2022 was a busy year for me, filled with lots of learning and change. First I changed jobs, then I finished my coach training at Canada Coach Academy, and then finally decided to change jobs again when I launched my own business. It’s been a whirlwind and I still haven’t really caught my breath! But now, with the year almost over, I’m reflecting back on my journey so far and reminding myself what I learned along the way.
The importance of values in goal-setting
I learned a lot in my coach training program, but something that bears mentioning here is the importance of aligning your goals with your values. When we think about what’s important in setting goals, I think a lot of our minds go to “SMART”. We focus on making our goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, but we sometimes forget about ensuring that they’re aligned to our core values or our vision of our future life.
This January, I changed how I do my goal setting to incorporate reflecting on my core values and linking each goal to one or more values. I also visualized my ideal future and ensured that my goals were moving me closer to the future I wanted to see. The result was different kinds of goals and better luck with making consistent progress towards them through the year.
A couple of weeks ago, I held my first in-person event for On Being Human Leadership Coaching and we talked about goals. Through our discussion, I was reminded of some good practices I already use — things like reflecting on values, monitoring progress, and ‘chunking’ up bigger goals into more manageable pieces — and picked up some new ideas. Specifically, one of the attendees at the coffee chat uses a mantra to help remind them of their goals. I guess I’m going to start brainstorming mantras for 2023!
The value of trying new things
The second big lesson from this year for me was the value of trying new things.
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut, staying in the cozy glow of your comfort zone. This year, I challenged myself to continue trying new things to stretch myself and keep growing and developing.
I made a couple of really big changes, like I mentioned in the intro, but also a bunch of smaller ones, like scuba diving for the first time and taking up roller skating. Keeping my focus on challenging myself to leave my comfort zone gave me a few big benefits this year:
- It allowed me to live my year in alignment with my core value of courage. This allowed me to feel more authentic and accomplished throughout the year.
- I met new people that I never would have met had I not tried those new things. This exposed me to different ideas and perspectives. My life feels richer for having had these people in it, even if it was just for a short period of time.
- My confidence grew every time I successfully did something that felt scary. Small challenges led to bigger challenges and a greater belief in my ability to figure things out and persevere.
How do you leave your comfort zone? One baby step at a time.
Start by picking something that feels difficult, but not overwhelming. Once you successfully do that thing, celebrate your success and acknowledge the courage that it took for you to do it. Then, pick something a little more challenging.
Why we need to make time to reflect
With all this change, I also reflected on the value of reflection.
Whether you’re making changes in your life or just continuing to build onto what you’ve already established, regular reflection is really important to keep your bearings. Through my coach training, we did lots of reflection and I remembered how much benefit there is to a regular practice.
By incorporating regular reflection activities in my year, I was able to correct course more quickly if what I was doing wasn’t in alignment with my goals or my values. It also allowed me to pause and celebrate my successes more. As someone who has always been obsessed with achievement, I find that difficult, but it makes a huge difference to take a moment to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished instead of always thinking about what’s next.
The power of community
Finally, in all my endeavours this year, I was reminded how important it is to be a part of a community.
I’ve been lucky to meet great people who are willing to support me in different ways as I challenge myself to change. It can be easy to think that you need to go it alone when you’re trying something new, but it’s important to remember that there are lots of other people that are also doing the new thing. They might not be on the same journey as you, but they can still be part of your community of support.
It’s always worth considering, how can I reach out and touch someone?
Now it’s time to take my learnings and leave the rest behind me. 2023 promises to bring more change and more growth, and I’m excited to be on that journey. I’m even more excited to help others develop their own growth plans and support them to make the changes they want to see next year.
What lessons did you learn in 2022 that you’re going to be bringing forward with you into the new year?