We will soon reach what some call ‘Quitters’ Day’. 19 January is the day when apparently people all over the world no longer have the motivation to pursue their New Year resolutions and give up on them. During my 'Adeus 2021, Bem-vindo 2022' workshops, I realized that reflecting on the past year is a better technique. Looking at your lessons learned and acknowledging failures, important decisions and epiphanies is much more powerful. Merely setting New Year’s goals and measuring your success through the expectations of others doesn't work as well.
In this article, I will share with you why you might struggle to “plan” your career or business path for 2022. I offer some questions you can ask yourself instead and what to focus on during the first quarter of this year. Through these, you can find the energy and capacity to grow and create again.
Why you struggle to define your career vision
I was wondering why I feel resistance to plan my year, to set ambitious goals, when every business coach tells me to do so. I listened to a podcast where one founder shared her dream. She is working towards a house by the beach, she has visualized it and comes back to this dream all the time. This gives her motivation to work hard, sell more and grow her company every year.
I was thinking: What is stopping her? If she really wanted to live by the beach, she could have moved already. Or is this a dream she is chasing (but never actually wants to fulfill) because it's more about the thriving to be or do something "better" that keeps us going?
It was then that I realized: wait a moment, I live by the beach already and I don’t want to have a house right now. I enjoy my flexibility and mobility while living in one of the most soul-feeding parts of the world (for me). I don’t have a six-figure business yet, because that is not what defines a successful business/career for me.
Maybe it is less about wanting something else and more about appreciating what is already well. All the possibilities of what could come next. I am content with my work life. Nothing makes me happier than being in a session with a client who is in the same state of mind: “I am complete, peaceful. I look forward to what will unfold this year.”
F*&C New Year, New You!
If you would like to create a vision for your career, what about tuning into what feels light and freeing for you?
Instead of writing down numbers on spreadsheets, think about what fulfillment looks like for your own career journey.
What is already working?
What are you learning where you are right now?
What would be an enjoyable, restorative first quarter of the year?
And yes, your career vision can include making a certain amount of money. It filled me with immense joy to know that my income in 2021 was higher than what I earned in my corporate job. I like the feeling of growing, creating and learning new things. I value even more that I can work with people I connect with on a deep level. I have the freedom to go for a walk every day or to build a community of inspiring, international people who live their life in their own way.
Close your eyes and connect to your wholeness. Think that you are in the exact right place in your work life right now. You will feel much more ease, lightness to create from this state instead of “all the things I need to accomplish” to be finally satisfied.
If you have built that six-figure business, there will be the next number to reach. If you have that house by the beach, you might feel overwhelmed with the new challenges this brings. If you look a certain way, there will still be people who look much more perfect and you might still feel empty and unfulfilled.
What to focus on instead in Q1 2022, if you don’t want to chase New You resolutions
I work with a lot of working mothers, who have been through a lot in the last years. You may feel depleted or defeated from the constant uncertainty and disruption. In this case, it is even more important that instead of beating yourself up for not reaching certain goals, you take care of your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual energy.
Loehr and Schwartz developed the concept of “corporate athletes” in 2001 when applying their research with athletes on the performance of executives. One of the key findings is that stress stimulates growth, but too much stress without recovery is a recipe for burnout.
If you want to perform with peak energy in your own work life, you can think about which habits and behaviors fill or drain your energy. What if for the next three months you choose to focus on taking best possible care of your own peace?
What would that look like? How would you go through your day? What would be the first thought in the morning and last at night that you say to yourself?
Spiritual: How aligned are you with your values? What nourishes your soul and gives you joy? How are you making a difference in the world? What if you had the permission to say “no” to society’s ways of living a “successful” life? Make space for new experiences, adventure. What are other beliefs that you need to let go off? What support do you need?
Mental: What do you want to learn? How do you keep focus on what’s important to you? How do you avoid constant distractions and procrastination?
Emotional: How do you deal with setbacks? When do you give space to your feelings? How do you talk to yourself? Through the work with my clients, I also see that a lot of us long for connecting with people face-to-face again. To be in community. How can you make that happen? Where do you go to be listened to properly?
Physical: With which nutrients are you fuelling your body? What do you do to rest? How do you make time to move your body? We know sleep is very important for overall health and a strong immune system. How well are you sleeping? I have noticed that my body is asking for more rest. Instead of working out early in the morning with the perfect New Year motivation, I wake up with the still quite late sunrise, meditate, breathe and do things extra slowly in the morning.
If you have overcome lots of challenges in the last year and long for healing, reconnecting with your life force and meeting amazing like-minded (future) entrepreneurs, I invite you to join us for a week-long retreat in the Algarve, Portugal from 29 April to 6 May 2022.
We will work on your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional energy so that you are able to create the next steps on your work life journey aligned with what is truly important to you. Click here to find all the information, including the full agenda.