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My coach asked me an extraordinary question this year. It struck a chord so deep that I wanted to share it with you.

“Heathere, how can you let this year be a truly new, New Year?

Every year I hope the year will be better than the last, but how can I ensure it really is? I considered this as we did a review and planning process for 2019. How can we all take action so that this year things finally, truly change and we live the lives we really want?

Begin with Imagination

The answer is a simple process that begins in your mind. Do you remember imagining as a child? Letting yourself envision, dream and conjure up possibilities without filters or concern about what others may think? What would you do with this one beautiful year of your life if you gave yourself permission to really go for it?

Try this coaching exercise for the next 2 minutes. Close your eyes and really feel into this question. Let it soak into your cells and just allow yourself to imagine the possibilities of how you can let this year be unlike any year you’ve had before.

Use Your Whole Mind

Individuals and organizations so rarely allow themselves to enter into a process of truly opening up to what’s possible. More often, when we go into planning mode we stay very analytical left-brained, looking back more than forward, using last year’s numbers and performance metrics as a baseline to drive this year’s priorities. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but a shift occurs when you use the full capacity of the mind—both the structured, methodical left and the innovative, creative right hemispheres of the brain.

“The next level of success normally involves thinking thoughts we haven’t thought before and/or doing things we haven’t tried before.” – Dr. Robert Holden, world-renowned author and leadership coach

As you plan your year to come, I invite you to open to your full potential, drop self-imposed limits and just consider creating a short list of things that call to you—the whole you. This can be done individually as well as with a team. What is your calling this year? What wants to come through you? What would be a joy to create, be a part of, build, explore, and experience?

Keep the Yes Alive

Do not for one second create an annual plan—for yourself or your organization—that you don’t look at again until this time next year. Instead, do this:

  • Create one page of BIG YES’s—goals that enliven you when you think about working towards them this year. This list becomes your roadmap to success.
  • Get some real energy behind this process by making it an activity for your group, a joint activity with your partner, or a sacred commitment to your Self about what you really want for your career and your life.
  • Try using images rather than words to represent those things that get a BIG YES this year (if you feel challenged by this, write out the goals first and then see if there’s an image/symbol/photo that can represent each one). Making this list visually interesting activates more of your brain, breathing life into it with each review.
  • Keep goals alive and let the BIG YES list guide your actions all year long by becoming a master at the Skill of Review. Check in every 2-3 months to see how things are going compared to the plan, renew commitments and revise strategies that aren’t working.
  • Print the BIG YES’s where you can see them (in color is preferable) rather than leaving them buried in a document on your computer, shared drive, or a page in a journal.

Wishing a more joy-filled, connected, successful new year than you ever thought possible.

Have other ideas for how you can make your BIG YES’s come alive? It takes a village to stay inspired, so share below!

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