Okay, so you have been making plans and thinking about hopes and dreams for this fabulous new year stretching out ahead of you. That’s great! That’s a wonderful thing to do! As your Life Coach, please allow me to encourage you to take the following steps to lead yourself before you jump into all the projects and plans you are eager to start. When you lead yourself effectively then your plans and hopes and ideas have a better chance of actually being implemented.
Leading yourself effectively doesn’t mean you have to be perfect (what is that anyway?) but it does mean you are authentic, make intentional choices, embrace life, know peace, love and respect yourself, enjoy loving relationships, and think through problems.
I’ll share a story that will help illustrate four points for you to consider. Last winter we had an ice storm that tormented our area for two days and nights. I was alone in my home. As the constant freezing rain built up on my power lines and many tall trees, I could hear the crackling branches clanking against each other in our woods and from time to time heard loud crashes of large limbs plummeting to the ground. Our lights flickered over and over and I was terrified I would lose power. I knew if I lost power, there was no way I could drive anywhere. I wouldn’t be able to get out of the driveway. I also knew my body does not generate heat and the cold would be shocking.
I set out into survival mode. Looking back on it, I employed some “lead yourself” techniques that are good for all of us whether facing adversity or everyday problems:
- Pray—I centered myself in the Lord’s power. I surrendered my tendency toward panic and fear and trusted that He would guide me through.
- Prepare—What could I do now to prepare IN CASE the power did go out? I gathered flashlights, batteries, candles. I put hot water in thermoses. I kept my cell phone charged. I brought in firewood to dry. I took inventory of quilts and blankets.
- Picture—To gain perspective I pictured where I would sleep, how I could stay warm while doing productive things without power, and how I could exercise periodically. I tried to keep perspective that it would only be a few days that I would have to live like that and I could make it through.
- Connect with others—I texted with my husband and kids and talked with them as well. They reassured me and even gave me ideas about how I could keep my cell phone charged and how to build a fire.
525,000 customers were without electricity for up to a week after the storm. They all have stories of survival. And we are grateful for all the workers who came from many states to restore power to us.
My point in sharing this story is to encourage you to make sure you are taking steps to lead yourself. Try implementing these steps into your everyday life as you step into 2011.
Pray—Center; surrender; trust. Ask for guidance for the year ahead.
Prepare—Think ahead so you can respond instead of reacting. How will your plans, hopes and ideas affect all areas of your life? What steps can you take now to prevent challenges from becoming overwhelming?
Picture—Envision where you are going and how you are going to get there. Think about handling problems with wisdom and living with joy.
Connect with others—Serve others and allow them to serve you. Relationships and contributing to the well-being of others brings deep meaning to our lives.