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4 Easy Steps to Your Best Ever Year

Ever wondered if you could look back on each day, month or year and say ‘that was without doubt my best ever’?  Here’s how to make that happen.

Step 1: The Things that got You to Where You are Today May Not be the Things that Will Get You Where You Want to be Tomorrow.

Part of my immersion into the world of coaching and facilitation involved holding up the mirror and staring into it. One of the many things I discovered about myself was how two specific character traits that I thought were strengths of mine, turned out in fact to be a huge blind spot that was holding me back from fulfilling my goals.

I learnt that my capacity for trusting others and myself, was higher than average. So too was my capacity for thinking all things would work out (optimism), despite some glaringly obvious barriers. These were characteristics that as a young entrepreneur served me well. They helped me start what some would describe as pretty outrageous ventures because I believed that anything was possible and that everyone was well intentioned and would be delighted to help me succeed.

So, what worked for me back then doesn’t work for me now.

Which of your personal characteristics need updating?

Lesson 2: Make Sure you Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

The problem with being overly optimistic and overly trusting was that I tended to bite off more than I could chew and I had about half a dozen sandwiches on the go! Being overly optimistic, I believed that I could easily keep all the plates spinning and of course being overly trusting, I believed my own rhetoric and trusted others to meet my expectations.

But of course being overly optimistic I had the mother of all expectations; that other people could figure out  how to meet my expectations without ever having to tell them what my expectations were!

So I had a choice; be average at loads of things or strive for excellence in one thing.

If you could focus on one thing what it be?

How do you choose what that One Thing is?

Lesson 3: Make Sure the One Main Thing is Directly Connected to What’s Important

Part of the journey of self discovery is also learning about what’s important, our values. Early in my career, I wasn’t  consciously aware of the things that were important to me. If you were to ask me what my top three values were when I first started out in business, I doubt very much that my answers would be the same as if you asked me today.

It’s not because I think our values necessarily change over time, rather I think the values we prioritise change and how we get our values met also changes. Adventure, risk and financial security are still important values to me but how I satisfy these values is different today to 15 years ago. I also know that making a difference and leaving the world a more peacful place than when I found it are now prioroties for me. Knowing this makes it easy for me to set goals, because I know they are goals that matter.

What would make your One Thing compelling?

Lesson 4: Make Sure that Your Actions Make the Boat Go Faster

Ben Hunt-Davis and his rowing team had mantra which guided their behaviour moment to moment, day to day until they achieved their Olympic Gold Medal winning goal at Sydney 2000.

“Will it make the boat go faster”

They eliminated any habits, behaviours or ideas that would not meet their test of making their boat go faster. They even missed out on the opening ceremony because they concluded that standing for 4 hours would interfere with their dietry routines which in the end would not have made their boat go faster.

Taking action each day that moves you incrementally closer to achieving your goals is the only sure fire way of making things happen in your personal or professional life.

What one thing if you did it consistently every day would move you closer to your goal?

So if you want this next week, month, year, life to be different to the last then pay attention to these 4 things:

1. The things that got you to where you are today may not be the things that will get you where you want to be tomorrow.

2. Make Sure you Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

3. Make Sure the One Main Thing is Directly Connected What’s Important

4. Make Sure That Your Actions Make the Boat Go Faster

Happy Days!

Would love to get your comments and feedback on this post, so please feel free to write them in the comments section below. I read and reply to every single one.
Thanks in anticipation!

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  • Gondodm

    Dear Aled,

    You are so thougtful and practical with matters of life. I believe in you.

     Wishing you a merry christmas and a prosperious New Year. 

    David Gondo

    • Anonymous

      David, thank you!
      Best wishes for 2012


  • Gerry Andrews

    Hi Aled,

    great questions to use!!  We don’t often stop and ask ourselves these questions, yet expect to have the answers.  

    Thanks for this post.

    Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year!

    Gerry Andrews

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Gerry.

      Asking questions is the easy part, answering them less so. The tough bit is where the tyre hits the tarmac and taking action!

      Best wishes

  • Erica Yoon

    Hi Aled,
    This was a super reminder today. I will keep these 4 points in mind as a checklist as I continue to strive in my new direction. Thank you. Always a pleasure to read your articles.

    • Aled

      Thanks Erica – sorry for not responding to your comment sooner, (was too busy focusing on making my boat go faster;)

  • D Blarcom

    I like your thoughts and style of presentation. Thanks for the free coaching.

    • Aled

      Thanks for the feedback, a bit slow in responding, sorry – my best year yet will involve timely responses to comments ;-)

  • Roger

    Great stuff, thank you. I do far too many things.
    I enjoy the boat analogy.

    • Aled

      Thanks Roger. I’ve caught myself with a ‘to-do’ list that is far too long, so there’s still some work to be done!


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