Happy New Year! I hope the festive season has been one of… whatever you needed it to be!
Admittedly, I didn’t manage to fully dodge the new year planning fever this year. I’ve found myself in the last couple of weeks pondering deeply over my expectations for 2024.
My sense is that the big theme this year is about getting back to basics. Taking care of things on the home front, and making sure the aspects of life we interact with each day are well looked after. The West seems to be getting wilder, and while I am all for bold goals and plenty of big moves “out there”, I think we simply must keep our priorities in perspective and avoid losing sight of what matters most - which is usually something “in here”.
It seems we're being called to nurture our safe spaces, generously; the spaces that fortify us for and enable us to carry out our work in the world. The spaces for which we are immeasurably grateful when we stop to reflect on it, but might take for granted at times.
Is there something simple but sacred in your life that could do with a bit more of your appreciation, or even perhaps your diligent stewardship?
There is an old Chinese proverb that goes something like: Unless we change directions, we’re likely to end up where we are going.
As a coach, you might have expected that I take the ripe opportunity of a new year to share with you some kind of framework for getting what you want and need in 2024. I hope you won’t be disappointed, but I’m not. Instead, in the spirit of this proverb, I’m going to offer an idea on which you can build, and it starts with asking yourself just one question:
What are you aiming at?
From here, you can look back at the year that was and consider which actions brought you closer to that thing, and which took you further away (if you’re brave… you might even ask yourself where you might end up if you continue repeating the latter). And as you look toward the coming 12-month cycle, you can consider the same. What actions, should you carry them out, will bring you closer to your aim, and which will take you further away?
The required steps can emerge from there.
I like this simple question because it asks us to be both focused and honest.
Consider you’re aiming at a stronger relationship with your partner. You might think about which actions will optimise for mutual respect, love and giving each other the right amount of space, for instance.
Consider you’re aiming at lengthening your health span (i.e. the length of the part of your life where you enjoy good health and vitality). You might look at how you can reduce stress, sleep better, and move and nourish your body in a supportive way.
What about aiming at having your mortgage paid off sooner? You might prioritise finding ways to increase your income and reduce your outgoings, and do your due diligence to make sure you have the most beneficial home loan product available to you right now.
Once you’re clear on what you’re aiming at, you can keep your eye on it, monitor the headwinds and set sail, tacking accordingly to keep yourself moving toward the spot on the horizon. I offer a sailing metaphor because I think it fits well with the natural resistance life provides and the idea that we don’t really go in a straight line, and that’s okay. Compassionate progress.
Whatever the aim, you get to orient yourself with the related micro-choices every-single-day.
So, what spot on the horizon will you be aiming at?
Probably you see that these ideas can be woven together, but they don't necessarily need to be. At the end of the day, it really all comes down to discernment about what matters, and putting energy there.
To finish with a little funny to drive the point home, watch this >>>
Live, Laugh, Love ...that’s the kinda life force energy I’m aiming for this year!
May 2024 bring you much goodness.
Thank you for showing up.
Keep showing up.
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