The end of another year is upon us. How was 2007 for you? Probably better than you think! Last December I sent an Annual Progress Review as part of my newsletter and dozens of readers responded saying that completing it helped them realize that they had moved forward much farther than they thought.
Because the Annual Progress Review was such a success last year, I have posted an updated version you can download free of charge from the ProCoach website. All members of the ProCoach Success System complete this every year, and I encourage you to follow suit. Here is the link to it:
2007 Annual Progress Review.
Speaking of year end, 2008 will be here very shortly. What are you planning to do about New Year's Resolutions?
I recently saw a celebrity being interviewed on TV. When asked about his New Year's Resolutions he said, "I don't make any resolutions, because when I do I just break them."
He makes a valid point. Making a commitment to yourself and then breaking it actually does you more harm than good because it reinforces failure. On the other hand, aren't these resolutions intended to advance you towards a better life - towards achieving your goals and dreams? To stop making commitments that will improve your life because you have failed in the past removes the opportunity for failure, but it does not move you forward. It reminds me of the man who read so much about the bad effects of smoking that he gave up reading.
One of the main problems with New Year's Resolutions is that most of us who are striving for greater success have a long list of self-improvement projects to work on. Let's face it, if you did everything you "should" and could do to improve your health and reach your full business, personal, financial and spiritual potential, there would be no time left for anything else!
You do not need to avoid making self-improvement commitments, at New Year's or any other time of the year. What you do need to do is prioritize your list of desired improvements and set realistic expectations for yourself.
The best way to start is by conducting a realistic assessment of what you expect of yourself. As I was making my plans for 2008, I designed an exercise to help me with this. I was stunned by what I learned about myself in the process. You may want to try it....
Step 1: Make a list of all the things you would like to do to improve yourself and your life. Include habits, practices and behaviors you want to stop doing as well as a comprehensive list of things you want to start doing or learning. It helps to break your list into different categories such as health, financial, business, personal and spiritual.
Step 2: In a second column, write a more detailed description of what accomplishing each item involves. Include cost, time involved and frequency of repetition if it requires ongoing practice. I recommend you total the time this item would consume each week as this will give you a perspective on the commitment required. For example: "Work out regularly" expands to become: "Spend one hour at the gym (requires 2.0 hours when preparation and travel are included) three to four times each week. Total time 6 - 8 hours per week."
Step 3: In a third column, note how long you would need to continue this practice or activity in order to achieve your desired result. You will notice that some of your objectives can be fully accomplished in a set period of time. For example, if you take a speed reading course and practice reading 15 minutes daily for three months you will reach a point where you can stop practicing and the skills you learn will stay with you forever. Other items, like meditation or eating habits, may involve regular, ongoing practice for many years.
Step 4: In a fourth and final column, make a note of the outcome or benefit that will occur from implementing this change. Pain and pleasure are the two big motivators. What pain will this change enable you to avoid? How will implementing this item help you create the life you want?
A template you can use for completing this exercise is posted on the ProCoach website at Resolutions Inventory.
There are two significant benefits to this exercise. The first is that creating a comprehensive list enables you to prioritize. Review your list and take a realistic look at the commitment required and the payoff you can expect from each item. Now prioritize your resolutions for self-improvement. Select just a few to work on now - the ones that will have the biggest impact on your long-term objectives. Even if you just choose one and follow through with it, you will be moving forward.
Chances are that you will be surprised to see how many items are on your self-improvement list. I certainly was. Herein lies the second benefit of this exercise. Having a huge list of "should do" items hanging over your head reminds you of your inadequacies and makes it difficult for you to feel like a winner. You need to free yourself from that list! Once you identify the items you plan to work on, go through the balance of your list using a thick pen or marker to cross off every item you do not honestly plan to undertake in the next three months. This should eliminate at least 80% of your list. You can work on these items later, but put them on hold for now so you are not constantly beating yourself with them.
This is a powerful exercise. It will give you a sense of relief. It will create space and energy so you can work on those items to which you are committed. And last but not least, it will increase your momentum and self-esteem by setting you up to win.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2008!
Master Certified Coach
The Success Blueprint Workshop - Burnaby, BC
Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Master Certified Coach Andrew Barber-Starkey facilitates his newest workshop at the Executive Hotel in Burnaby. This three hour workshop is limited to 30 attendees. Andrew will walk you step-by-step through the process of creating a clear and compelling vision for your business and ideal life. He will then guide you through a structured process you can use to consistently achieve your goals, no matter how daunting they may be. Andrew has developed this groundbreaking material through coaching over 5,000 small business people in the past 14 years. From September through December every Success Blueprint Workshop we held sold out rapidly, so register now if you want to attend!
Admission: $29 for one, $39 for two includes hors d'oeuvres and networking
Registration and details
Attention Alberta - the Success Blueprint Workshop will be coming to Alberta early in 2008.
ProCoach Quarterly Seminars (Members Only)
This seminar includes our "ProCoach Member of the Year" awards.
Vancouver, BC - Tuesday, January 8
Red Deer, Alberta - Thursday, January 10
Bellevue, WA - Thursday, January 17
Arrange for Andrew to speak to your group
Do you know of a group of 8 or more self-employed people or small business owners in BC, Alberta or Washington State who would be interested in having the ProCoach himself, Andrew Barber-Starkey, as a guest speaker? If so, please contact our office by email or phone.
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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