Happy "Remarkable" New Year

How will 2015 be a stand-out, “remarkable” year for you? I’m not talking resolutions. I’m talking about what will make this an extraordinary year for you and your business.

How was 2014 for you? Like the myriad football teams that we followed during the holidays – without some kind of post-game review, how would any team know where to improve and how to prepare for their next game or season? Schedule time to review what went well and what needs to improve – it’s a great annual habit.

The following questions might help you get started with your “year-in-review:”

  • What made 2014 a uniquely good year?
  • Who made a profound impact on me this past year?
  • How did I make a profound impact on someone else?
  • What strengths did I learn that I have?
  • What habits have I developed that held me back from realizing my goals?
  • What are my most memorable moments from 2014?

As you review 2014 and plan for 2015, you might also ask, “How will I be different in 2015? How do I want to be known? What will make this a stand-out year?” Typically, we set goals for the New Year motivated by what we believe we “should” do, rather than what we are truly passionate about, or “called” to do. The cool thing about being human is that each moment can be an opportunity to make a decision to be more of or less of what we aspire to be.

Here are a few things to think about as you consider how you can accomplish personal change in 2015:

  • Having the courage to try something new and being willing to fail a few times is a pre-requisite to change. Life is truly about practice, since being perfect really isn’t an option, right?
  • A little honest soul-searching will help us test our definitions of the words we use to describe ourselves. For example, what does “honest” or “authentic” mean to you? Does that mean you sugarcoat a response to spare someone’s feelings by not saying what you really believe? Or could you be more honest by learning to communicate your thoughts and feelings without damaging a relationship?
  • How willing are you to ask for and receive feedback that supports personal growth? It’s hard to give and receive feedback, and yet it’s truly one of the best gifts anyone can give you. Think about it – if you had toilet paper on your shoe, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you?  If you were showing up in a not-so-positive way in your company, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you? Having an “accountability partner” can be a great resource as you as you work toward your goals and intentions this year. A small adjustment in our behavior can have extraordinary outcomes. For example, instead of giving advice to someone, what if you were to start asking them questions to help them find their own answers? What if you were willing to take a little extra time to “seek to understand,” as Stephen Covey taught us to do, rather than feeling a need to judge? The results could be amazing.

So, what’s one word or phrase that might be your guide for 2015 to be a stand-out year? I’ve chosen the word “remarkable” as the governing word for my goals and decisions in 2015. It will push me outside of my comfort zone to find opportunities to be extraordinary and to demand honesty and authenticity from myself. How about you?