2017 is only hours away; yet, I find it bittersweet. On one hand, I am totally ready to move into the new year. I’m ready to start planning out all of the things I want to improve upon and accomplish. I’m ready to move forward and forget the failures and challenges of 2016. The promise of a new year brings me hope. It brings me peace knowing that I can wipe the chalkboard clean and restart. I can do things better.
Each year, like so many of us do, I write down a list of goals for the new year. Last year I vowed to myself: to do more yoga, become a better listener, find my niche, become a more thoughtful wife and finish my novel. Did I accomplished these goals? Not to my standards. So, while initially I had sat down to write out my new goals for 2017, instead I am here to reflect on what worked and didn’t in 2016. Only through reflection can I truly grasp what I can do to promote growth. Notice how I didn’t say change. I don’t think we should “change” ourselves. We are all unique individuals with so much to offer. We should nurture our voice and personality.
I believe that I have an amazing opportunity to seek growth on the areas I want to improve. These areas of improvement are the most difficult for me to accept. They’re ugly, raw and make me feel naked to the world. It would be so much easier to pretend that I’m perfect and I have my life together. It would be so much easier to not be vulnerable. Yet alas, we only live once, what are we going to remember the most? I want to remember that I had the courage to speak the truth. So, here it goes: 5 hard truths I learned about myself in 2016. I hope there is something that resonates with you and helps you to reflect on your year and how you can promote growth and achieve your goals in 2017.
2016 goal: Do more yoga.
Reflection: I set goals with no real action tasks. I really did want to do more yoga in 2016 but I didn’t make real action tasks on how to accomplish this goal. My goal was lofty and not specific. My goal should be a concrete goal that answers the 5 Ws 1 H:
- Who Me
- What Yoga lessons
- When February 2nd onwards
- Where Corpo e Mente Yoga Studio
- Why Yoga tones my body, makes me feel stronger and relaxes my mind
- How On Februray 1st (The day after I arrive back to Italy), I will sign up for a yoga class at the above mentioned yoga studio.
2016 goal: Become a better listener.
Reflection: I don’t stay in the present. My mind is a volcano of ideas. If I’m quiet it’s because I am probably thinking of new business ideas, a chapter of a book, a new recipe or countless inventions that will probably never see the light of day. If you are talking, I am probably thinking the same things. I hate that I often don’t listen 100%. I hate that I find myself only partially engaged in a conversation because I’m listening to another one in my head. It’s not fair to the person I’m talking to. I know that. I want to do better. Deep breaths are one of our bodies most clever tricks to calm our minds, bring us to the present and allow us to focus.
When my thoughts are distracting me from truly listening to someone speak, I will take long, slow deep breaths until I am brought back to focus on the present conversation.
2016 Goal: Find my niche in my business.
Reflection: I don’t know the direction I am going. I don’t yet know what is the “one” thing I should be doing in my business to give true value to my readers. I often feel as though I am struggling to find my path as I navigate the ever changing dos and don’ts of the online world, the new social media platforms and the best ways to share content (Blog? Youtube videos? Podcast? Offline initiatives? etc). I often hop around from one thing to the next to see what sticks without having a real defined and strategic business plan. I need help. I need to find a business coach to help me understand where I should be focusing my energy and time. (If anyone has recommendations, I would love your advice.)
- Who Me + business coach
- What Hire a business coach
- When January 4th – January 15
- Where Coffee Shop
- Why To help me define the one thing I should be doing to give value to my readers and grow my business.
- How On January 4th I will dedicate the day to researching business coaches, writing emails to them and will choose a business coach by January 15.
2016 goal: Become a more thoughtful wife.
Reflection: I put my business first. Poor Mr. Italicano. I feel as though I could have won the worst wife of the year award. In 2016 I put more energy and passion into growing italicana kitchen than into spending time with my husband and planning for our future as a couple. I am so passionate about what I am building, and want it to succeed that I often times cut Mr. Italicano out or I bore him to death with talking about the business.
After 8pm talking about work is off limits. No exceptions.
2016 Goal: Finish my novel.
Reflection: I am afraid to fail. It’s been eight years since I moved to Italy to write a fiction novel. Writing a novel is my life’s dream. I can’t fail or be critiqued while I am in the “process”, so I’ve never pushed myself to really finish. I need to open myself to failure. Maybe my novel will be a hit, maybe it won’t. I will never know unless I show it to the world.
- Who Me + my friend Marie
- What Send the second half of my novel to Marie
- When December 31 – January 7
- Where Coffee shop
- Why To get honest feedback and make changes before contacting an agent.
- How I will block out 3 hours each day in the period above from 6 to 9a.m to finish the last half of the book and send it to Marie by January 7th.
Instead of writing new lofty goals for 2017, which I will probably never accomplish. I want to successfully complete those that I haven’t finished in 2016. Thanks to this moment of reflection, I’ve been able to break down my big 2016 goals into smaller, more actionable goals for 2017. I feel confident. I feel hopeful that this year I can achieve them and produce business and personal growth.
If this article has been useful to you, I would love to hear your comments. Wishing you a very Happy New Years filled with love, happiness and growth.