“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”~ Buddha
I was working with a coaching client the other day who wants to make some really profound and positive changes– changes that could dramatically improve the quality of her life. We were discussing some specific ideas for implementing those changes, but she kept coming back to the other people in her life. She was throwing roadblocks in her own path as she detailed how these changes might cause problems for those close to her.
Like many people, my client aims to please. She is high-achieving and talented, but she has given her power away because of a nearly life-long self perception that doesn’t match her amazing gifts. Her view of herself has crippled growth in some areas of her life. Fortunately, she has awakened to this truth and is doing something about it. She hired me to partner with her through the process.
As she was detailing all of the ways these changes might impact friends and family and her discomfort with that notion, I threw out a challenge — one that resulted in dead silence for nearly a minute.
I suggested, “What if you make 2011 the year of you.”
- What if you take a sabbatical from pleasing others, worrying about what they might think or how they might react?
- What if you put your own well-being, health, and happiness first and foremost for the next year?
- What if you communicated to your dear ones that you need their support and encouragement as you focus on a major period of growth and transition for yourself?
This idea stunned her and triggered a few tears. I could almost hear the wheels turning in her brain. For someone so used to tending to other people’s needs and weighing self-worth against their opinions, this was a bold shift in thinking. And believe me, I’ve been there myself. Just yesterday in fact, when my friend Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering had to remind me to say no to people I need to please. Katie keeps me straight.
Are you at a point where you need to make some substantial positive change? Do you need more than just a tune-up — maybe some extensive body work and a mental overhaul? If so, I’d like to throw out the challenge to you.
Will you make 2011 the year of you?
Sometimes when you focus on yourself and make changes for the better, you risk offending or inconveniencing others. It requires some finesse, strong boundaries, and a thick skin to cope with the discomfort of upsetting the apple cart.
It might seem daunting, but you have 49 days to prepare if you start today. There are things you can do to set yourself up for success and win the support and understanding of the people you care about.
Here are some ideas:
Day 1. Roll this idea around in your brain. How does it feel? Can you put yourself first this year? Get yourself a notebook for brainstorming and planning.
Day 2. Start thinking about the big changes and goals you’ve been putting off or dismissing. Write them down.
Day 3. Imagine yourself having made those changes and achieved those goals. How does it feel? How is your life different? Write down those feelings and life improvements.
Day 4. Write a 2012 vision for yourself. Assume you have spent 2011 evolving into a new person and achieving great things. Who is this new you? What are you doing? How do you look? How is your health? Where do you live? How are your relationships? What have you accomplished?
Day 5. Read over your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 6. Call one supportive friend or family member and let them know you are planning to make some big changes for 2011. Don’t give to much information. Just plant the seed. Now you have committed yourself publicly to one person.
Day 7. Rest. Read this inspirational article.
Day 8. Pick one goal or change from your list. In your notebook, write down every action that you can think of that will be required of you to make it happen.
Day 9. Pick another goal or change and repeat the steps above.
Day 10. Pick one more goal or change and repeat the steps above.
Day 11. Pick your final goal or change and repeat the steps. For now, stop at four goals or major changes. (These could be addressed quarterly during 2011 if you wish.)
Day 12. Review the goals and lists of actions. Refine or add to the lists if you think of more actions.
Day 13. Review your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 14. Rest. Read this inspirational article.
Day 15. Review your first goal and list of actions. How will these actions impact those close to you, both positively and negatively? Write these thoughts down in your notebook.
Day 16. Review your second goal and repeat the steps above.
Day 17. Review your third goal, and repeat the steps above.
Day 18. Review your fourth goal, and repeat the steps above.
Day 19. Call one more supportive friend or family member and let them know you are planning to make some big changes for 2011.
Day 20. Review your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 21. Rest. Read this article on creating boundaries.
Day 22. Look at your first goal/change and the list of possible negative consequences or reactions with friends or family. How might you handle their reactions and/or possible fallout? Write your ideas in your notebook.
Day 23. Repeat the steps above for your second goal.
Day 24. Repeat the steps above for your third goal.
Day 25. Repeat the steps above for your fourth goal.
Day 26. Review the possible negative reactions and fallout from all four lists. How do these possible reactions from your loved ones feel to you? Are there any possible consequences that you can’t live with? How can you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for these reactions? Write down your thoughts.
Day 27. Review your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 28. Rest. Read these articles on handling difficult people and dealing with controlling people.
Day 29. Begin the planning process for working on your goals for 2011. Download a copy of my 5-Step Goal-Setting Starter Kit. Also check out Daily Plan-it : The Pursuit of Goals; Make Success Measurable!: A Mindbook-Workbook for Setting Goals and Taking Action; and Goal Setting Forms : Tools to Help You Get Ready, Get Set, & Go for Your Goals! Choose an action plan calendar or worksheet to plot your action steps.
Day 30. Select one of your four goals and review the action steps. Begin plotting the action steps on a your calendar or worksheet. Note: You can begin plotting actions for your second goal at the beginning of March, your third goal at the beginning of June; and your fourth goal at the beginning of September.
Day 31. If you wish to work on more than one goal simultaneously, select another goal and repeat the steps above.
Day 32. Review your action steps for the first quarter of 2011. Make sure you start with small, manageable steps so that you don’t overwhelm yourself before you get momentum! Adjust them as necessary.
Day 33. Review your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 34. Rest. Watch the inspirational video on this page.
Day 35. Write all of the people with whom you wish to communicate your goals and changes for this Year of You, including the two you informed earlier. Who will be most impacted by your goals and changes?
Day 36. Review the list of possible negative reactions and fallout from your upcoming changes and the ways you could prepare yourself for these. Write down polite responses to the possible reactions, stressing the importance of these changes for your personal happiness.
Day 37. Begin contacting friends and family (in person is best), to discuss your plans for the Year of You. Ask them for their understanding, support, and encouragement. Ask that they not undermine or sabotage your efforts. Respond politely, but firmly to negative reactions.
Day 38. Continue contacting friends and family. Let many people know about the Year of You so that you feel compelled to follow through.
Day 39. Find two people to serve as accountability buddies with whom you share your specific action steps and who are will to help you stay on track. Better yet, find a good coach who can partner with you through this.
Day 40. Review your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 41. Rest. Read this article about coaching.
Day 42. Review your action steps for the first week of 2011. Make any preparations necessary for accomplishing those tasks.
Day 43. Contact your accountability partners or coach to remind them of the kick-off of The Year of You.
Day 44. Plan a celebration of some kind for the night before you begin the Year of You. Have loved ones with you who are supportive and excited for you.
Day 45. Review your goals/changes, your feelings about them, and your vision for 2012. Spend ten minutes visualizing this new person, immersing yourself in the feelings of success and happiness.
Day 46. Rest.
Day 47. Rest.
Day 48. Review your action steps for the first day of The Year of You. Make any final adjustments or changes.
Day 49. Celebrate the kick-off of The Year of You with family and friends. Get a good night’s sleep to begin the first day of your new life tomorrow morning.
In a few weeks, I will launch a course called Discover Your Passion: A Step-by-Step Course for Living the Life of Your Dreams. This extensive, 7-module course can propel you on a journey toward a bold and fearless new life. Please contact me at [email protected] if you would like to be on the waiting list for the course.
Download a copy of my FREE guide, The Bold Living Guide: 7 Key Ingredients for a Meaningful Life, and receive regular email updates to Live Bold and Bloom.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, or your social media of choice. Thank you!