At a time when people are busy formulating their resolutions for the coming year, it is more important to look back over the year just gone to remember and acknowledge the journey we have taken. In fact, when we do so, it is easier to see where we want to go in the year ahead. It’s like drawing a graph of our progress. Plotting just one point (the here and now) on the graph is meaningless. We need more data to give our graph perspective. With the addition of a few more points our trajectory becomes visible, and the more positions we plot the more accurate our extrapolation can be.
Taking the time to write down or discuss all the major elements of the previous 12 months, will make you realise how much you have achieved as well as giving you a perspective on how much can be accomplished in such a relatively short space of time, thus preparing you to make the most of the next 12 months.
Here are some of the points from my year.
2011 was all about building on the foundations which had been laid in the previous years. I began the year with a website with which I was satisfied, having refined the content over the course of 2010. However, I had received professional criticism about my company logo, I had business cards which I was increasingly reluctant to hand out because they lacked the quality I was looking for, and I had no clients.
Looking back now, it seems odd because when I reviewed 2010 everything seemed so positive and exciting going in to 2011. And it was. That’s the nature of development. We are improving all the time, so what seemed great then seems a little less significant when viewed within the context of the additional progress we have made.
I had little idea how the year would work out or how I would find clients but I knew I was doing the right thing and I was enjoying everything about it, so I just carried on from where I left off. I began by redesigning the logo and then the business cards. And in March I started the blog. I was fortunate to be still working part-time for the company I had spent five years with in Germany before I moved to the Netherlands in 2009. That job came to a natural end in September and I finally made the move to become a full-time coach.
I finished the year with a new look to the website, a handful of clients and a blog with over 200 entries. I have met a number of people along the way, built relationships with other coaches, spoken extensively with people about the work I do, redesigned the company logo, designed new business cards and created marketing cards. All of it with a focus on delivering a high level of quality.
In 2008 I had the first conversations about setting up C-volution. That year saw the first workshops. In 2009 I consolidated my work, collaborating with my regular workshop attendees on a Communication Handbook, which allowed all of us to experience what is possible if we work together, inspire each other and push ourselves. In 2010 I set up the company and wrote and refined the website. And in 2011 I began what is becoming an extensive blog. Now everything is in place, 2012 will be all about the clients.
My personal development has been stimulated this year by my clients and my blog. Being a coach, I have no choice but to practice what I preach and I am bound to my own development by the work I do. My commitment to my clients has strengthened my commitment to myself, most noticeably in my increased discipline and focus.
Posting my journal entries from 11 years ago has also been beneficial. Reading through each entry prior to publication has shown me that the issues I had then still apply, although they are much less prominent these days. In that respect I am able to see my progress. I can see how well I have done and how well I am doing. But I can also see how much I still have to do and the journal entries remind me of exactly what I need to do to succeed.
I have settled well into my new life in the Netherlands and in November I passed the Dutch exams which were the culmination of the language course I had attended for over a year. An important step for me. I have also established a daily exercise routine which is set to run throughout 2012. In addition I am satisfied with the progress I have made in building relationships.
So the coming year is set up for more of the same. More progress with C-volution; more progress with the Dutch language; more progress with my exercise routine; more progress with my own personal development and more progress in creating, building and maintaining relationships with people. There will be times when I will be forced to leave my comfort zone. It’s part of the process. It happened in 2011 and I expect it to happen even more in 2012.
Some people say it could be a difficult year. It doesn’t have to be. As I wrote in ‘It’s the Future’, the work I do will always find a place where there exist individuals who are looking to work on themselves and who benefit from their successes, their increased awareness and their understanding of behaviour.
Happy New Year! May it be a great one.