Five Steps to Successful New Beginnings
I am currently fascinated, awed, captivated by the story of Ted Williams, a homeless man with a golden voice who, from all appearances, has a real chance at a New Beginning for his life in 2011. His is an extreme story of multiple wrong choices and, most likely, failed efforts at change. But somewhere on his journey, Ted rose above the unhappy circumstances in his life, set a new course and, now, two years sober, life has rewarded him with another chance to use his golden voice.
Here’s how I see it. Sustainable personal or professional success rarely comes from making the right choices all the time. From my experience, we must feel the pain of the consequences of wrong choices in order to willingly (or even begrudgingly) make new ones. For some people it takes longer to get the message. We don’t like giving up our indulgences, our paradigms, our need to be “right”.
Let me summarize my own five steps for successful new beginnings:
1. Acknowledge your achievements, big and small. List them. If you are like me, you will start with the big ones. Keep working at it. All the way down to the ones that make you smile and warm your heart. They are there.
2. Acknowledge where you have missed the mark. Take responsibility for your part in whatever didn’t meet your expectations. Not just in performance tasks or financial reward, but in relationships damaged or lost. Wrong choices. Words miss-spoken. Incompletions.
3. Clean up whatever is still “hanging out”, draining your spirit, your self worth, your aliveness. Ask for and offer forgiveness where appropriate, first from yourself, then from others. Resentments and regrets are the #1 killer of creativity and sustainable personal success.
4. List what you have learned about yourself from these experiences and re-look at the horizon of your future. Do you need to change or modify the previous course you have been on? What, if any, new strategies or actions have you discovered that will help you get to the results you want for yourself in the coming year?
5. List the top 3-5 key results you want and visualize them completed.
Now, as Paul Harvey would say, implementation is “the rest of the story”.
Get yourself a good coach, support partner or group who can help you strategize and stay accountable for the results you say you want.