By Colette Carlson
There’s no better time than a new year for reflection and renewal.
After all, how can you recognize and celebrate your growth if you don’t look back to honor what brought you joy, the challenges you overcame and the connections you claimed? Without contemplation, how can you shed light on what you truly want or what you must shed in order to wake up with energy and passion for your life?
If you didn’t make time for mind time, you don’t have to wait to decide what new behaviors to embrace or which ones to renew or release. Instead, take yourself out for coffee or lunch this week and bring a journal to jot down notes.
If you’re uncertain how to begin, open up your phone and look through your photos or last year’s calendar to see what thoughts or feelings emerge and what questions or actions they stir. Once you’re clear on the what, address the how to set yourself up for success.
If you’ve gone through your own reflect/renewal exercise, I’d love to hear what behaviors you’re bringing forward or leaving behind. To provide inspiration for your own journey, I’ll share mine.
NEW: Block first 90-minutes of morning for content creation when off the road.
My head swirls with ideas, programs and videos I know would support others, as well as my own business growth. Yet, in my desire to accommodate clients in other time zones or quickly turnaround a request, I often give away the time of day I’m most creative and energized. I know better (and can even quote the research in support of time blocking), and now it’s time to do better. How? I’m using Calendly.com to send a link to both speaking and coaching clients to show my availability which excludes that 90-minutes as an option!
RENEW: Continue to invest time connecting with family and friends when speaking in their city.
Trust me, it’s easier to simply jump on a plane and return home quickly to accomplish more. However, during my own reflection, the photos and memories most cherished were a result of the conscious decision I made last year to show up and be present for people I cherish. Two of my highlights were celebrating Dad’s 93rd birthday and a last-minute weekend with girlfriends, four of whom I hadn’t seen since high school freshman year! How? Rather than overthink the situation, as soon as an engagement is confirmed in a particular city, I send a quick email to a nearby friend to discuss options. Even if the timing for a visit doesn’t align, a fun conversation usually follows as a result.
RELEASE: My need to be right.
Although I’ve been working on this behavior for years and have made great strides in my professional life, I can’t claim the same in my personal life. I’ve grown up, done my time in therapy and healed enough to eliminate my need to have the last word, educate or judge others when it comes to the bigger issues in life.
I truly accept and appreciate our differences and the different perspectives we bring to the table. YET, I still catch myself telling my sweetheart, Blue-Eyes, there’s a faster route to our destination than the one he’s chosen, a more effective way to communicate with his family or a more efficient way to load the dishwasher! As someone who speaks on the power of connection, I recognize the need to release this unhealthy and unattractive behavior once and for all. How? Before opening my mouth, I’m going to ask myself, “Is making this statement more important than making this beautiful, kind man feel loved, valued and appreciated?”
After all, isn’t that what we all really want and crave from our connections?
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