I cannot believe it’s December, already! Where did this year go?! Well, it brought me to some places I wanted it to and others I didn’t. If you’re like many I meet, you’re pulled in countless directions by work, family, friends, community obligations, and more. We get into a “to-do” rut like a gerbil on a treadmill, continuously going and going but not making any move to get off. This seems “normal” and we accept that this is the way it should be.

Enter the holidays and the start of a new year, with even more to do! BUT this time of year is really a gift, if you choose to look at it as such. It’s the time when, for most of us, work slows down, we tend to spend more time with our families and friends and if you’re lucky, you have some time “off” from the daily grind. It’s in this window of opportunity that you can STOP the “to-do” treadmill, take a few really deep breaths and spend some mindful time reconsidering all that you are doing and what you want the next year to bring.  

Every year at this time, I spend some quiet time creating a list of goals in each of the eight areas of life that are most important to me using the format seen here on the right. Ultimately, I strive to have a personal satisfaction level of 7 or higher in each of these areas (on a scale of 1 being low to 10 being high).

  1. Career
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Community Involvement
  5. Health/Fitness
  6. Personal Development
  7. Spirituality
  8. Wealth/Financial

[To create YOUR personalized list of your top eight areas, you can substitute in any of these other areas for ones that are more important to you like Travel, Physical Environment, Education, Fun and Recreation, Romance, or Hobbies. ]

The goals consist of things I’d like to have, do or be during the year. Consciously setting these realistic and positive intentions is a wonderful start to the year. I then stick the paper under my office phone so when I dust my office (every month or so), I take a look at what I set out for myself. I sometimes cross off goals that I have accomplished or don’t care to do and may even add new things to the list. And when the end of the year comes around again, I create a fresh list.

Let’s just say I am really looking forward to doing it again this year! I need to get off my proverbial treadmill, take some deep breaths and get mindful with my life again. If you have any questions about how to use this format, please email me. And if you are looking to really make some serious life adjustments and work with a great Life Coach, consider my colleague Karin Joy Whitley. She’s the real deal who walks her talk!

Wishing you a mindful holiday season and wonderful start to your New Year!

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