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The use of a wreath pre-dated Christianity back to the Greco-Roman Empires. The word translates to "a thing bound around." I'm using the symbol both for the holidays and

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New Season, New Year, New You?
How to Create Your Best Year


“Oh, what a wonderful year it has been! (?)”

That line has been buzzing in my ear. As you begin reading, I’d like to ask you to do a presence check as we are in the busyness and excitement of the holiday season. A Presence Check-in is merely a way for you to take a mindful minute to stop and tune-in with yourself on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Breathe! What’s here for you now?

This time of year usually finds us scurrying around taking care of holiday prep, finishing work deadlines, fighting traffic, dealing with all kinds of people we may not need to during other times of the year. I know for myself looking back, I’m moving so fast I lose sense of who I am, or what I’m doing, especially “what is the next thing to do?” This frantic motion usually takes a lot of the spirit out of the holiday. How about for you?

So, if you’re like me: STOP! And do the presence check-in. Your bio-system will thank you!

Practice taking Presence Check-ins Throughout the next few weeks and see for yourself if they help you de-stress.

Recently I’ve been sending out posts encouraging you to keep in mind that with the change of season and year, we have a built-in opportunity to look back, learn, and with conscious purpose create a new plan for ourselves with the symbolic turn into the new year and create a major breakthrough for yourself, your business, your career, or finally get unstuck from situations that were holding us back in the past.

What’s Next?

Most successful people also use this time to reflect and plan for the next year. The Success Mindset keeps us in the growth mode. As a fellow successful colleague used to say, “Success is not a resting place!” Others say, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying!”

If you’ve been feeling stuck for a while on a particular issue, or if you really deeply want to create a breakthrough for your career, business, of any aspect of life, it won’t magically happen by wishful thinking.

Around December 31, suddenly people wake up and think, “Time for my New Years Resolutions.” New Years resolutions are worthless. By the end of January 97% of New Years resolutions are abandoned.

What to Do Instead

Rather than deceive yourself with flimsy resolutions, spend some quiet time reflecting on what it is that you want to create the breakthrough. Let your imagination work for you in this first step. Visualize the end result in all its glory including vivid sensory detail: how would it look, sound, feel, taste, etc.? What emotions do you experience while imagining? Ask yourself, “To what degree do I really want this?” Be honest. Playing on the growth edge is not comfortable. That’s why most people stay stuck.

But you’re not like “most people.”

Next map out a strategic plan to make it happen over the duration of the next 12 months. As Jim Collins says, write down Big Bodacious goal(s) around the result(s) you want to create.

Break it down into smaller more easily attainable quarterly goals. Make these SMART(ly) written. If you’re not familiar with the SMART criteria for writing goals, contact me or do some research. Get feedback from a trusted friend or colleague. Although the criteria is easy to understand, I’ve found from working with thousands of people from individual careerists to senior managers, that often the goals are poorly written, or just more activity that does not connect to a real outcome.

Remember a goal is an end result, or outcome.

Once your goals are written, the next step is to create the action plan. Activities are the “how” you plan to get there. What activities do you need to do to get you to those goals, especially focusing on the first 90 days? Depending on the goals, you may need to schedule daily or weekly activities to keep you on track.

Monitor your progress. Again, success is not a resting place. Regular review is essential. You may find some of the activities you planned may not be working or are less than efficient. It may require you to switch to different activities or mindsets. Stay the general course. Create and adjust along the way. 

I look forward to hearing back from you next December about “Oh, what a wonderful year it’s been!”

 Example of Mindset Shift at Work :

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Ed Caldwell
Productive Learning Systems, Inc