As 2019 comes to a close, instead of talking about resolutions and goals for 2020, I wanted to take this time to reflect on the last 365 days. In fact, I have written about goals and New Year’s resolutions in a previous blog post.
We give a lot of focus to what are we going to do in the next month, next year, next five years, next decade, and so on. I’m all for making goals and making dreams come true. That is literally my career and I value its importance. However, one aspect of coaching that is often overlooked and undervalued is celebrating our successes and accomplishments. I always incorporate celebration into my coaching engagements and have found that my clients really like the celebration and taking stock of their accomplishments. This post is dedicated to that celebration.
At the end of 2018, I made a list of New Year’s Resolutions, including small goals, and for the first time, ten-year goals. I did this because in February 2019, I turned 40 years old. At the end of 2018, I reflected back on the last ten years and thought to myself, what did I accomplish in my 30s? While I did accomplish a lot, I didn’t have any concrete goals or list to refer back to, and I thought to myself, could I have done more? I decided, I didn’t want to feel this way at the end of 2028 when I would be approaching my 50th birthday. I have found that keeping a goal list aids in the celebration factor. I had mentioned in a previous blog post, that I carry my 2019 goal list with me and I get a huge sense of satisfaction when I accomplish the goal and see it crossed off in pink permanent marker. I will be doing the same in 2020.
Back to the celebration. I started 2019 with the intention of being very Meredith-focused. I looked at everything I did through the lens of “is this best for me?” If it wasn’t best for me, I didn’t do it. I don’t know if this is maturity that comes with turning 40, but I put me first. I got rid of toxic relationships, and I did things that made me happy. I am saying this because this opened up the space for me to empower myself to achieve my goals, and then celebrate them. I started 2019 with the goal of completing the professional coaching program at the University of Miami and getting credentialed by the International Coach Federation. I also had the goal of visiting Paris. Well, I left for Paris on November 21, 2019 at 7:00pm. At 9:01am that same day, I received an email from the International Coach Federation saying that my application was approved and I received my ACC credential. The timing was perfect and there was definitely lots of celebrating in the City of Lights. Giving myself the space to celebrate motivates me to make new goals and then celebrate those when they are accomplished.
While it is important to have New Year’s resolutions and goals, remember it is okay not to achieve the goals, as there may be other factors in your life or your priorities shift. I have a client who was focused on accomplishing a particular goal. We coached around this for a few sessions because this particular goal kept getting pushed to the back burner. I finally asked her, “is this something you really want to achieve now?” She said “no, I don’t find it important now.” Then she said, “I feel relief.” She tabled this goal for the time being, and reserves the right to revisit at the right time.
Remember, you don’t need to be rigid with your goals, or feel a sense of failure if you don’t accomplish them all. You are only one person, trying to accomplish what you can. Truth be told, I didn’t accomplish all of my 2019 goals, and I tabled a few for now, and carried a few over to 2020. Set your goals, and when you achieve them celebrate your success. If you decide not to move forward with a goal, celebrate that as well, because that is a success too. You are evaluating your life through the lens of what is best for you.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year!! Let’s see what exciting things happen in 2020. Remember, always enjoy life. We may think we have goals, or want to do something, but life has a way of throwing curve balls and that is what makes life so exciting. Embrace the curve balls, and make adjustments, and then celebrate!!