Expat Life

How do you want to end 2019?

Yes, you read that right- ending 2019- that’s next year. But hey, I hear you think, we haven’t even reached the end of 2018, have we?

You are right.

That means it is perfect timing to take a good look at your life as it is right now.

What is going well?

What is going well, what are you happy with, proud of, excited about? Who do you love spending time with, what activities bring a smile to your face?

Don’t overlook what is going well- sometimes we get so focused on the areas of our life that frustrate us, that we tend to forget about what is going well.

How can you do more of those great things in 2019?

What could be better?

And perhaps you will also discover areas that you are less satisfied with. Things that you have been wanting to change or that you have wanted to figure out for a while now, but after thinking “I don’t know” you give up and let yourself be distracted without mapping out a way forward. Or you have tried, but after a few weeks of progress, you couldn’t sustain the changes.

And that’s quite normal. It’s not that easy to change habits, change your feelings or your life but it is definitely possible.

Kickstarting 2019

If you feel unsure about the best way to make a change in your life, if you feel stuck or if you find your progress is not fast enough, there are many ways to kickstart 2019- here’s 3 ways- making a vision board, writing or finding a coach.

1. Make a Vision Board for 2019

Making a vision board is a great exercise for the holidays, you can even do it together with your kids 😉

You basically need a large piece of cardboard paper, pictures from magazines or the internet, a pair of scissors and glue. A variety of magazines like women’s magazines, health magazines, business magazines, or any other material with pictures on it will do. Just start cutting out pictures and words/phrases that resonate with you. Do not overthink at this point. Then, group them if possible and put them on your vision board. Hang the board where you can see it and start taking actions that are in line with your vision for 2019.

Here’s a more detailed description: http://jackcanfield.com/blog/how-to-create-an-empowering-vision-book/

2. Freestyle Writing

Take a piece of paper, a pen and 30 minutes of undisturbed time (set a timer). Put on some music if you wish and just start writing.

What really matters to you? What do you want to spend more time on in 2019? If you think ahead, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years or more from now, what would you like your life to look like? What do you want more of in your life, what would you like less of?

If you do not like writing, you can also try talking to a recording app on your phone, or use Google to transcribe your thoughts. This exercise is about bringing out your thoughts, a technique that makes your aspirations visible and real, instead of keeping everything in your head. Review your notes after an hour and write down a maximum (!) of 3 dreams/insights/aspirations that you want to work on in 2019. Look online for an image that represents it and put them as your computer background or print them and hang them where you will be reminded of them.

3. Find a coach

If you are serious about making a change, consider finding a coach. And no, it doesn’t have to be me :). In fact I advise my potential clients to schedule a discovery appointment with more than 1 coach, to see who is the best match for you.

Why do I mention finding a coach? Not because you are not capable to make a change on your own, because you are. However, a coach can support you and hold you accountable. There’s something about speaking out to someone about your wishes, aspirations and dreams that makes them more real. There’s something about facing another person (someone who is not your partner, family or friend) every other week to discuss your progress towards your goals. A coach can also help you identify limiting thoughts, that hold you back from making progress.

Don’t just take it from me, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Google’s Eric Schmidt and neurosurgeon Atul Gawande have all spoken about why everyone can benefit from a coach. Or in the words of famous business coach Marshall Goldsmith- what got you here won’t get you there.

When not to find a coach

At the same time, coaching is not a magic wand. For coaching to take effect, you as the coachee need to be willing to examine your life and career, to take responsibility for your actions, to be willing to explore different perspectives. A coach can’t live your life for you. If you say you want change but then do not take any actions towards it, what’s the point? Then you are better off to find a friend to complain to.


Are you curious to find out how coaching can support you in making a change? Book a free, 30 minute call with me.


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