I gave up New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago. They usually last a month or less and fizzle leaving me feeling like a failure. What I do instead now is retreat with God to determine His focus for me personally and my business for the New Year.
Between Xmas and New Years I take the whole week off. I begin this process in November by preparing myself for this week. I prepare by clearing my schedule completely and I begin to contemplate all the incredible wins as well as challenges from the year.
I also dream ahead of what I desire for my life and business.
Once December 23rd comes I shut everything off and unplug. I enjoy family and friends and celebrating the birthday of my oldest and very best friend. On December 26 I sit down and have a one on one with God. This year I discovered a very special place of quiet and beauty where I went and spent an extended time alone with God.
You guys… and I don’t say this lightly, I’ve done this every year since I became a coach, and I attribute the maintaining and growing of my coaching practice for over ten years to this annual practice.
I wrestle and struggle with God to gain clarity and vision for the direction He is calling me to go. Some of the most significant things in my business and in my life have come in this week.
One December retreat 3 years ago came after a particularly difficult year for me. During May, June and July I had initiated some new networking and marketing plans for growing my business. August 5 we received the nightmare call that no parent ever wants to receive. Our 36 year old daughter died after a long battle to overcome opioid addiction.
I was devastated, but God in His mercy and grace had gone before me and prepared me and my business to endure the months of mourning that laid ahead. I found myself without 1 paying client. I had several barters, but not one paying client. While this would normally be a negative, it was a positive for me. I had freedom to mourn and focus on my family and our profound sadness.
As November rolled into December and the fog of the worst of our grief began to lift a little, my annual pilgrimage with God began to happen without any planning on my part. I looked up to Heaven and asked God with a complete willingness to accept His answer, “Does this mean coaching is over and you have something new for me?” I heard as clearly as I ever have heard God at anytime in my life, “Begin where you left off.”
I knew exactly what that meant…where I left off in August. I began to breathe again and feel the energy and excitement my business has always brought me.
AND THEN, JUST LIKE THAT…
By the end of January I had 5 new paying clients. It was nothing short of a miracle…people called me to begin coaching. Obedience is the key I attribute this amazing turn around to. I honored my need to continue to walk through this valley of pain, but God was with me every step of the way to give me the strength and help I needed to carry on.
Since that year, my retreats with God have been even more significant and important to me and the direction of my life and business.
Now It’s Your Turn
I begin the conversation with what are the highlights of this past year? What are the great things God has done in my business in the past year?
Then the conversation transitions to “what do you have planned for me in the next year God and how do you want me to position myself to do that?”
I love this exercise because it re-establishes my commitment to what I’m doing as a life and business coach. It deepens my trust in what His plans are. It renews my commitment to my calling. And most all it keeps me focused for the entire year on the new direction I feel God is leading me. That gives me a strong sense of confidence and accomplishment.
I know that coaching isn’t my calling, but rather what I do in coaching is my calling. My calling is working with people of faith to grow a successful and profitable business by maximizing their God given talents, pursuing their passions, while aligning godly principles in their life and business.
Go ahead and ditch those resolutions and set aside some time with God to begin your New Year focused on the direction God has designed for you!