Guest blog by Carey Berchulc
Carey is a Human Resources Executive with 15+ years of experience in developing leaders and professionals, driving organizational culture, and helping businesses evolve. As a Performance Coach specializing in goal achievement, her approach helps bring clarity, direction, and positive support to her clients. Carey is passionate about helping others to elevate their lives by working with them to close the gap between where they are now, and where they want to be. By identifying where growth is desired, setting goals and objectives, and holding accountability, clients become empowered to reach their highest goals and dreams.
Carey is a 2021 graduate of the JRNI Coaching Intensive. You can follow her work on Instagram @keepmovingforwardcoach and LindedIn @careyberchulc.
Make 2022 Your Best Year Yet
"Wow, this year really flew by. I can’t believe it’s December already!”
Is this something you find yourself saying (maybe even involuntarily), year after year, especially when reflecting on what you set out to accomplish with fire and vigor in the first week of January? Or maybe it’s another cycle of “This is my year” and “This is the year I’m finally going to (insert your favorite big endeavor here)”.
Yeah, that was me too. Moving from day to day and month to month without focus, without a mission, without knowing what I was working for. I always knew I wanted life to be a certain way, but didn’t give it much more thought after that. Queue the spinning wheels without gaining any forward momentum.
What I write about below is a practice that has helped mentally prepare not only me, but my coaching clients to successfully take on any endeavor, aligning and living with intention.
Ending 2021 On A High Note
This time is crucial! What we do in the dwindling days of the year can really help shape our mindset and our potential for success in 2022. Our reflections and actions at this time can be part of our formula for success, or set us up for another year of “Where did that time go?”
The end of the year tends to be chaotic, with many things stretching us thin both personally and professionally, which makes it easy to lose sight of our intentions and how we want to end this year and begin the new one. It’s important to keep in mind that whether we love or hate the holiday season, it will soon come to an end.
When all of the mayhem is over, we know that we still want to feel like we’re in control of our lives. Staying connected with the things that are important to us helps us come out of the holidays feeling empowered. Here are some things we can all do to help ourselves (and our clients) end 2021 on a high note.
1. Align yourself with what is important.
This includes keeping your Life Wheel in the forefront of your mind:
- Financial goals and sticking to a budget
- Connection with others
- Self care and downtime
- Personal growth
2. Reflect on your achievements from the year.
Without deep reflection, it’s so easy to look back and not recognize the great things that you DID achieve. One of my general focuses with all of my clients, regardless of our mission, is the art of reflection. This includes the practice of daily reflection and documentation of achievements.
No win is too small.
3. Be realistic about the challenges you encountered in 2021.
The pandemic brought significant changes to most of our lives and forced us to adapt in ways we may have never imagined.
Maybe you had to continue home-schooling, managing working from home without having access to child care, or working long, physically and mentally exhausting shifts because of the pandemic. Or perhaps, your schedule went from a slower pace to busy again because activities and obligations that were closed off to us for a year and a half began to resume again. Whatever shifts each of us may have encountered no doubt gave the opportunity for roadblocks to be thrown at our intentions.
4. Be Kind to Yourself.
Not only is self compassion the #1 habit to help us feel happy and fulfilled, it’s the one we’re least likely to practice. Instead of letting your inner critic take over and shout about the things you may have fallen short of this year, try to flip it and focus on the things that went right, what you have accomplished, and the obstacles you’ve overcome.
Moving Intentionally into 2022
We know by now that resolutions typically don’t work for most people. It’s really self sabotage in the most common form.
When we set out to achieve something big, but don’t have a plan and shorter term goals in place, we are essentially expecting to take our life vehicle from 0-100 to a destination that we haven’t put into our GPS! Then, if we fall short, we either procrastinate indefinitely or chalk it up to another failed attempt at something and vow to start over.
Why Start Now?
Most of us start the year with the best of intentions, but without some pre-work and mental planning, you are more likely to let your goals fizzle at the first sign of burnout or distraction.
Proper goal planning takes time and thought. You have routines to plan and roadblocks to anticipate! If the last 2 years has taught us anything, it’s that curveballs can get thrown at us in the most drastic way, at any time. Considering these possibilities in advance gives you the preparation to adequately maneuver through them so you aren’t stopped in your tracks.
Setting intentions around your 2022 goals now also helps you to stay in control of the area of your life that you intend to build throughout the rest of the year. I don’t know about you, but I have an old and well used habit that tells me to go all out and enjoy to the fullest, because I’ll start my work towards my “goal” in the new year (or next month, or tomorrow, or on Monday!)
When you stay close to what you want to achieve, you tend to naturally avoid things that dig you into a deeper hole that will create more work for you when the new effort around the goal starts.
Think Big, Act Small, Move Quick!
My favorite metaphor around goal achievement ties to the caring of a new plant. If I bought a house plant, my plan wouldn’t be to drown it in water for a week and then stop abruptly because it showed signs of drowning. I’d give it a little water in consistent intervals and watch it thrive. Similarly, when we’re working towards something challenging, we can’t expect to go full force in the first 5 days and then achieve what we hoped with no further effort!
My favorite goal setting framework follows the same, simple principle. It’s not overly complicated or technical. When working with clients on starting a new goal, one of the first questions I ask is:
“What is the smallest amount of work that you can do to get going?”
This process involves taking a bigger goal, assessing the smallest chunks of steps to gain momentum towards achievement, setting a deadline to complete those steps and then moving on to the next chunk. The beauty in this framework is the magic that happens when a small step toward the big goal is accomplished. The confidence that the achievement of the small step produces is a natural motivator to move on to the next step.
Better yet, I’ve never needed anything more than a basic spreadsheet or a piece of paper and a thought process to get started.
It’s Go Time!
Now is the time to start. Take action today by carving out one hour this weekend to start the thought process. Here are some prompts to help you and your clients get the energy flowing:
- What do you want in 2022?
- What worked well this year?
- What challenges came up?
- What challenges can you anticipate for next year?
What is one thing you can do right now that will set you up for success in 2022?
Want to Become A Coach?
One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches like Carey ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.