Don’t get me wrong. 2012 has been a terrific year with lots of highlights, successes and good times. But as I look back, it dawned on me that I’ve learnt far more from the goals that didn’t stick, things that didn’t happen and the stuff that I basically, well… stuffed up!
So here are some of my biggest stuff ups for this year, along with the wisdom I’ve gained to take into 2013 and beyond.
1. Don’t commit to something that conflicts with your values
When The Great Life Redesign was published early this year, I thought it would be kind of cool to make it a best seller. Not knowing how to do this, I invested countless hours and a lot of money in a coaching program that guaranteed to make my book a best seller on Amazon.
I did all the work and was ready to launch my campaign when I hit a roadblock. The campaign required me to email thousands of potential sponsors (none of whom I knew) to ask for their support. Feeling this was somewhat like spam, I uncomfortably realised it directly conflicted with my ethics and integrity.
2. When it doesn’t feel right, remind yourself of your true intent and walk away.
In spite of the considerable time and money already spent, I decided to stop the project and put my flawed aspiration down to experience. After all, when I wrote the book, I decided that if it helped just one person to change the life they have for the one they want, I’d be happy.
Based on the heart-warming feedback I’ve received and wonderful new clients who’ve found me via the book, I know I’m on my way to fulfilling my true intent.
3. When life deals you an unexpected blow, suck it up and deal with it!
In September I took my mum and daughter on a wonderful holiday to the UK and Europe. Laura had always wanted to go to Paris but as we went to board the Eurostar at Kings Cross Station in London we were stopped by my sheer carelessness. Searching for my travel wallet (with passport and Euros) I started to panic as I realised it was gone!
Somehow it had been carefully lifted out of my bag when I wasn’t looking. Though the sight of my suitcase contents strewn all over the crowded platform would have looked hilarious, if you’ve ever been separated from your passport whilst traveling overseas, you’ll know how hard my heart was thumping.
4. Perspective, composure and focus will always save the day
Panic turned to anger and remorse as I realised this was going to ruin our holiday and Laura’s Paris dream. Fortunately her instant calm and rational nature helped me accept what had happened and refocus on the business of replacing the passport. 24 hours and many exasperating conversations with policy bound bureaucrats later, I was issued with a new passport and we were soon on our way.
With the benefit of hindsight, I’ll now be a lot more vigilant and when bad stuff happens, I’ll be quicker to put it into perspective, faster to regain composure and divert my energy into solution focus rather than remorse.
5. Know when to say ‘no’, before you’ve said ‘yes’
2012 took off at break neck speed for me and showed no signs of slowing down. My business was doing well and soon each week was passing in a blur. Every new client or piece of work on its own seemed ‘do-able’ but I failed to recognise and decide just how much I could realistically take on.
Before I knew it I was completely over-committed and my life had taken on one of those scenes in a Greek restaurant where the waiter cleverly spins many plates on long sticks, all at the same time. My family, friends and non-work priorities all took a back seat as I attempted to keep all my plates in the air!
Ironically, The Great Life Redesign is all about stepping off the 21st century treadmill to enjoy a happier, slower, more fulfilling life. Yet here I was falling into the very trap I help people escape.
As 2013 rapidly approaches, I’m committing to be kinder to myself with fewer goals and priorities, a wall planner I’ll review before I say ‘yes’, a slower pace and more care. Oh, and I’ll also deliberately pack intuition, wisdom and perspective in my Thrival Kit to take with me, everywhere I go!
So… now I’m wondering, what ‘epic failures’ did you have in 2012?
What did you learn from them and what will you take with you into the brand new year?