Happy Monday & Happy New Year!
I hope this monthly letter finds you well and you had a truly magical holiday. As always, I felt the festive season went too quickly, which is why I approach January with an extra dose of care and compassion. This means taking things slowly while continuing to graze on my Christmas chocolates!
Last week I enjoyed reconnecting with my routine. It was a joy to get into the swing of things and to meet with a few of my clients. I’m excited to see what ideas, plans and goals we can develop together over the coming months. If you’re seeking some coaching support, please feel free to get in touch - I’d love to hear from you.
Keep on running
Before Christmas, I started running again, which is something I’m very happy about! A few years ago, I suffered from a painful knee injury and when I say painful, I could hardly walk up the stairs. I received physio on our amazing NHS and since then, I’ve attempted the NHS Couch to 5K running programme on three occasions, never making it past the first week.
Anyway, not one to give up, I attempted it for a fourth time, and I managed to reach week three. This is pretty exciting for me after so many setbacks and disappointments. My dream is to run the Junior Park Run with the little people in my life before they get too big and leave their auntie for dust!
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, January is a time of resolutions, plans, big dreams and goals. So, if you haven’t decided what you want from the year ahead, I want to gently remind you that there’s always tomorrow, or next week, or next month, and that it’s okay to fail again and again and again. I used to run 10 miles in 90 minutes and now I can just about manage to jog for 90 seconds. When we lower the bar and stop being so hard on ourselves, who knows what we might achieve!
Setting my intention for the new year with a word
In recent weeks, I’ve been reflecting on 2018, while planning what I’d like from the shiny new year ahead. As a rule, I like to make plans and set goals while remaining open to ideas and opportunities as they arise. I think it’s fun to set out with a general direction and see what gifts appear along the way. While I don’t usually choose a word to guide me, I noticed the word ‘connection’ coming up over and over. Here are some of the ways I see it shaping my year.
Connection with myself
In 2019, I’d like to be a little more mindful of how I’m feeling and what direction I’m being guided towards. This is because I find there’s often an internal battle between what I want to do and what I think I should do – know the feeling? My goal is to let go of the pressure I put on myself, to allow things to flow naturally. I know this is easier said than done but I’m willing to give it a go!
I’d also like to continue to learn who I am and what legacy I’d like to leave the world – pretty big, eh? Although I believe this is an ongoing journey, I’ve certainly noticed I’m better able to connect with my inner guide when I quieten my mind through creativity, exercise, meditation or by switching off and getting outside. I’d like to get to the heart of what I truly want from this chapter of my life.
Last week I started Julia Cameron’s 12-week programme called The Artist’s Way. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for many years and I’m looking forward to connecting with my creative self in a more intentional way. I’m already seeing the value of writing the morning pages – a process of writing a three-page stream of consciousness. I’m hoping the discipline of getting my thoughts down on paper will help me to better understand myself and where I’d like to go next.
In addition to this, I plan to read one lifestyle, self-care or personal/professional development book a month (I’ve just finished You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero and started The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey - taking me ahead of my schedule!), continue to attend as many talks and business courses as my time permits and obtain the next European Mentoring and Coaching Council qualification. I love learning and Oxford is a brilliant city to learn, develop and grow.
Connection with others
I see this happening in a few areas of my life - from being generous with the time I spend with family and friends, to continuing to enjoy insightful and impactful conversations with my clients. My goal each year is to meet as many new people as I can, and this will continue to be a priority. As an extrovert (ENFJ), I love being in the company of others, hearing their stories and sharing ideas. I think there’s an abundance of wisdom and value to be found in everyday conversations.
With a desire for a greater sense of connection, I also plan to spend less time online. To support me, I’ve already deleted all the social media apps from my phone and removed my Facebook profile, keeping only my business page plus a few business groups. Although I think the digital world is an excellent way to meet like-minded folk, in recent years I feel it’s stopped me from forming and nurturing deeper relationships in the real world.
Connection with the world
I would also like to feel a greater sense of belonging - a tricky one to achieve when you work freelance! I recently explored this with my coach, and I’ve been pondering a few options from voluntary or part-time work to getting more involved in my local community. I haven’t quite figured out how this will look, but I'm excited to see where it could lead. Right now, I’m keeping my options open to see what emerges.
In addition to this, I would like to achieve a deeper connection with the environment. The findings of last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report truly saddened me and I’ve been trying to make more informed lifestyle choices ever since. Although I buy very little, my plan is to only purchase items that need replacing, while being mindful of where they're produced, how they’re packaged and so on. I’m also looking into other ways I can make a positive change and help out.
I hope that by focusing on my desire for connection, I can let the word gently guide me through my year. I can feel this is going to be a time of change and I’m open to new ideas and possibilities. I’d love to know if you’ve selected a word to shape your year. Please feel free to hit reply and let me know.
Thank you for reading. I wish you a beautiful and inspiring month ahead and keep creating.
Until next time,
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