Tuesday, 29 December 2009

How to make the most out of 2010?

I don't know about you but I always feel slightly allergic about setting goals. It reminds me of those people that I met when I was younger whose life plans went something like I am going to be married at 30, have made my first million by 33 and had three children before I am forty. My view is akin to that of John Lennon's that life happens to you whilst you are busy making other plans. That said, I had a bit of a wake up call today when my good friend and co-collaborator Beth Follini came round for a session on our Authentic Leadership programme. She asked me about progress on a couple of projects that I had mentioned to her a while back. It got me thinking about what I really wanted out of 2010 hence this post.

It made me realise that whilst I do not hold truck with goal setting, I do believe that each one of us has the ability to create our own future. I like to call it setting intentions, a powerful alternative to goal setting. I realised that I needed to set aside quality time over the next 2-3 days in preparation for 2010 to determine what it was that I wanted from 2010. What I have found this year is that it is not enough to set an overarching intention, it is vital to be specific. The definition of our intention impacts on what actually transpires.

To give you an example, this year my intention was to work collaboratively with others. I have achieved this in quite a meaningful way. However what I forgot to specify was what I wanted from these collaborations except in a vague way. Not surprisingly the outcome has not necessarily been what I desired. I have learnt a lot from what has happened and it will help me be much clearer in terms of my intentions for 2010. My view is that anyone can make goals, what is much more difficult is being clear on what one wants specifically beyond the universal wealth and happiness. What follows are my 6 tips on how to get the most of 2010:

1. Set aside at least an hour to reflect on 2009 and ask yourself what was good and what was bad about the year?

2. Focus on what you want more of and what you would like which was not present in 2009.

3. Check to make sure that what you want is aligned to what is important to you.

4. If the answer is yes then articulate your intentions. If it is your way write them down to revisit some time later in the future.

5. To realise them more quickly, imagine what life will be like when you have achieved them. If it helps make your own collage, create an affirmation (a phrase you can say to yourself starting with I love ....(adding whatever it is that you desire).

6. Keep on believing that your intention is real whatever happens in real time and it will come to fruition.

And yes this is easy to say and much harder to do which is why if you are going for a big change, it can be helpful to have a coach. I am offering a special deal to the first six people that sign up for coaching with me following this blog post. So do let me know how you get on with these tips. I am off now to set my intentions for 2010...


  1. Thanks Kate, I thought this blog was great. Funnily enough I have just started writing my final blog of the year about resolutions. I plan to have none. I have an intention for what I want to happen in 2010 as I had this year. I will work towards that and hope that determination and persistence will see me though. Hope 2010 is fantastic for you.

  2. Intention setting is great!

    I intend that in 2010 to work on 'groundedness' and being more embodied.

  3. I set goals, intentions and deadlines and find they all help.

    Every year, I meet my friend and we write down what we want to achieve/ do in the new year and review each others. I always suggest he could be more ambitious and set some deadlines to making progress eg- new job = revise CV/ speak to a consultant etc. He always suggest that I do something more altruistic, but I always lack time not intention on that one.

    I am one of those people that planned and managed to get married before 30; two lovely kids when I wanted them and the promotions I wanted to afford working part time. I strongly believe, that wanting those things can make them happen- but that I am also incredibly lucky because much of life is also out of your own control.

    But I do believe that having a plan and setting yourself personal objectives is really helpful in giving yourself a push/ and if you revisit them during the year, they are a reminder of where you want to be at the end of it.

    My dad used to say "failure is the only thing to be achieved without effort". I've remembered this line to help me try my best and go for the things I want to do, rather than not try and not make any positive changes.

    I like New Year. I sin all the way through December, knowing that I will have good intentions for the New Year and that over 12 months some or all of my dreams will come true.

    Happy New Year Kate

  4. Inspiring stuff - good luck reaching those goals! By the way, I worked in PwC in London for a couple of years - way back in the late 1990's!

  5. Lovely to hear from you all and Mel I have to say that I have always been inspired by your ability to plan. You are someone that I think of as being v organised and now I see where you got it from. Like the idea of sinning thro' December too and agree that doing this kind of stuff makes it more real. And another ex-PwCer wow! Did not start til 2001 and stayed too long. What did u do there?

  6. "failure is the only thing to be achieved without effort"

    Surely, sometimes, a person (me) can put an enormous amount of effort into something and still fail?

    That is a devastating feeling.