Archive for January, 2009


Insightful New Year Resolutions

Posted by: Barbara | Comments (0)

As January rolls around, I am reminded of the Roman God Janus, who is depicted with two heads, facing in opposite directions.  He is said to have the ability to look forward and backward at the same time, which is why he is designated as the guardian of gates, doors, bridges and pathways.  He symbolizes the gift of seeing the past and the future to ensure safe and smooth transitions.  Hence we have his namesake of January as the beginning of every year or janitor as the watchdog of the grounds.  


Janus provides us with a valuable lesson as we set our resolutions for 2009.  Before we look ahead toward what is desired in the months to come, we first need to look back and take into account what we have learned about ourselves in the past 12 months.  A survey done by the University of Washington found that 65% of those who made resolutions at the end of the year did so without proper thought and circumspection.  This is a formula for failure and why so many people forego their good intentions.


Successful resolutions are those that are sustained by a full personal commitment to change.  This commitment is a result of a thoughtful and honest assessment of the past; especially noticing our patterns from previous derailed tasks and projects.  To avoid repeating these mistakes, take the time to review your successes and failures.  Ask yourself why you lost focus and how you could do better.  Identify the people who have had a positive impact on your growth and those who stood in your path.  Welcome the opportunity to learn from your challenges and develop an “insightful” resolution where you’ll find success this time next year.  Be assured 2009 will come and go without you taking one tiny baby step toward your goals.  So why not make the most of this coming year?  Hold the vision that next January you’ll be celebrating your successfully accomplished resolutions and ready to set even loftier heights in 2010.  


Action Steps for Success  


Below are a few probing questions I ask my clients to help them construct their list of resolutions. To ensure your success, identify realistic and specific goals, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  At least one or more should stretch your wildest dreams!  

  • What values are paramount to my happiness?  How can I weave those values into my life this year?
  • If I had to create a file for 2008 to store in my file cabinet, what label would I give it for future reference?  What can I learn from this label and how does it affect my personal growth?
  • In what ways was 2008 good for me?  Where did my life flourish?  When was I the happiest?  What do I want to repeat or…….leave behind?
  • What moments were the darkest for me in 2008?  How can I avoid recreating those experiences again?  What outcome did I realize from those challenges?
  • What am I most proud of in 2008?  Did I celebrate my accomplishments?  If not, when will I? 

I encourage you to adopt Janus’ bifocal view and get a strong grasp of what you want to accomplish.  Please contact me at, if you need assistance in drafting your personal list of resolutions.

Categories : Retirement Coaching
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