The Following Article was Published in Cascade Business News December 19, 2001

"Lighten Up!!"

By Ann Golden Eglé, PCC , CPCC Of Golden Visions Success Coaching

A funny thing happens to many of us who are at the helm of our businesses toward the end of each year. Rather than feeling the ecstasy of all that we were able to accomplish, learn, create and experience, we focus upon what we did not achieve.

Guess what, life simply does not have to be as hard or burdensome as we make it! There are huge professional and personal benefits to lightening up!

To effectively plan for the New Year, it is vital that we first really ‘get’ the learning that this past year has presented to us. And, that we lighten up on ourselves as we do this! Otherwise, how will we avoid making the same mistakes over and over again?

Here are some suggestions for having a little more fun, yet still being highly effective in closing out 2001:

  • Breathe! Get it clear in your head that this year is nearly complete. You cannot change whatever went right or wrong for you. All there is to do is to learn from it. In taking a lighter approach this year, you just may triple your learning.
  • Find an out- of-the-way spot to begin jotting down your thoughts on this past year, preferably away from the distractions of your office. Might I suggest going to the coast, the mountains or even Sun River for a new atmosphere?
  • Begin this process alone. You can bring in additional expertise and opinions in time but the initial work must occur in the privacy of your own mind.
  • Make a list of all that went right for you this year. What marketing or PR campaigns, business or hiring strategies, sales campaigns, etc., really got the job done? Get a clear picture and be as detailed as possible.
  • Begin to get a sense of what made these elements work for you. What was the spark that ignited for you? Was it the people involved, your attitude, creativity, or intensity? What shifted to make things fall into place so beautifully?
  • Create a second list of what did not go so hot for you, assessing blame nowhere. Simply begin with the facts, i.e., sales were off by ___%; I blew $___ on an approach that did not produce a cent; working ___ -hour weeks lessened my enthusiasm by mid year, which killed my productivity; working ____ -hour weeks did not get the job done!
  • Next, step back, breathe again and take a wider view to deepen your learning of what did not work for you. I.e., I didn’t make a cent on this effort; however, I did have great visibility and can build future campaigns upon this initial effort. Working that many hours lessened my enthusiasm, but that initial work is now completed and I can move into what I really enjoy. I really messed up in this area, period. Lesson learned. Keep going for the truth of what this was really about for you!
  • This next step is important--decide what failures, real or perceived, you can attribute to ‘lessons learned in 2001’, so that you can leave them in proper perspective as you enter the next year. In other words, stop beating yourself up over them! Lighten up as you move forward.
  • Finally, go back to list #1 and set goals around how you will expand upon all that went right for you this past year. Be creative, have fun and dream big!

By lightening up your load through the above debriefing exercises, you will resolve your issues rather than dragging anything that is unresolved into your new year.

Know that by entering 2002 with a lighter load you will have already increased your odds of creating your best year ever!

Ann Golden Eglé, CPCC, PCC, owner of Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, can be reached at 541-385-8887 or Eglé coaches professionals, executives and entrepreneurs and also authors a free e-mail coaching "Thought of the Week".

Reprinted with Permission of the Cascade Business News, December 19, 2001

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