3 Keys to Success in 2012

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
(Edith Lovejoy Pierce)

I really like these words. They're a helpful reminder that whatever the time of the year (but perhaps especially the turning of a new one) we are the authors of our own story. And so, with that in mind, here are a few suggestions of how to make the very best of the year to come.

1. Plan Backwards

Imagine that it’s the end of 2012 and you’re sitting down to reflect on the successes and achievements of the past year…

Sit down with paper and pen. At the top of the page write “2012 was a Great Year for Me Because …” and then write a list of all the things you achieved and what it was that made it such a great year.

Imagining that your successes have already happened is a great way to set your intentions for the year and should leave you feeling inspired, energised and motivated.

2. Organise your Plan into Goals

Now that you know what you want to achieve in 2012, you need to have a structured plan to help you to make it a reality. Using a year planner, diary or Outlook, make a note of what you need to do and when. Some goals will be straightforward, e.g. book weekend break in May. Others may require action on a daily or weekly basis. Break bigger goals down into small action steps and give each one a deadline.

To help with this, feel free to download the Goal Planning handouts from the Free Stuff page on my website.

3. Create a Vision Board

There’s little point in working hard to clarify your vision for the year only to file it all away neatly — out of sight out of mind. A Vision (or Dream) Board is a visual representation of your goals for the year and is a great way to keep your vision fresh and active. You can see the goals you’re working towards at a glance, and this will help keep you motivated and on track.

It could contain images, colours, words, symbols, drawings — anything that you feel represents your 2012 Vision in some way. I've seen a rather enigmatic picture of three plates on a Vision Board because their pastel shades represented a particular sense of calm and serenity for its creator. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.

One of my clients (quoted with permission) leaves a few spots empty on her board so that she can edit her vision and add new goals. She explains, “In this way, the Dream Board is constantly evolving and doesn’t just become a piece of furniture in my room that I don’t take notice of. More of an interactive thing, which totally helps with my day-to-day motivation.”

It's uncanny how powerful this exercise can be. I've seen clients' Vision Boards become reality time and time again.

If, by the end of January, you've decided what you want to have achieved this year; you have a step-by-step plan to get there; and you've created your Vision Board to act as a motivational aide memoire — you should be well on your way to resounding success in 2012.

Good luck and have a great month!
© Annabel Sutton, Coaching Tips – 2012

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