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New Year Resolution or New Year Gift? The 5 Minute Career Coach January 2011
January 01, 2011

Helping Career Changers Around The World

January 2011


Welcome to the January 2011 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach.

What's in this Issue

Happy New Year!

I hope you have had a relaxing and enjoyable festive season and wish you the very best for 2011.

Time for New Year's Resolutions? Why not try something different for a change!

In fact, why not try something different anywhere in your life in the coming year? It could be the career change you are still thinking about (but haven't quite taken action on yet), it could be a new hobby or leisure activity that you have always wanted to try and just haven't got round to, or it could simply be a decision to read something by a new author or on a new topic you haven’t tried before.

Whatever you choose, doing something new, big or small, keeps you alive, alert and learning and that sounds like a pretty positive agenda for the year ahead!

With best wishes

Quote of the Day

"And the day came when the risk of remaining tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

~Anais Nin~

Have you reached that tipping point yet? Will you choose to blossom in 2011?

A New Year Gift

Oh no, it's that time of year again. Time to come up with another New Year Resolution (or maybe you'll just dust off the same one that you have tried and failed with for many years).

Perhaps you'll just give it a miss this year, I hear you say. They never work anyway.

Trying to fix what's wrong?

Well, I think part of the reason that many New Year Resolutions fail is that they are founded on the notion that you have been doing something 'wrong' for the past year or years. You feel bad about this and have to challenge yourself to a struggle to overcome what you see as your failings. So you start by standing at the bottom of the mountain (the one you have failed to climb before) and all you have to do is climb it. Easy? Yeah, right!

Try another way

But how would it be if you were to start at the top of the mountain instead? No hill to climb, no mega-challenge to struggle through. What if you were just to celebrate who and what you are already?

Does that sound too easy? Isn't that sort of... cheating?

There are some fundamental (and faulty) thinking habits locked in here. Does it have to be hard to be worthwhile? Do we always have to focus our efforts on fixing what is 'wrong'?

What about what is already 'right'?

For 2011, how about celebrating who and what you already are instead of focusing on what you are not? I bet there is more to celebrate that you generally give yourself credit for.

OK, I can sense you struggling already. We are all bashful about listing our own positive qualities and achievements. Indeed, you may not even be fully aware of what it is that makes you special.

Ask for feedback

So my suggestion is that you ask for some feedback from half a dozen friends and colleagues who you trust. Ask them simply to tell you what it is they appreciate about you, what qualities they value in you, what things you have done over the last year that they have been impressed with. You might like to send your request by email so that they have time to give a thoughtful and considered response.

And when you get the responses, don’t rubbish them in your own mind with 'oh well, it's only...' Just let them sink in and accept that the praise and encouragement you are receiving is valid and deserved. There is a lot to celebrate about you already – focus on the good and build on that. It will give you a great boost for the year ahead.

A New Year Gift

So this New Year, give yourself a gift rather than set a resolution. The gift of allowing yourself to appreciate the special person you are right now – no changes needed.

And perhaps you would like to give this New Year Gift to someone else too?

Your 5 Minute Coaching Session

Challenging questions are one of the key tools coaches use in helping clients to create change.

Each month I offer you a mini coaching session by asking you a challenging question to think about. The questions I ask are designed to get you thinking in new ways and hopefully gain insights that may open your mind to new possibilities for you career and for your life.

If you were to choose just one word that will define 2011 for you, what would it be?

This might seem like a simple question, but it holds a lot of potential. The word you choose sets the tone and frames your intentions for the year ahead. Things happen in work and in life, but the overall outcome for you depends on your attitude towards it. Let your word define your attitude.

Here are a few suggestions – positive, inspired, joyful, passionate, fun, focused, gracious, forgiving, serene, dynamic, achieving, adventurous, different... Get the idea?

And the word I have chosen for 2011? SMILE!

Recommended Resources

Another great talk from
I have recommended before. It is a wonderful source of food for the brain. Talks to intrigue, inspire and get you thinking.

This time, I'd like to share with you a talk by Chip Conley about measuring what counts in life. Chip runs a very successful hotel business, but it is founded on rather different principles from the ones we are used to.

Chip challenges the way we focus on measuring and valuing only the tangible things that we can measure (eg profit, units sold, client numbers etc) and encourages us to consider what intangibles we could and should be measuring as a new and more meaningful measure of 'success'.

I'll leave it to Chip to tell the rest of the story.

Measuring What Makes Life Worthwhile

And once you have watched Chip, carry on browsing round – there is plenty more to inspire you there!

More recommendations
If you would like to see more recommendations for books and similar resources, follow the link to the Career Change Books page of the How To Change Careers website. Do keep popping back to it as I am adding to it all the time.

And if there are books, websites and other resources that have inspired you and that you would like to recommend, there is a place for you to do so on that page.

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