In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast I am sharing some ‘end-of-year’ thoughts with you.

I like the idea of starting the new year with a different focus.  A year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days – is enough time to make a lot of things happen.

But, while we can achieve a lot in a year’s time, we can still become frustrated if we’re not realistic.  Taking the time to think and ponder what you really want to do in the upcoming year will ensure you get a good start into 2023.

Let’s be honest… no one can make a significant impact by doing something for a week or even just a month.  Mastering skills, working on your character, personal development, growing your mindset, and building healthy relationships all take time.

If you are chasing your dreams, never quit too early.  Keep going and stay the course as I like to say.
So, here we are just a few days away from Christmas and the holiday season.  Another year is coming to an end.

For me, Christmas has always been the most wonderful time of the year.  My excitement and enthusiasm for Christmas dates back to my years of working in my parents’ retail store.  I asked to be scheduled to work on Christmas Eve when everyone else didn’t want to because people would come in scrambling to find that perfect gift at the very last minute.  If I was able to help them, they were delighted.  This lit me up so much.

On the flip side, I also loved shopping and experiencing the hustle and bustle.  There is something magical about the colourful decorations, streams of lights, beautiful trees, the smells of Christmas, candy canes and gingerbread – two of my all-time favourites.  Not to mention, family get-togethers, playing games and enjoying quality time with people near and dear to us.

But my husband and I have started living a calmer, more mindful life and I’ve been taking a very different approach to the holidays.  I focus more on small, intimate get-togethers with close friends.  Planning and creating adventure and experiences with loved ones is my priority over the material side of Christmas, the gift giving.

I believe that people will remember the time spent with them rather than the money spent on them in the long run.  So, it’s experiences over gifts from here on in.
Along the lines of being more mindful, I like to look ahead into the new year quickly approaching and do some planning. Maybe you could call it an assessment asking myself some questions, journalling about it and finally, committing to the ones I feel align with who I want to be in the new year.

I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions because this ‘assessment’ could be done at any time during the year.  I’m referring to potential changes, habits and goals I want to be my absolute focus for the next 12 months.  I have 5 pillars:  health, fitness, career, creativity, charitable. 
So, I ask myself:

How do you want to improve your health and nutrition over the next 12 months?
What can you do or implement to increase your level of fitness?
How do you want to show up in your business and further your career?
How can you flex your creativity muscle?  Are there any new creative hobbies you want to try?
How can you be more charitable?  What organizations do you want to support and how?
If you’re listening to this episode in February or March, you could begin then.  There is no perfectly magical time to make changes in your life.

One thing I think people miss out on is BEING PRESENT.  This takes work and intention to always be present and live for the moment.  It took me years to work myself in a position to do this.  But now, I am fully present and focused on enjoying life. 

For the new year, I have suggested to my husband that we plan an event of sorts every 6 weeks to have something new, exciting and totally different to look forward to.  I wanted to inject some fun into our every day.  This might mean booking tickets to a symphony concert, going on a road trip for one day not knowing exactly where we are going to end up – like a mystery tour, trying a new sport like kite surfing.

Every year you have the chance to start with a clean slate.  You can hit the reset button and do things differently than in the past.  It doesn’t matter if you had a great year or a less-than-stellar year.

Celebrate.  Cry.  Laugh.  Enjoy.  Live fully.  Show up.  Be present.

But never forget that life moves forward.

-> What do you want to focus on in the new year? Or the next 12 months?
-> What do you want to do to improve your career, yourself and your relationships?
-> What will you do when things don’t go according to plan?  (Never think that everything will go well, as planned.  Be prepared for setbacks.)

For instance, I have focused on reading more over the past few years.  While I haven’t quite met my goal of reading one book (fiction or non-fiction) each week, I came pretty close.

Another focus of mine has been improving my nutrition and exercise routine.  I didn’t keep strict track of how many days I worked out or how many swim sessions I made it to, but I think my goal will be to get in at least 300+ workouts over the course of 12 months.

When I plan my year, I only focus on setting targets that I can directly influence.  I am never vague about my benchmarks.  So, you’ll never catch me saying things like, “I want to improve my fitness level by doing some strength training.”  That’s not specific enough and allows all kinds of room for non-execution and losing control over the situation due to external circumstances.

I choose to be detailed and maintain a certain amount of control.

So, instead I would lay out the plan by saying, “I will get in one hour of exercise each day, a swim session, a spinning class, a gym workout comprised of warm-up, 10 – 12 specific total body exercises, and cool down. And on my rest day, I will go for a one-hour hike.”  At the beginning of each week, I will plan in the exact workout for each day depending on my schedule.

While the time frame of 12 months allows us to make a lot of things happen, we tend to overestimate AND underestimate what we can achieve in a year.

In the fast-paced world we live in today, people want instant results and lack the patience as well as the necessary perseverance to stick with the plan over the long-term.

But, on the flip side, people also underestimate what they can achieve if they remain focused and make consistent efforts – big or small – toward their end goal every single day.
So, I want to encourage you to chase down your dreams and never quit too early.  Keep grinding away every day.  Be flexible and know when to pivot if your plan requires adjusting. 

Develop self-awareness which is a skill in and of itself.  Just know that life is full of paradoxes. 

There’s never one truth or ‘right’ path to follow.
The only path that’s right if YOUR path.

Let’s start thinking about the new year, full of possibilities and opportunities for you.  But don’t forget to be in the moment during the final days of this year.  Have a good time and enjoy the company of others.

And when January 1st rolls around… wake up, get to work on yourself and your goals and keeping looking forward.

I truly hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,

Lisa xoxo




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