If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ~Jim Rohn
So it’s officially 2014. The weather outside is a cool 70 degrees with a high today of 82.
Not to brag, but living in Florida is totally the bomb this time of year! Check back with me in 6 months when your weather is this nice and I’m dying with 90 degree temp plus 90% humidity plus 90% chance of rain daily forecast and the kids trapped inside all summer long because you can get burnt in 10 mins flat and they hate wearing sunscreen and see how I’m doing then. Yeah, that’s super fun!
But where was I? 2014. That’s it. My friend Julie Zeff has this amazing 40 minute visualization called Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014. I started to complete it yesterday on the ride home from our last-minute trip up to Disney (yes another perk of living in FL).
Disney Tip: GET THE FAST PASS to go on Buzz Light Year. This is a super popular ride and the line is super boring! So head to Tomorrow Land first thing and snag it, then come back later. I’m not a Disney expert but I do know that.
Well here I was heading home from Disney listening to Julie’s visualization and typing out my year -in-review notes. As I started scrolling through my calendar from early 2013 I noticed something.
1. List out your prior year’s accomplishments
What I noticed was that what I had planned out at the beginning of 2013 using Julie’s visualization last year (as I was doing now for 2014) was exactly what happened.
I started to fondly remember all the clients I had worked with back in that time frame that I had somehow forgotten. I listed out the articles I had written and the courses I had launched. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment to recount all that I had done.
You can do the same. Go back through last year’s calendar and write down the highlights. What did you accomplish? What clients did you serve?
2. Have courage to start something new despite a lack of crystal clear plans.
I started to see the courage I had to set up that first meeting with Mike Doltch, the catering manager at the Hyatt, on Jan 7th to start planning my first Happy Mom Conference even though I had no clue how many people to expect, what date I wanted it or how much my budget was, much to his chagrin. That’s a funny story for another time.
What new project do you want to start? What ideas do you have that seem feasible but aren’t all mapped out yet? Can you take the first step today?
3. Get out there and meet new people.
No one who accomplishes anything great does it alone. I started to see how I had gotten out there and set up lunches with new acquaintances who are now friends. I even joined a local women’s networking group in quarter one of 2013 and headed up their scholarship committee which then led me to a position as the new president. Who knew that would happen?
Who would you like to meet? In person or online. Make a list of at least 10 people you want to reach out to in this upcoming quarter and then make a plan to connect with them.
So you see my view of 2013 was only that…a vision on Jan 1, 2013. But I took some time to crystallize what I wanted and then I knew what general direction to head.
There were some failures along the way, a beach fitness/coaching program that never launched because only one person registered and a lot of lessons to be learned, like how to more systematically manage my business finances. But each step I took helped me to gain more confidence.
4. Trust your intuition over the advice of others.
The biggest success, if I had to recount just one, was that I learned that I can do anything if I just listen to my intuition and act on it (tweet this). I created the Happy Mom Conference only because I had the idea during an early morning run. I felt it in my gut without much ‘proof’ that I could make it happen. But I did a little bit each day, and a lot on many days and for a first year event had over 100 attendees and 37 vendors. Not bad in my book!
What gifts do you have that you’ve been hiding? What dreams do you have that you’ve convinced yourself just won’t happen. STOP. Trust yourself.
Take some time today to reflect on last year. List what went well and what challenges you faced. Identify the mountains you climbed that seemed insurmountable at the time and congratulate yourself for completing the mundane day-to-day tasks that need doing.
And this year, be deliberate. Take YOUR life by the reigns and steer it in the direction of your dreams.
Maybe this is the year you start a business….
Maybe this is the year you finally lose that baby weight….
Maybe this is the year you forgive someone who hurt you…
Maybe this is the year you write that book, start that blog, stay home with your kids, or get back into your career….
Only you know.
Picture yourself on December 31, 2014 looking back on the year. What one thing if you did it would make your year a success in your eyes?
Don’t let this year pass you by, spin you in circles and drag you down because you lacked a plan.
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April O’Leary is a Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of the University of Moms. She happily resides in Florida with her husband and three daughters.