I subscribe to a large number of on-line newsletters from other coaches, authors and success trainers. During the month of January many of these writers focus on the importance of setting goals for the coming year. Most success-oriented people I meet are also eager to make plans and get into action at the start of the New Year. But putting all of your attention on the year ahead is a mistake. Let me explain.
Becoming successful is not just about what you do or the goals you achieve. It is an inner game determined by how you feel about yourself. Do you feel genuinely confident? Do you feel valuable, worthwhile and loveable? Are you proud of who you are? If you answered yes to these questions, you are already successful. If not, no matter how rich, famous, powerful, healthy or smart you are, success is still eluding you.
Setting and achieving goals does not make you feel more successful unless it improves your self-perception. That's because it is your inner dialogue not your external results that determines how successful you feel. The better you feel about yourself, the more confident you become and the more internal and external success you will experience.
How do you improve your inner dialogue? The best way I have found in my 14 years of coaching is to identify and celebrate your successes. Taking the time to acknowledge your wins gradually transforms the way you see yourself. It heals self-doubt and raises your confidence in yourself thus preparing you to play a bigger game.
There is no better time than the New Year to reflect on the past 12 months and take ownership of your accomplishments. If you start the year focused exclusively on the future, as so many people do, you are missing a tremendous opportunity.
Our ProCoach members know the importance of celebrating success. Every week they identify their wins and progress before planning the week ahead. Our system also gives them the tools they need to celebrate at the end of each quarter and year. No doubt this is one of the main reasons why their momentum accelerates so quickly.
The good news is that you can do this on your own. If you have not written down your wins and successes from 2006 yet, take the time to do it this week. To make the process easy for you we have posted the Year-end Review exercise our members use to the ProCoach website. Click here to access the exercise now.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this process:
||You will probably find it difficult to remember every success that you had during the year. Run through the past year month by month and recall what was happening each month. Review your calendar, credit card statements and journals to refresh your memory. This will help you remember successes you had forgotten.
||Take an objective look at the difficult situations and so-called failures you experienced last year. Something good comes from every obstacle you encounter. Can you identify the wins associated with these events? What did you do well? What benefits resulted?
||The power of this exercise is multiplied if you do it together with a friend or partner. For best results, complete the exercise on your own and then share what you wrote with each other.
||After completing the exercise do something to formally celebrate the progress you made last year. You might toast your success with champagne, say a prayer of thanks, treat yourself to something special or perform a ritual to honour yourself.
Setting goals and visualizing the future are key elements of success and I heartily encourage them. But before you focus all of your attention on 2007, bring 2006 to completion by documenting and celebrating your successes during the past year.
To your Success!
Master Certified Coach
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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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