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January 15, 2015
Well, it's that time of year when you have probably at least considered the question, "What am I going to do differently this year?" Yet, if statistics are correct, most of us will have abandoned our 'resolutions' by the beginning of February. Really. That means THIS is the window to make it happen. This is the time to contemplate, what new behavior or practice can be turned into a habit so that the change won't be so hard to maintain? Before we look forward, it may be useful to look back and do a mini-evaluation of last year. Today's article and questions may help you do that. Then, with those reflections in mind, let us move into 2015 with new resolve.

Happy New Year!
Featured Article
The Road Ahead: What Will You Do Differently This Year?

Changing the way things are done can bring fresh energy and ideas as well as opportunities for greater success. But reactions to change may be fearful and irrational, which can result in setbacks or failures, a decrease in the quality of our work, or a loss of production or momentum. When it comes to work, business, or life, it can be tempting to give in to those anxieties by doing what's always been done, what's comfortable and familiar, even if we know it wasn't really working for us. Deciding to have a better year always involves some form of adjustment ~ we need to free up the time, money and energy to tackle new opportunities. But before moving forward, let's take a moment to revisit last year:

1. What did I accomplish last year? Be specific. Write it all down. Think about personal and work accomplishments. Acknowledge and celebrate these accomplishments!

2. What did I learn last year? What skills did you pick up? What emotional lessons?

3. What got in my way? What were your obstacles? How will those obstacles be addressed this year? This is where your work will be this year.

4. Who contributed to my successes? What can you do to recognize these members of your personal or professional team?

5. What mistakes did I make, and what did I learn from them? Writing these down is a good refresher for what not to do this year and make conscious choices to do it differently.

6. How was my work consistent with my values? What will you do with the inconsistencies?

7. Where did I not take responsibility? Sometimes this is easier to see with a little distance from the actual event.

8. How did my performance rate? Give yourself a letter grade or a 1-10 score on various aspects of your year.

9. What do I need to let go of? Doing so can help you move much more lightly into this year.

10. What was missing for me last year? How can you incorporate what was missing into this year?

11. What have I been tolerating? What tolerations interfered with your personal and/or work progress? Tolerations are a good indication of issues in need of resolution.

Setting new goals without having evaluated the previous year's goals can result in a cycle of unmet goals.

What can I change to have a better year?

Choose passion over profit. Connect to your bigger purpose in life, work and business and rewards will flow. Passionate people attract success. You still need to make the effort but passion helps you stay the course.

Higher learning. Technology changes fast. Staying on top of what's working now is only half the battle. Keeping up with new research, perspectives and information, and then leveraging that knowledge may be the key to an exceptional year.

Celebrate success. Acknowledging and rewarding success keeps everyone motivated. Mark those mini-milestones with celebration and recognition!

Identify blind spots. Every driver has blind spots. That's why we have rear and side-view mirrors. Blind spots in our own life and work environment can be harder to identify. How does a person avert disaster without the benefit of mirrors?

Ask around. Getting honest feedback from friends, colleagues, clients, customers and service providers can be as uncomfortable as it is invaluable. Do it anyway. Encourage them to share their observations about what you are doing well and what could handle improvement. Sometimes what needs to change is missed because it is so "obvious."

Seek professional help. Getting an objective outsider's opinion can help you see what is going well or not and help you make the changes to make this a great year.

Reflecting on the past, making conscious decisions about going forward and having a clear sense of what's ahead, can circumvent failure and create a successful year.

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

On the Horizon
Calling All Creative Entrepreneurs!
Are you a self-identified/freelance artist (writer, photographer, filmmaker, visual artist, musician, actor, director, other...) Please take this brief survey to assist in the design of an online-interactive coaching program to help take you to the next level personally and professionally:

Individual Life Coaching:
If you would like to move forward with your goals for 2015, please contact me to see if coaching might assist you reach or surpass those goals.
Words to Ponder
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
- Confucius

"Darling, please do not refuse the reality of change, because it is only through change that anything grows. Change is the premise of quantum mechanics, is at the heart of the seed which turns into a young bud, which turns into a beautiful flower or a gigantic tree! It is change that creates cities and change that makes valleys, mountains and volcanoes! It is change that mends the heart, molds the mind and etches new ways of being upon one's eyes! It is impermanence that is at the root of planets, solar systems and galaxies! It is impermanence that dictated the premise for you to be formed from the dusts of the stars! So why darling, why do you refuse change?"
- C. Joybell C.
With a background in education, social work, and psychology, I understand the various ways that people are motivated to change. Throughout my career, I have promoted growth and development, healing, and change. I have worked as an educator and psychotherapist and have provided training, workshops, and professional development programs.

As a Life Coach, I work with professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs who get stuck in the routines and busyness of everyday life. Some have postponed or been derailed from their personal or professional goals, but are motivated to reclaim their lives and live more in accordance with their core values. Others simply value the notion of 'not going it alone' and see the benefits of working with a coach to achieve more than what they could do on their own. I help people envision their future and identify what they most want and need in order to thrive. I help them overcome obstacles so that they can spend their time and energy more intentionally. Through coaching, my clients reach beyond what they thought was even possible and actively create more meaningful personal and/or work lives.

I live in Toronto with my wonderful partner. We have two incredible and talented teenagers.
Paula Klein
Life Coach and Social Worker (MSW)

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