2012 is here – with its 365 days plus one extra (it is a leap year!) to be used for creating and living a meaningful life. An entire year is a perfect construction site for something truly remarkable. These days, some people are making wishes, some write resolutions, some simply get on with their lives. I tend to believe that there is a certain charm in the freshness of these first days of January and, no matter what one’s attitude towards resolutions and “I start a new life” rhetorics is, anyone could benefit from the power of context.
The context is the perspective you take on the year to come. It is the framework, within which you advance with your goals. Contextifying the year ahead
- supports you in getting more clarity regarding your intentions: you choose what you will focus on
- creates more accountability for results: you set clear commitments (specific, measurable)
- helps you to stay on track: you can always refer to the context for inspiration and direction
So, having a context for the next year can be the source of invaluable support if you aim for awesomeness (I hope you do). Personally, I have experimented with setting the year context in 2011 and was pleased with the results. Here is the context procedure that I follow and can recommend:
1) choose the year’s main theme and formulate it with one, maximum three words – this theme will be your guideline for the year. For example, in 2011 I worked with “greatness” and “getting serious”. In 2012, my theme is “self-worth”.
2) take an open-ended research question to work with – asking this question over and over again will create the space for discoveries to happen. In the coaching profession, questioning is my favorite tool of the trade. Living with an open-ended question takes you beyond the realm of the known, away from “yes/no” duality and mechanical answers. Ask a question once, and you will answer it with something that you already know. Ask a question 365 times, and at some point your mind will run out of answers, and you will be free to look and receive insights.
My questions for 2012 are: 1)What is it that I am in denial about? And 2)What would make me more happy this year? The second question was inspired by a recent post by Gretchen Rubin on resolutions.
3) pick several check questions – to support you in staying on track. My favorite check questions are: What would love do? Am I being true? Am I giving or am I taking?
In addition, I believe it makes sense to write your context down and develop a habit of going back to your notes regularly to monitor your progress.
Final questions: What will 2012 be about for you? What goal or theme will you dedicate it to?