New year has just arrived, bringing the tempting chance of a fresh start. For many of us, it seems like the perfect time to review how life has been and commit to making some positive changes.
In the first few weeks of the new year I like to properly review the old year and set goals or wishes for the new one. Depending on whether you like to create a sense of ceremony, you can start by lighting a candle, or gathering significant objects. Then write down the good stuff from last year - the things you achieved, what you learned, the things you are grateful for. On a separate piece of paper write down the things you want to let go of from last year - all the resentments and negativity - then burn this second list and watch it all reduce to ashes. Lastly, write down your goals and plans for 2015 (and of course, coaching can be very useful for helping work out what these are if you don’t know!) Keep this last list so you can look back in the future and work out how you are getting on.
A new year with its new number feels like a gift, but actually any time can be the perfect time to reassess. Sometimes it’s when you feel you are at a turning point, sometimes it’s when you feel at your most stuck. “No time like the present” is such a well-worn (and potentially annoying) phrase, we don’t really listen to the truth behind it - that now, the present, is the only time we ever live in.
In his book The Element, Ken Robinson celebrates a host of people who found their passion and achieved great things later in life - he says that change and evolution are always possible:
“…remarkable, life-enhancing things can happen when we take time to step out of our routines, rethink our paths and revisit the passions we left behind (or never pursued at all) for whatever reasons. We can take ourselves in fresh directions at nearly any point in our lives”. (In case you haven't seen it before, here is a link to Ken Robinson's excellent TED talk).
It’s never too late to change direction - it doesn’t have to be January 1st and you don’t have to be just starting out in life. So, whether your new year starts on January 2nd, March 23rd, November 12th or some other date, I hope it’s a very happy one.
Charlotte Semlyen, 2 January 2015