The First Day of the Year

Woke up on the First Day of the Year 2014 to a world covered in snow. While I may curse our fierce Midwestern wind that chills to the bone, I confess I appreciate a good snowfall.

Last night my husband Bill and I attended a New Year’s Eve party with good friends and, arriving fashionably late, we parked at the far end of the street. While walking to the house I reveled in the quiet that snow brings, muffling sound and illuminating the holiday lights around us. I love the scrunchy sound new snow makes when you walk on it. I thanked God for the end of a challenging year and all that brought with it and for the beginning of a brand spankin’ new year. Like snow, the year lies in front of us, a big white blank canvas that is ours to fill with new adventures, achievements, victories and even defeats.

You can’t be on social media today without being pelted by the onslaught of messages regarding New Year’s resolutions, new starts and ways to kick off the year. So I’ll offer just a few thoughts to complement your intake of New Year media:

  • Manage your intake of New Year media and, for that matter, media in general. I’m reading Tim Sanders‘ book Today We Are Rich: Making Total Confidence Work for You and he emphasizes the importance of feeding your mind with inspiration vs. dreck. It’s easy to get sucked into the dark side of the Internet so please monitor your time, and your consumption, of social media in a way that supports you. (My resolution this year: more books, less Netflix.)
  • Build your posse. The essence of being an EveryDay Diva (or Divo), my theme for 2014, is to surround yourself with people who support you, AKA your “posse.” This could include your coach, your counselor/advisor, your mentor, your accountant and bookkeeper, your attorney, your personal fitness coach… anyone who supports you and your career or business, your spiritual growth, your mind and your body. Build that posse so that you always have someone to help you achieve your “fitness” goal in whatever corner of your life you’re working on. My friend and Landmark coach (and now Landmark leader) Kathy Bosco always said “I have a coach in every area of my life I’m committed to.” That simple comment has inspired me over the years.
  • Raise the bar while lowering your expectations. Sounds like a paradox, right? But I think there’s something to be said for increasing our own expectations of ourselves while letting go of the expectations we may have of others. And while you’re at it…
  • Give yourself a break. I mean it. We are so hard on ourselves and give ourselves so little grace! I’m amazed at how tough my clients are on themselves, and part of my gift as a coach is to encourage people to grant themselves and others more grace. I know how hard that is to do. So practice granting yourself some grace in the New Year. Forgive yourself, limit your self-flagellation to 24 hours or less following a mistake and monitor your self-talk. Before your call yourself an idiot, ask yourself, would I say the same thing to a beloved friend or a child? To quote my former beloved pastor Chris Winkler who was paraphrasing a quote by Philo, “Be kind, be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a battle.” And sometimes that means you.

So here’s a toast to you and all that you’re up to in the new year. L’chaim! To life!

(photo credit: from 1000 Awesome Things)

That Time in Between

I love this week between holidays. Christmas is over, save for the shopping for half-price Christmas wrapping, bows, and gifts for next year–and, of course, the clean-up. The New Year is just around the corner, bringing with it the chance to create something new, something profound, a blank slate to fill with accomplishments, achievements and even brand new mistakes. This week is a time for contemplation, planning, celebrating the victories of this waning year and anticipating the new year to come.

This is the time to complete the past and create a new vision for the future. What’s your vision for 2014? Do you have your “theme” for the year? Mine is “The Year of the EveryDay Diva.” I’ve redefined diva to mean a woman who 1) knows what she wants; 2) knows how to get what she wants and 3) honors the people who support her. This can be gender-neutral, by the way… guys can be “divos.”

As you peer into the future, what do you see? I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because too often they’re short-lived promises related to weight loss and going to the gym. But I do believe strongly in the power of intention and the law of attraction, another reason I like this time of year so much. We have this glorious week to think about what we want to generate in the New Year, declaring our intentions and deciding what it is, exactly, that we want to attract. Good health? Goes without saying. Properity and abundance? For everyone! Making a difference in the world through whatever gifts we’re given… that’s my intention for all of us.

Whether you create the future year in declaration, speaking it to others, through creating a collage with images from photos & magazines or updating your strategic plan, enjoy this week as a preamble to the year ahead. Take the time to congratulate yourself for all you’ve accomplished this year. Forgive yourself for what you missed. And document your vision for 2014. Next December, you’ll be glad you did.

Happy New Year!