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2023 Starts With You

December 31, 2022

2023 Starts With You

Back in the day, every New Year’s Eve the papers, TV and magazines were stuffed with ideas for New Year’s Resolutions.  They still are to a lesser extent, but also every year a few days after the start of January there will be a feature about how many of us abandon our “new year/new you” thoughts as we strive to live up to the things we wanted to change.

There’s a lot about me I’d like to change.  I’d like to be two stone lighter, stress less, take more holidays and I’d love to take up some old hobbies.  Some of this I’ll attempt in 2023.  I might be successful, I might not, I don’t put that pressure on myself.

What I actually do is think about what I will “look” like at the end of 2023.  I don’t just mean physically.  Will I have more savings that now, will my health be in better shape, will my business be growing – these are the things I put pathways against in the expectation that I can make these happen.

As we’ve all learnt from the past few years, life can be very uncertain except the certainty that the unexpected will happen, which is why I always think business plans are challenging.

It's the same in your own life.  Savings don’t pan out, friends aren’t quite as reliable as perhaps you thought they were, life events hit you when you least expect it.  I used to get really stressed when things went off course in my life, but one of the gifts of getting older is that I have become far more sanguine and even tempered about both success and defeat. 

There is one other important lesson that life has taught me and this is actually what I’m leading to.  Everything in your life starts with you.  I’m not naive enough to think that we can control all events but everything comes back to how we approach and deal with life.  In short, we should take responsibility for much of what happens to us.  Want to lose weight this year?  You need to commit and be consistent, every single day.  Want to get fit?  The same.  Want to do well in business?  You need to be the hardest working person in the room.  Want to be treated well by others?  Start by looking at how you treat yourself.  It’s simple to say but you have to drive yourself to live by these changes. 

Consistency is key.  We can say that "this, that and the other knocked us off course", but sometimes we allow it to do so.  I'm being hard on us, aren't I, but I'm not going to lie to you and this equally applies to me.  I'm tired and don't want to start a new campaign for the business as I want to go to bed.  I can't face another morning of the "breakfast shake" I have (which is packed with jolly good nutrients but is exceptionally dull) as I really want bacon and eggs.  I want to buy myself whatever it is rather than put the money into savings.  I can be as weak as the next person but I try really hard not to break.

If this resonates with you, consider writing a list of what you who you want to be by the end of 2023.  It could look somewhat like this:

  • I'd like to have/continue to have great relationships with my family - so what do you need to do to help this along?
  • I'd like to have only positive relationships in my life, people who cheer for me and don't give me negativity - so who is on the cheerleader list and who isn't?  How do you want to ease out those negative relationships?
  • Let's be practical - I'd like to have more savings.  Where can you make cuts and how might you earn more income?  Have you talents that you can exploit?
  • I'd like to learn something new - what stops you?  Identify that and work on that to free you up to move forward.
  • I'd like to heal a rift.  Then apologise without agenda.  Apologise and see if the rift can be healed but walk away, knowing you did the right thing, if it can't.

Think about what you really want out of 2023 so that it's a two way street - you're not just letting the events of 2023 happen to you, you are taking the initiative even in a small way.

We’ve still got a few days before the world starts up again after the holiday so here’s my suggestion.  Create a roadmap for your life for 2023.  Without a road map you can't start the journey.  Then, and this is the crucial bit, think about what you are truly willing to do to get there.  I then put the two against each other and perhaps adjust my expectations to what I’m willing to do, sometimes up, sometimes down.

2023 for me is a year of hope, of growth (both personally and professionally), of “getting back out there” after a few years of being buffeted by events and of genuine gratitude for all the tremendous good fortune I have in my life. My hopes and dreams for 2023 are as big as they come and I wish the same for you so remember, nothing is achieved without consistency and effort.  But here's the thing, everything that you want to happen in 2023 starts with you and you are unbelievably amazing – how lucky is that?

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