7 Steps To Your Best Year Yet

1. Be Kind

I could just end it there and say be kind and the world would be a better place and indeed it would.

But what I really mean is be kind to yourself, always.

It’s one of the few things that I’ll not negotiate with clients over.

If they’re not prepared to at least try and be kind to themselves, then I’m not prepared to be their Life Coach and that’s the end of it.

People sometimes get concerned because they think that being kind to themselves may lead to them taking their foot of the gas and getting lazy and/or irresponsible.

It doesn’t work like that at all.

I have worked with lots of people that were outwardly successful, but not particularly happy and that’s something we all want.

Quite honestly it’s really difficult being happy when you have a voice inside your head telling yourself what a jerk or loser you are and that nothing’s ever good enough.

It’s your head so change the voice to being a supportive one and even if you don’t achieve everything you set out to achieve, at least you can have fun during the process.

2. Know Your Core Values

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned values on this blog before, so now is a good time to start (and yes before anybody leaves me a comment, I’m being sarcastic and fully aware I have dragged the dead Dobbin out for another flogging).

In 7 years of Life Coaching, I have had less than 5 people that fully understood their own core values.

In my opinion knowing your values immediately puts you in the top 1% of people when it comes to self development, if that is you….

3. Align With Your Core Values

Knowing your values is great. However, knowing your values and doing nothing with them is a bit like knowing your arse is on fire but not wanting to sit in the bucket of water for fear of getting wet.

There’s a reason why the value process frequently blows clients away and can sometimes melt away years of stuckness and that’s because it’s awesomely powerful.

As I say on the Aligning With Your Core Values page, forget about time-management, forget about goal setting, forget about NLP, forget about productivity and forget about life hacks.

Values are where self development is really at.

4. Don’t Set New Years Resolutions

The failure rate for New years Resolutions is truly astounding with well in excess of 90% being broken before we’ve even waved goodbye to January.

Being a St Louis Rams fan I know a bit about failure, but even the hapless Rams have a higher winning percentage than New Years resolutions.

If you want to make great plans for 2012 that’s all well and good, but set them up as goals and run them through a proper goal procedure like SMARTER goals.

Don’t set up lame resolutions on New Years Eve after your 3rd glass of cheap champagne like “I’d like to quit smoking” or “I’m going to eat more healthily in 2012” because they will have all the sticking power of a Kim Kardashian marriage.

By the way, the second bonus goody for people that sign up for my newsletter is a comprehensive ebook on setting goals. So if you have any doubts about how to set your own goals, get signed up!

5. Know Every Day Is A Good Day

There are 366 days in 2012 and a finite amount will suck, a finite kick ass and a finite be sat somewhere in the middle.

Therefore, every time you have a great day, you can really enjoy it and make the most of it.

Similarly, every time you have a bad day you can celebrate the fact that’s one less you have to endure in the year and the odds are that tomorrow will be better. Yes, that is called a reframe.

6. Get Back On The Wagon

Let’s suppose you want to get fit this year and commit to going to the gym or working out 4 times a week. Then in February just as you are getting into the flow, things go tits up.

First you get a cold that lays you low. Then you spend a week trying to catch up with work and don’t have time for the gym and then mad Aunt Enid shows up out of the blue to stay for a week and brings all her cats.

What do you do?

I’ll tell you what most people do, they presume they were never meant to get fit and they see their circumstances as a reason to quit because it’s quite obvious the Universe is conspiring against them again, the bastard!

Not you though, because you know commitment and health are important values to you and you intend to stay aligned with them.

You also understand this is just life throwing a cow pat in your general direction to see how you respond and you’re going to bounce back in style, unlike the cow pat.

The most successful people don’t not fall off the wagon, they just get back on one more time than they fall off and treat momentary failures as valuable learning experiences.

7. Theme Your Year

This is something that has becomes fairly popular in recent years with self development bloggers and I have to say, I like it.

It requires setting a theme for the forthcoming year (usual just one word) and then keeping your focus on that.

For me it will be health, because 2011 sucked largely on the health front.

I also know that health is an important value of mine so when I’m deciding whether to have that second beer I can just say the word ‘health’ to myself and see what response I get.

Cunningly simple unless you get so hammered your forget what your word is.

I’m going to leave it at that. Of course I could have added be more grateful, give back whenever possible, smile more etc, but they’re more general happiness things and anyway, I’d rather get your take.

If you could add just ONE thing to the list to improve anybody’s chances of having a great year, what would it be?