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Beginning the End of the Year

The end of summer is here and fall is just around the corner. I’ve always liked this time; probably because it feels like the start of a new year. In September, kids have gone back to school, the leaves begin to turn and the weather gets cooler. There is a real change in the air. The changes of fall are an inspiring time to look at life and confront what you have not accomplished this year. Have you achieved the goals you set for yourself back in January? If the answer is no, it’s okay. It’s never too late. You have a few months to turn it around. September to the end of December is a great time to assess your life, regroup and make a plan of attack in order to achieve what you want before the end of the year, but you have to start today. Otherwise, before you know it, it’ll be Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then the holidays. You don’t want to wake up on January 1st bleary-eyed and disappointed because you didn’t make any of your goals happen. Come on, the clock is ticking. There is nothing better than pulling out a success in the last few months of the year to end 2012 on a high. In my last blog, I wrote about how failure can be a good thing, because it reveals a pattern or behavior you need to change or fix. Failure makes you look at yourself and learn your lessons. It goes well with this blog because I want you to look back over the year and see where you have failed, or where haven’t gotten something you wanted. You are going to look at that list, regroup, then figure out a new plan and make your goal happen. Here are the steps to do that.

Step One: Make a List of Goals. At the beginning of this year, what goals did you have? What did you swear you were going to make happen? Write down everything you wanted to accomplish this year, but haven’t yet. There could be ten things on the list or two things; write them all down. Now, if you never made your list for 2012, don’t worry, just make one now. Your goals don’t have to be huge. They could be as small as spending more time on the weekends connecting with your family, or as big as changing your career. But don’t forget, you need to be realistic. You only have a few months to make it happen.

Step Two: Create a Ratings Scale and Rate Your Goals. I want you to make and define your own rating scale from 1-10, where 1 is the lowest rating, and 10 is the highest. Then define what each number means to you. Write your own for each number, but here are some examples to start: 1 = unsustainable level of displeasure, 3 = a serious monkey on my back, ain’t happening this year, 7 = pretty good, but not a source of pride, could happen but it’d be a stretch, 9 = proud, beaming, nearly perfect, done and handled. This exercise will get you to differentiate how you feel and what you think about your levels of happiness, using your own terminology that speaks to you. You are writing out your own “happy meter.” Have a sense of humor about it and be creative! Next, go down your list of goals and rate how you are doing with each one. Use your rating scale to assess where you are, and whether you’re going to be able to achieve it or not. Be honest about your rating. This is about being realistic and knowing where you stand with each of your goals.

Step Three: Figure out the Failure. Now it’s time to look at each goal on your list and figure out why you have not yet achieved that goal this year. Where is the failure? My failure blog may help you if you’re upset and stuck about a failure this year. (Read my blog: Failure Is Not A Dirty Word) So, when looking at your list, you need to look at three different aspects of you: your heart, your mind and your body. The Handel Group’s core philosophy is Personal Integrity®, which is the alignment of your heart, mind and body with your dreams: ultimately keeping promises to yourself that are connected to what you want. When you’re achieving your dreams, you will see that your heart, mind and body are all working together to make the dream come true. If you are not succeeding at a goal or dream, you are failing at connecting one or more of those areas. Look at your list and ask yourself, where is your issue located?

    1. Your heart- tells you what you want. Is it in your heart? Are you broken-hearted with this dream? How deep is your desire with this goal? How much do you care? Do you even have a vision for it?
    1. Your mind- tells you how to get it. Next, look and see if it’s your mind. Do you have a solid plan of action for your dream? Have you really mapped out how to make the goal happen? Are you smart about your plan?
    1. Your body- has you do it. Or is it your body? Are you doing the actions you need to do to make the dream come true? Or are you being lazy?

After you’ve written where your failure is located, write the reason why. For example, “I want to lose weight. I’m on a diet, but I keep cheating.” Which one is that? It’s definitely body, because your body is eating the food when it’s supposed to be on a diet. It also could be your heart, too, because maybe you just don’t care enough and need to rewrite your dream and envision yourself in your new body. Step Four: Edit Your List. It’s time to be realistic. Look at your list and see if there is anything you need to take off your list. You may realize that you’re not committed to a particular goal or dream anymore. Or you may be broken-hearted about failing at a goal and have already quit. It’s time to own the failure, tell the truth about it and forgive yourself. For example, “I’ve given up on trying to buy a house this year. I didn’t save enough for the down payment. Maybe next year.” It’s important to own when you have failed, instead of living within that vision and hiding from the truth about it. Take it off the list and let it go for now. You can always look at it again in January. It’s okay to let go of something for a while. This is your life, your design and your happiness. Don’t put anything on your list that you don’t absolutely love and want to make happen now. Step Five: Make a Plan of Action. Look at your list and pick your top three goals that are most important to you and you want to hit out of the park by the end of the year. Make a plan for how to make them happen. Remember to look at why (heart, mind, body) you’ve been failing at that goal and address it when you start making promises surrounding your dreams.

    1. a) Make specific promises connected to your dreams. For example, if you want a boyfriend, that means making promises to go to singles events or join an online dating service.
    1. b) Implement consequences so you want to keep your promise. For example, if you don’t go on at least one date a week, you don’t get to drink your wine on Friday night. Come up with consequences that will help you keep your promises!
    1. c) Bonus! I also highly recommend getting a coach or buddy to hold you accountable. Make sure there’s someone else holding your dreams so you can’t just give up when you stop “feeling like it.”

Step Six: Create a Picture of Your Success. Lastly, I want you to see yourself in a few months celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends and feeling proud about how you finished the year. Come up with a toast you’re going to make about how you succeeded at your goals this year. Write down the scene and share it with the people in your life; re-read it daily to keep it fresh in your mind. Now spend the next few months picturing this scene as you make your dream happen. May you be the reason all your dreams come true! Love, Lauren P.S.- Considering the rush, come to our Mastering Time teleseminar on Sep 20. We will help you figure out how to fit in what’s important without neglecting your responsibilities.