It is that time of year. I have heard folks refer to it as a time for new beginnings, a fresh start, a clean slate or starting over. If you are connected in any way to media then you have heard it is the perfect time to buy a car, join a gym, take a vacation or download Beatles music to your iApple product; all of which will enable you to achieve whatever resolution you have created for yourself.
I find I get swept up in the fervor myself. When I start a new year, I need to resist the temptation toward grandiosity. I want to set goals like train for an Ironman, double the size of my company, become Martha Stewart and Scott Noelle at home while sculpting my body to be the next sexy movie star. Yes, all in one year. That thinking has me in Fantasy Land and keeps me locked in the scarcity of comparing and competition. It’s an unexamined existence, the seeds of which are planted by the media and lived out by most folks breathing the air of western consumerization.
I swore off resolutions, goals, accomplishments or whatever we want to call them this year. The goals seem to dominate me and I feel like the process leaves me wanting and disappointed. Maybe if I just kept it to one goal it could work, which I never do (see above). And yet, I do feel a pull to create some context for 2011, there are gifts available from creation and the subsequent completion throughout the year. There can be growth when we stretch to the next level, experiment with something new or take a leap of faith. As I hold this dichotomy I asked, “What is the line I choose to walk this year?”
I found the answer in my own coaching. When I work with clients I often leave them with questions that help guide them though their strategic process. I began to wonder, what questions do I have for myself this year? Here is a sample of my questions:
- What are the regular practices or personal mastery moves that will support me?
- What will we measure at Seven Stones?
- What is the level of fitness that will allow for health, well being and inspiration?
- What will my regular mindfulness practice look like?
- What will it take to begin a new habit of sitting?
- What is the appropriate amount of time for me to be in front of a screen every day?
- Are we at Seven Stones living into Exquisite Sufficiency personally, with our clients, partners, vendors and larger community?
- Who will be our clients in 2011 and how will we deliver impeccable customer service while expanding our capacity?
- What is the community we will build to support us personally and professionally as we continue to create and guide Seven Stones?
- Where will I have fun and play in my life on a regular basis?
I wrote 28 questions in total and what I found when I was done, was both a new context and a peace and ease with the year. I have the gift to spend my year living in inquiry and experimenting with answers. For some of you, old fashioned resolutions may still be your best bet. For those of you who are looking for something a little different this year, join me.
What are the strategic questions you have—for yourself, your work, your family or your community?
What is available for you to live inside inquiry this year?