We are already more than three weeks into the new year and there has been a lot of talk about new year resolutions. But I wonder whether you are sticking to your resolutions? Have you already broken them or at least some of them? Often we set too many or make them completely unrealistic so that it is impossible to stick to them.
I haven’t made new year resolutions as such for many years although I do set personal and business goals as part of my planning. What I tend to do is to give myself a theme for the year. Last year was about focus and discipline (which appeared to be waning in relation to writing blog posts towards the end of the year but that’s a whole other story!)
Having a theme is easy to remember and allows me to remind myself on a regular basis. I can check in with myself to ensure that whatever I’m doing aligns with that theme and I find that it always moves me forward personally in some way.
So what is my theme for 2015?
That’s it. Courage.
People who know me well can’t understand why I would choose courage as a theme. I am generally seen as quite courageous in a lot of ways; here are a few examples from the last 10 years:
- I left a great job and a great life in Australia in my mid-thirties to travel the world alone
- I arrived in the UK with just a backpack and started a new life halfway across the world away from my family and friends
- I wrote, produced and performed in my own one woman play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- I left another safe, secure job that I enjoyed to set up my own business from scratch
- I regularly speak in public by choice!
In some ways, in some people’s eyes, I am courageous. But in many ways I don’t think I am. So my next step in my courageous journey is to share publicly some of the areas that I would like to focus on this year.
Deep breath and here goes!
I will have the courage:
- to go deep within and get in touch with my authentic self (I’ve been so busy focusing on building my business that I have lost touch with the essence of who I am and what I really want from life)
- to step up and fulfil my own potential (whilst I am on my way with this, I believe there is more that I can offer to the world)
- to let go of the perfectionism that sometimes stops me taking action
- to let go of the fear of being judged by others
- to let go of the limiting beliefs that are keeping me comfortable
- to be true to myself and not follow the path others expect (or that I think others expect!)
- to say goodbye to what I ‘should’ do and hello to what I ‘want’ to do
- to be honest with myself
- to make decisions and trust that they will be okay
- to take some time away from my business to question, to dream, to plan (I’ve been in reactive mode and not taking the time to consider whether what I am doing is truly fulfilling me)
So there you have it. I’ve laid my soul bare. It’s funny how one of the most challenging but the most important points on the list is the final one – having the courage to take time away from my business. But I’ve been so busy working that I’ve not even had a chance to review my business plan and outline my objectives for 2015. I’m grateful to my friends, mentors and advisors who convinced me that I need to stop in order to move forward. And now that I’ve accepted how important it is, I can’t wait to do it! I know how beneficial it will be and I have committed to going away for the first two weeks in February to reconnect with myself and map out what I would like to achieve personally and professionally over the coming years. With courage as my theme, I’m really looking forward to rediscovering what makes my heart sing, working out how I’m going to incorporate that into my life and business and just going for it (no matter what others might think!) So stay tuned…
What about you? Do you have a theme for 2015? If you feel comfortable to do so, I encourage you to share it with other; there is definitely something very empowering about declaring your intentions publicly and maybe you’ll inspire someone else to share theirs too.
Mel Sherwood is a pitch and presentation specialist who prepares ambitious entrepreneurs and business professionals to take centre stage, embrace the spotlight and present with more confidence, credibility and conviction.
Mel's book 'The Authority Guide to Pitching Your Business - how to make an impact and be remembered... in under a minute!' is available on Amazon. To find out more go to www.melsherwood.com or follow Mel on Twitter @MelSherwood_