Newsletter January 11

Happy New Year and welcome to the New Year issue of the Pelican Coaching newsletter.

I hope you had a good break over the holiday time and are now recharged and refreshed and ready for an effective, resilient and healthy 2011.

Thanks for your lovely comments on the reflection questions in December’s newsletter, I’m glad you found them so useful. Building in time for regular reflection can make us much more effective. In fact, when you are at your most busy and chaotic take five minutes out to stop and think about what you are doing, and why, and notice the difference it makes to your focus and motivation. Go on – I challenge you – and let me know how well it works.

This month’s featured topic is about new year resolutions and goals, have you already broken the resolution you set for yourself? If you have, don’t worry you can start again using the ideas below, if you haven’t, then why not refine your goals using some or all of the ideas below and see how much more powerful they feel.

As always, please let me know if the tips below are helpful and if you want to share your resolution or goal with me (in confidence) please do – sharing your goals with a coach is a great way of making them more real, actionable and important.

Resolutions and Goals

The tips below will (hopefully) help you to acheive your personal goals and resolutions.

Top 10 Tips

1. Write your resolution or goal down

The first step to goal setting is to be really clear on what you want to acheive and why, and the best way to do this is to write your goal down. Write your goal in the positive e.g. ‘I want to make time for reflection so I am more considered in my actions and therefore more impactful’.

2. State it as if it is going to happen

Make your goal as definite and specific as you can e.g. ‘I will build in 15 minutes reflection time after lunch every day’.

3. Don’t share your personal goals and resolutions

I recommend that you don’t share your personal goals and resolutions with anyone other than your coach (or a trusted supporter). Goals and resolutions are very personal things and often well intentioned judgements or suggestions can dampen your motivation. Keep your resolutions to yourself unless you know that you are going to get support.

4. Think about how you will feel when you have succeeded

Imagine how your life will be different when you have succeeded in your goal. How much better will you feel about yourself? Think about what you will be doing differently, what you will be saying to yourself, what others will be saying to you and how you will be looking at the world differently.

5. Just do it

As you will already know it is often the starting process that is the hardest part of goal acheivement. There is never going to be a perfect time so just do it! It is amazing how much easier something is once you’ve started. Make it a conscious habit for at least a couple of weeks so you remember to do it. You may even want to set an alarm or message on your mobile phone each day to remind you.

6. Use a ‘mantra’ to support your resolution

Think of a ‘mantra’ that you can use to help you develop this new way of life. For the resolution I’ve used as an example the mantra could be ‘ calm and considered’ or ‘thoughtful and wise’ (with the first word said on the ‘in’ breath and the second word said on the ‘out’ breath).

7. Make things easy

If your resolution is a ‘big hairy audacious goal’ find a way of making things as easy for yourself as possible so you can succeed. Think about the smallest thing you can do to get started on your journey and focus on this initially. Often if we take the pressure off ourselves a little bit of magic happens.

8. Forgive yourself

If you miss one of the targets you set for yourself then forgive yourself and start again. None of us is perfect and it really doesn’t matter. Treat each day as a new day and put the past behind you. Give yourself a really good pat on the back for starting again.

9. Take the time to notice how good you feel

Once you have started to get into a routine then make sure you take the time to notice the differences. Notice how you feel differently and any other changes that are taking place. If you can notice how good you feel this will increase your motivation.

10. Write a thank you letter to yourself

Why not have a go at writing a thank you letter to yourself, imagining you are living your resolution and your life has changed for the better. It might sound weird but have a go and see what happens. e.g. ‘…thank you so much for making the time for me to reflect each day, I feel wonderful. I know it was hard to get into the routine but thank you for perservering and pushing yourself when you really didnt feel like it….’

Let me know if you have a tip that I’ve not included here that works for you.

Highlights from last month

New Puppy!

My partner and I have adopted a new puppy called Wellington. He’s 10 weeks old at the time of writing this and already a fabulous little character. It’s amazing how many lessons one can learn from a puppy (and from most animals).

Wellington reflects how we are feeling each day (even if we don’t know it ourselves!), if we are anxious so is he, if we are calm and centred then he behaves like a little angel.

He is also teaching me to just live in the present and enjoy him, it will be wonderful when he is house trained and able to go out on a lead but for now he is a little bundle of fun who just wants to please.

Next month

The featured topic next month will be Dealing with Change, this is also the theme of my new book which I hope will be ready by then (Christmas and New Year have delayed things slightly), so more on that next month too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, if you have please forward on to friends or colleagues.

Warm wishes


Leadership and Team Coach
Pelican Coaching & Development