December: Time to Eat the Elephant
January, with resolutions and fresh starts, is punctuated by an often over-rated New Year’s Eve. What does this mean for December? Ah, December. December is dotted with various holiday events, and displays of gratitude by sharing time and gifts. Perhaps December falls as it does with divine timing, given the ominous shotgun start to revamp all that is dysfunctional at the sunrise race on January 1st. January demands unrealistic, sometimes resurrected, resolutions, not unlike eating an elephant.
Before you change everything that isn’t working, use December for a truthful, informed inventory of yourself. Look at your past behaviors concerning change, especially self-imposed change. Some life changes are optional and some aren’t. Presumably, everything on your beloved, well-intended resolution list is “optional”. Assuming optional, interview yourself using the STAR (situation – target – action – result) method. Have you embarked on similar goals in the past? What was the outcome? What was the strategy? Did you take time to consider how you “operate” as you embarked on your resolution journey? Have a method to your madness. Knowing yourself, how you behave in situations, what energizes you, and what motivates you, informs YOUR winning approach.
As the first bite of the elephant, take a step toward self-awareness. Use what is left of December to identify your truths of behavior tendencies, strengths, even cultural preferences. Self-knowledge yields confidence to navigate challenges and defines a path from good to great. There are numerous affordable objective third-party diagnostics to expose your truths. I prefer a call-out from an objective tool rather than a subjective constructive criticism from a co-worker or “friend”. DiSC and Gallup StrengthsFinder, are examples of readily available diagnostic tools to unlock insights into your talents and operational style. There are certainly many options. For a deeper exploration of how the reports impact your self-talk and interactions, you can engage a coach or professional certified in the delivery of the assessment tool.
Are you wired for grandiose self-imposed leaps? Maybe so if you are a very disciplined person, or an impatient activator of strong mind where cold-turkey has proved a winning formula in the past. On the other hand, maybe you’re strategic. Your strategic talents and tendencies allow you to be successful by taking calculated steps toward bigger goals for 2017. As a strategic person, you observe patterns and triggers along the way and modify for long term success. With strategic super-powers a sugar avoidance Whole-30 diet that you are SO GOING TO DO in 2017, might be more successful if you start in December with a gluten-free toe-in-the-water transitional diet. Does your “dream” exercise routine match the reality of YOUR wiring?
Having an objective view of your micro to macro self, provides a great platform to launch into new directions and explore resolutions with a fresh and positive perspective. You can morph your “to do” list into a customized “TA-DAAA” list of amazing and empowering “journeys” for soulful growth. Bolder than ever before. Make 2017 a pivotal year, savoring every bite of that glorious elephant.