Looking forward in a new year by Charlotte Rydlund

Guest Blogger - Charlotte Rydlund

What is it about starting a new year that gets people in a positive spirit?  Whatever your new year’s resolution is, the challenge is of course to keep it. Lose weight? Start eating right? Get better at organizing or prioritizing? I’ve promised myself all of those over the years. I realized, however, that those were things I was working on anyway (with more or less success), so why not focus on something more concrete instead?

Two years ago, I promised myself I would wear high heels to work at least once a week; I did throughout the whole year, and sometimes I even wore them more often. At the end of the year however, I realized that I really don’t like wearing heels; at least I had stuck to my new year’s resolution. It was concrete.

This year my resolutions are concrete again – I’m going to learn how to knit socks, and learn to do the yoga head stand. More than that, many of the plans that were kicked off in 2012 are going to happen in 2013, so there are many exciting things to come.

There are many who are in a similar position, anticipating significant changes based on things that were started in 2012 – such as friends of mine expecting their first child, others getting married after getting engaged just before the new year, others are changing jobs or geographies. Whatever the change is, we have somehow prepared ourselves for the change(s) to come, be it consciously or unconsciously. But how prepared can we be?

Sun Tsu says “In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace” – in other words, practice hard, fight easy so that we can be prepared for the unknown. Can we apply this to our daily lives? I believe we can, if we believe in ourselves and if we do what we say we will do. This takes perseverance, courage, flexibility and sometimes plain stubbornness. But it can also take some outside support to help us become more self-aware and purposeful. This is where coaching comes in.

Maybe we already have all the tools to be prepared for war even in times of peace, meaning we have all the tools we need to face unexpected changes and challenges. Coaching can unlock our self-awareness of these tools, which in turn can transform an unexpected change or challenge into a new opportunity. That’s my challenge to myself and to you this year – instead of being hard on yourself to stick to an ambiguous new year’s resolution, find your own way, with coaching or another means, to seek out new challenges and opportunities (like knitting socks?) and thereby, to learn something you didn’t expect along the way. The world is your oyster.