How You End 2009 is How You’ll Spend 2010
Trade in Overwhelm for the Power of Pause
year, it’s the same old drill isn’t it. We start off with the best intentions,
with gusto, resolved to reach our goals and make this ‘the’ year. But by
February that gusto has been drained down by the overwhelm, pressure and
realities of day-to-day life. Come October, we’re wondering where the year
went, and not feeling quite as successful as we had hoped we would when the
year started. And then without warning, it’s Thanksgiving, then December and a
flurry of presents and parties. Before we know it Jan 1 has arrived, and with
it the immense pressure to make this ‘the’ year.
you are a Type A person, you likely go into New Year’s resolution and goal
setting mode. If you are the Type B variety, you’re likely more relaxed and
avoid serious goal setting, stepping into the new year with faith that it will
all work out. The truth is that neither of these strategies work. Type A or
Type B, these approaches are insane. They keep you doing the same thing year
after year expecting different results, which by definition is insanity.
lived this way for most of my life. Born as a Type A, I began every year with a
die-hard New Year’s Resolution – quit smoking, lose 5 lbs, start jogging – that
I was determined to meet, I never did. By my late 20s I realized that
resolutions don’t work, and I turned to another Type A tool – goal-setting. For
the next three years I created elaborate spreadsheets with quarterly S.M.A.R.T.
goals, just like my m.b.a. corporate training had taught me. With specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely goals success had
to be imminent, right? Nope. Sure, I met some of my goals, but the only thing I
saw when I looked at my massive spreadsheet was everything I hadn’t
accomplished. Another Type A, achiever quality, always more to do. What my
goals did do was make me feel worse about myself.
around the age of 33, I got smart, and decided to set aside my achievement
junkie tools, and find out what people who were really living successful lives
did. What I realized very quickly was that I had three big flaws in how I
approached each year:
didn’t stop to reflect on the year that had passed. I went right from one
year into the next, without stopping to recognize all that had happened. I was
living my life as if I was a mountain climber, arriving at the mountain top of
each year, but not stopping to take in the view that I worked so hard to
achieve. Instead, I just took a quick breath, and kept pushing up the next
mountain, the next year, without celebrating my successes or learning from my
failures. No wonder I was exhausted. No surprise that I never felt like I
really accomplished what I wanted, all I could see was the next mountain.
Truth: In order to grow, we
must stop, celebrate, reflect and learn at the end of every cycle
yourself four questions about this last year before Jan 1st, and
journal the answers: What were my Surprises? Successes? Failures? Learnings?
pressured myself to have my entire year mapped out by the first week of
had created timelines in my head that had to be met so I could get busy doing
what needed doing. One week at the beginning of the year seemed reasonable.
What I failed to realize was that I was working against nature. December is
meant to be a time of slowing down and going inward, not running around like a
maniac visiting people and shopping for presents. People and presents good,
mania not. I should have started my year-end process way before Jan 1. I also
learned that January is meant to be the ‘dreaming time’ because everything is
frozen and still. It’s a month long for a reason… to give us that long to dream
our new year. And here I was trying to stuff 30 days into a week, such an
Truth. December is for
reflecting. January is for dreaming and setting the intentions of what you will
seed and grow in the coming year.
at the year ahead, ask yourself three questions, “What do I want to do? What do
I want to have? And who do I want to become?”
head wrote my goals.
Trained to think and live from my head, trained to think dreams were fluffy
puffy events that happened when I slept, I wrote goals through the lense of
what would drive my career, bank account and fitness level forward. I focused
on the achievements I believed would bring me success, as I understood success
then. What I failed to realize was that my understanding of success was
extremely limited and that the real goal of it was only one thing: my
happiness. And happiness didn’t come from my head, it started in my heart,
which is the place from which I would be better served to write my goals from.
Yes, my mind is extremely valuable but it is only a tool to making my dreams realities.
I had been starting in the wrong place.
Truth. Goals must start with
the dreams we have for ourselves, which can only be found in our heart.
your goals the ‘energy litmus test.’ Read them aloud to yourself or a friend
and rate the energy and passion you feel behind it. If it’s not at least a 9 or
10, rewrite it until it is. Example: It’s the difference between “I will go to
yoga three times a week. I will eat food that is good for me. I will lose 5
lbs.” and “My Body is my Moving Temple.” That is a real example from my 2009
of these flaws can be boiled down to one thing: my previous failure to
understand the power of PAUSE. I had been trained to hit the GO GO GO button
all my life and while that made me a very good achiever, it also made me a very
busy and exhausted woman that didn’t always spend her energy, time and money on
what was most important, and what truly had the power to accelerate my progress
to my dreams… or bring me happiness on a daily basis.
I learned was that PAUSE is like a super power, when we activate it, PAUSE
accelerates our ability to make our dreams realities because it provides us
with something we can’t get when we are running through life as a frenzied,
frazzled energizer bunny — PAUSE gives us wisdom. Alice Walker, Pulitzer prize winning author of the Color
Purple said in a commencement address in 2002 , “Wisdom, however, requires a
pause… it is the pause that gives us clarity….” And, if I look at this woman’s
life, witnessing her grace and her success on all accounts, I think to myself,
the Pause has served her well, so I know it can serve me well too.
December and January, I will be taking a set of PAUSEs, using a simple but
powerful structure I created based on the wisdom I found during my last five
PAUSE periods. I’m glad to report that there are no spreadsheets and that this
process makes me feel great about ME at the end of the year, instead of
pointing out my shortcomings. Now that doesn’t mean that I am going to cut myself
off from the world for two months. I still have plenty to do these months, but
I will slow down and I will take big blocks of time to be with myself, my
dreams and my thoughts. I invite you this December and January to activate your
super power of PAUSE, to find a structure that works for you, one that allows
you to reflect first and then expand, focus and energize your intentions for
Invited to Pause On December 17th at 12pm PST.
hosting a free PAUSE tele-call on Dec 17 where I will share and teach the
ancient and super energizing system for RELFLECTING. It’s the first step in
creating a fantastic 2010. The time between December 21st and
December 25th is the most powerful time of the month for reflecting,
so set aside at least one day during that time to reflect. Register for the
call by clicking here http://www.daretoliveyou.com/christine_events.htm#prepause
and self-love expert, Christine Arylo is a self-admitted, but recovering, achievement junkie and
doing addict. A teacher, writer, coach, speaker, m.b.a., author, and
Christine has appeared on E! Entertainment, CBS, FOX and ABC and over
100 radio stations around the country. You can find her online at www.daretoliveyou.com or www.madlyinlovewithme.com, in person teaching her
Feminine Super Powers to women and men, or at home with her partner Noah and
their Husky Nanook.