A Year of Your Choosing

Here we find ourselves at the beginning of another year, what a gift! A year that you have a chance to design, create and enjoy. I am not talking about New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are promises we make to ourselves that we rarely keep for any length of time. Why? Because the ideas mostly come from statements that start with the words should, could or would. Things that others (read society, family, friends, doctors, consultants), tell us are best for us. Unless, we decide what is best for us, what we truly want to do and set goals that are specific, measurable, and attainable, that resonate with us, and have a time frame (S.M.A.R.T), we have very little chance of success.

The concept of celebrating a New Year began with the first calendar. The purpose of a calendar is to measure units of time, to organize societal proclivities and provide a sense of controlling time, as impossible as that is. So, every twelve months we have an ending and a new beginning. Think genesis, birth, and inception. These words connote a feeling of possibility and opportunity. That’s the sense that we have when we make our New Year’s Resolutions.

So, if that’s the case, why is it that when we reflect on the past, we tend to focus on what did not work, what went wrong, or what was unpleasant. That’s how we get to the should, would and could perspective to begin with. How many times have you heard comments like, “I can’t wait until this year is over. 2015 has to be better.” Better than what I ask? What is it that would be better? Are we hoping to make life’s challenges disappear? Do we want to live in nirvana? Do we think we can have perfectly happy lives and that our businesses will run perfectly all the time? No, of course we don’t.

I believe what we are all looking for is the serenity to accept what is, the courage to change what can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference. Many of you will recognize those words as the Serenity Prayer. It’s a prayer I have been saying every day for many years and it is truly powerful. Think about it. Many of our resolutions are based on trying to change things that we have no control over, or that we might want to do, but we need help and can’t accept that fact. It takes a lot of courage to change. It requires a deep commitment to a new state of being. It takes wisdom to know what is truly right for us and, most importantly; it requires faith, daring the soul to believe far beyond what your eyes can see.

Many of you have already reflected on the past year and may have already set up some resolutions. Whether you have or have not, I invite you now to create a plan for 2015 from this new perspective. Find some quiet space and time, try to empty your mind of any distractions and simply focus on one month or season at a time. Just notice what comes to you without judgment. Memories are not good or bad they simply are, until we place a label of good or bad on them. Feel free to jot them down if you’d like. Now, ask yourself what you would like more of in your life and your work? What options are available? Which feel right for you? What do you need to begin? Finally, what commitment are you willing to create these changes? It’s likely you will need help from others. Identify who those people may be, and be clear about what it is you need form them. We are not meant to go through the years of our lives doing everything on our own, by our selves. This can be particularly challenging for small business owners. Stop resisting and you will find a world full of people willing to walk with you.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce said, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” It’s time to start your book of opportunity, when you fill your thoughts with opportunity a positive energy is created and anything is possible.

Throw out the should, would, could vocabulary and make 2015 the year of I want, I need and I have! May your 2015 be filled with opportunity, achievement and success as defined by you and only you!

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