Planning the New Year

This year I decided against making a New Year’s Resolution about my career because they tend to be  head exercises and I have learned that the heart must also be engaged.  Yet, somehow the fact that we are at a new beginning makes me want to review, refresh and recharge. 

How could I accomplish this?  Inspiration came after receiving a couple of questions posed by Jim Lord’s e-mail message that dropped into my InBox over the holiday.  I rejigged the questions to fit my career perspective:

  • What if the new year began with you feeling that this year will reach new heights of optimism and accomplishment?
  • If this were the case, what would you be thinking and doing this week?

Yes, what would I be thinking and doing?  One thing I could do is a personal retreat day to reconnect with myself and my career.

This is a summary of the process that I followed. I came away with a renewed sense of direction and meaning that I hope you too will gain as you play with this exercise.

1.  Plan a personal retreat day or half-day.  Find a favourite quiet spot to be alone and uninterrupted.  It’s important that it not be where you work, watch TV or socialize.  I have used the library, a coffee shop and the beach – all with success.

2.  Involve some activity to help you relax.  The right type of music on your I-Pod perhaps, or a nice new writing journal and pen, some coloured pens, post-its – whatever brings up enjoyment for you.

3.   Take a few moments to reflect on the meaning of two quotes – “Actions aligned with our inner truth will make things happen naturally”  and “When you pay attention to the quality of your presence, you begin to create the world you want.”

Image of Book What Kind of World Do You Want


(Jim Lord in “What Kind of World Do You Want?“, a beautiful book that shows how to apply Appreciative Inquiry in the real world)


4.  In your journal write a story or narrative or make a list – whatever your style – about the high points of your career last year that made you feel proud, energized and alive.  Be sure to make note of what made these high points possible.

5. Interview yourself about that story:
-what values and beliefs?
– what vision?
– what talents?
– what hopes?
– what have you nurtured?
– what results?

6.  Consider how you can have more of the above.  What would success for 2010 look like for you?

7.  Now, take  some time to sit back and visualize the coming year having all the positive activities, thoughts and feelings that mean your success.  Notice the sense of well being that you feel right now so that you can return to this positive place as needed.  In the coming year, let’s remember to focus on our strengths and successes

Please add your appreciative stories below so that others may be inspired by your experiences.

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