“This year I will go to the gym five days a week, lose ten pounds, quit smoking and save money.” Sound familiar? Yet the statistics on New Year’s Resolutions are not very encouraging:
70% broken in January
90% broken in first 3 months
8% that succeed
So why do we keep making them?
After spending decades watching my clients (and myself!) struggle to follow through on New Year’s Resolutions, I set out to find a way to flip the statistics in our favor. I developed a plan that has worked successfully for hundreds of my clients.
The approach is simple: each December I answer 7 questions. These thought-provoking questions help me evaluate my past year, celebrate my wins and gain insight as to what is most important to me. My plan and vision for the upcoming year are so much more meaningful and achievable than they were when I used to set New Year’s Resolutions.
As you will see, none of these questions are earth-shattering on their own.. The sequence and layering of each question is the special sauce that will help set you up to create your most fulfilling, productive and joyful year yet.
That is why it is very important to answer the questions in the order they are written. Resist the urge to jump around or do the last question first! You will be surprised how easily the responses flow. By the time that I get to the last question my answers are practically spilling out of me (writing themselves). They make perfect sense to me.
I work on this with my 1:1 clients every December and today I am going to share these same questions with you. Click HERE to download the 7 Questions For Your Best Year EVER Worksheet I use with my clients.
Once you have the worksheet, schedule two separate times to complete it.
Session 1: ~15 Minutes
- Read through and think about the questions without writing anything down.
- If you have them, look back on your answers from the prior December to remind yourself of where you were, where you are now, and begin thinking about where you want to go in the upcoming year.
Session 2: 30-60 minutes
- Find a time 1-2 days later where you can write un-interrupted. It is important to give yourself a few days for your subconscious to reflect on the questions before you put pen to paper.
During this session, I put on classical music (I love Pandora’s Classical Study), make a cup of tea, and sit in a comfy chair by the fireplace. I also close my eyes and repeat a commitment that I make to myself.
“I commit to honor my needs, dreams and desires instead of what I think I should want or what others want for me. I will be deeply honest with myself, notice and celebrate my gifts and take responsibility for my part in what went well and what did not. I will use this as an opportunity for learning and growth. I trust that this process will lead me to create the foundation for my most meaningful, productive and joyful year EVER.” You can use this or create your own commitment.
When answering each question, think about all areas of your life: family, friends, professional, health and wellness, personal growth, giving back, and having fun. Some of my clients have chosen to answer each question for all 6 areas of their lives. I personally do not do that, but I do make sure keep all the areas in mind as I answer the questions.
Step 3: Share answers with your champions
- Pick a few answers to share with your champions (those who cheer you on, support you and believe in you). Figure out what you need help with and whom you need to reach out to. Enlist an accountability buddy if you think it will be helpful.
- Don’t forget to check-in with yourself throughout the year. Ask yourself, “How would doing this/not doing this, thinking this/not thinking this move me closer to my best self or who I truly want to be?”
I recently did a live training in my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group on how to complete your 7 Questions For Your Best Year EVER Worksheet. I shared my answers to each of the questions as well as how each answer helped me respond to the next question. Many of the women in the group contacted me to tell me how powerful it was to watch me go through the process.
I usually only give the women in the Facebook group access to my live trainings, but due to the positive response, I am sharing a replay of MY LIVE VIDEO TRAINING with each of you. Click HERE to watch the whole training.
P.S. If you would like access to more of my LIVE Training Videos ask to join my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group.
Want to connect directly with Barbara, book your Complimentary 30 minute JUMPSTART YOUR NEXT CHAPTER Strategy Session HERE
For those of you who would like to make more connections with other midlife women, I invite you to join my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group. You will gain access to training and resources from me and connect to almost 300 like-minded midlife women who inspire and support one another as they navigate and create their most fulfilling next acts.