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Does the New Year offer a magic formula to achieving our goals?

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

No doubt this has been a year that no one could have predicted; but with its oddness, there have been many stories of resilience, creativity, and agility.

As the year-end approaches, many are looking to set new goals for the new year and get them going from the 1st of January.

In recent weeks I have sat with several prospective and existing clients, making plans for the New Year.

Enthusiastic and determined, together we would review their achievements and challenges for the year so far. This would lay the foundation for goals for the next 3-6 months for the end of year review and action planning for the year ahead.

However, does the New Year offer a magic formula to achieving our goals?

Let me share a story of a wonderful client. At the beginning of 2020, she was at the early stages of my `12-week wellbeing program’. She had entered the wellbeing program in search of balance in her life, as she was overworked, stressed, and presenting with low confidence.

But, she was determined to align everything, restart her exercise regime, maintain a healthier eating plan and when she felt confident enough was going to face the issue at work.

But before she could action them fully, she got seriously ill with COVID.

At this point, would you expect that she would ease off work? The answer was no. She returned to work not feeling 100%, as she felt guilty for her team and their mounting workload. After several months ignoring her increased physical and mental distress and burnout, she finally resigned.

She felt she was a failure. She had spent many stressful nights and days trying not to let her team down but this time she couldn’t do it anymore.

But wait, her employers refused to let her go. They asked her how could they keep her, what did she want?

Luckily, in the early part of our coaching, we worked together to identify her career and life criteria. So, she knew what she needed to do, as it was linked to her goals: work fewer hours, remove the responsibilities she did not want and give them to a new hire. After she told her employers, they agreed!

She could not believe it! She thought they would never agree. What she realised was that waiting for things to hit rock bottom is easy to do. However, if she had the courage 11 months ago to ask her employers to reduce her hours or for a new hire, she may have avoided months of stress, unhappiness, and a sense of guilt for being ill.

So, is my client walking off into the sunset and living happily ever after? Well, not quite!

She signed up for more coaching sessions. But wanted to start in the new year.

This time I asked her, ‘what are you waiting for?’ ‘What is the difference between starting now or in three weeks?’

Do not assume that the New Year offers a magic formula to get you into action nor a formula for goal achievement.

Like before it’s best to strike now,… start steadily exercising, begin updating your CV, have that chat with your boss now while things are quieter or find someone to help you take action now.

Avoid the common big bang and fizzle, so frequently made at the start of every year.

Yes, fizzle, but that is another post.

Kemi Fadero is a Wellbeing Consultant and Coach based in Cambridge, UK. Kemi’s career included working for multinationals in various continents. Her interest in wellbeing and coaching was a result of working in an increasingly challenging business landscape and juggling a household of three kids. Over the years working in corporate life, she noticed the increased demands of modern life on her family, colleagues, and friends. She decided to help others feeling the strain of modern life by leveraging her background in Psychology, Counselling and her passion for fitness and wellbeing. She now coaches individuals to achieve balance at work and home by helping them reduce the strain of climbing the corporate ladder, remove the guilt of balancing parenting and work or instilling healthier life habits.



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