Required for Each Goal”
4) Plan for monthly and quarterly assessments of your progress and add them to your calendar
5) Optional: Choose a theme for year
7) Optional: Metrics you want to track such as Income, Charitable Giving, Number of books read, Number of new cities visited etc.

For a spreadsheet and more details on how to make use of this framework, read Guillebeau’s original post:

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is! I am setting aside a few blocks of time to complete this process in late December. This is an investment of time that will provide great returns by helping you more successfully complete your personal and professional goals. Having an accountability partner can help. Reach out to someone in your inner circle and invite them to complete their own Annual Review.

If you’d like support in completing your first Annual Review, message me on the Optima Results Coaching Facebook page!

Giving Thanks

This is a season that many of us celebrate Thanksgiving and ponder what we are thankful for. Since this is my birth month I feel grateful for another year on the planet. I don’t say this lightly, especially since one of my close relatives was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks ago.

I realize I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family and community of friends. My health is good. I have everything I need (not everything I want, but this is a season for GRATITUDE over greed).

Rather than having a big birthday party this year, I had several small gatherings. Some highlights of the month that I feel grateful for:

Family activities including Chinese dim sum brunch and being treated to homemade keto-friendly birthday cupcakes

Dancing with my girlfriends

Meeting to discuss identity and a Mixed Race Bill of Rights

Laughs at the comedy club with my sweetheart

Participating in the Wise Women leadership program

Connecting with a coaching client face-to-face for the first time after months of phone meetings together

Taking advantage of matching grants for my charitable contributions on Giving Tuesday (a solo activity that helps me feel more connected)

Visioning about what I want and creating my theme for 2019: Embrace!

Please take a moment to consider what you are grateful for. Are there ways you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude?

The point in life is to know what’s enough—
Why envy those otherworld immortals?
With the happiness held in one inch-square heart
You can fill the whole space between heaven and earth.
—Anonymous

The Accountability Factor

Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash

 

Humans are creatures of habit and positive change is hard. One helpful strategy is accountability.

I cannot count the times clients have told me, “I know what to do, I just need to do it.” Knowledge does not create change without a plan of action. But for many people even having a plan is not enough.

Some people get the boost they need via apps and online challenges but many do best when they know someone is checking in on their progress and wants to see them succeed. If you are more likely to meet your exercise goals when you have a buddy to go to the gym with or lose weight when you go to a weekly weigh in, then you have experienced the benefits of accountability.

I’ve found this to be the case for myself this summer while seeing a physical therapist. As much as I want to heal my knee, it’s hard to do 30 minutes of PT exercises every day. When I don’t feel like doing my exercises or am not sure when I can fit them into my schedule, I imagine myself meeting with my PT again. I want to be able to tell him how consistent I was.

This is why accountability works and one of the many benefits of coaching. I will not be exercising at the gym with you or attend your weigh-ins but I can be that angel on your shoulder reminding you to make better choices. This way, when we meet again, you can feel proud that you’ve stuck with your goals and even prouder of the progress you are making.

I’m looking forward to partnering with you!