• Posted in January 2009
  • Article written by Michael Carroll

Your Best Year Yet

Make this Year your Best Yet!

As the New Year emerges with the media hyped doom and gloom of the last year ever present, a question worth exploring is what can you do to make 2009 a fabulous year or even your ‘best year yet’. The so-called credit crunch certainly has had an effect on our economy, more importantly, it has impacted peoples’ attitude and confidence. This means it’s not only affecting people financially, but also emotionally. As I watched people out and about during their Christmas celebrations, it seemed they were trying hard to enjoy themselves, but natural laughter and spontaneity were missing. Maybe this an indication of how culturally we have become reliant on consumerism for happiness, or could it be an example of media hypnosis? 

What I observe in the current climate is that people are unsure how to respond in the uncertainty and as a consequence they are in ‘freeze’ mode. Financially, salaried people are probably better off than a year ago. Interest rates are at the joint lowest level in history, petrol prices are at the lowest for nearly two years. Entrepreneurs and businesses have to work hard to sell their wares, but with the right marketing and sales proposition people will spend.

As we sit on the threshold of a New Year, it would probably be a good idea to take stock of what you have in your life. A period of reflection is always useful. When there is a retraction in any situation, from relationships to health to economics, an opportunity to learn and re-work ideas is presented. The reflection time may be uncomfortable in some situations, but it is how you emerge that makes you a stronger person in the context.

Reflect on the present
If you were to segment your life into different categories, think of the areas of importance and honestly critique yourself. Examples below are of life areas, but it’s better if you label your own categories so they are meaningful to you. 

• Personal relationships
• Finances and wealth
• Health and fitness
• Career
• Family
• Personal wisdom or spirituality
• Personal development

Some questions to consider for each category are:

a/ What is important to me about this area of my life?
b/ How is this area of life working for me?
c/ What is not working in this area of my life?
d/ What adjustments can I make that would make the area more enjoyable and successful

I suggest a thorough stocktake in all areas of your life. For example, in the area of finances, which is obviously topical at this moment, look at your expenditure, and how you can KEEP more money as well as how you can make more money.  Being financially astute and building wealth through saving and investing enables many more choices, rather than just the random expenditure that most people fall into.

When you explore your relationships, check whether you are on automatic pilot with day to day activities with your loved one or are you taking the time to enjoy quality time with your loved one? It’s so easy to get caught up in life and not fully enjoy the intimacy and pleasure of your relationship. The same goes for relationships with your friends and family, again it so easy to get caught up. If you are not in a relationship, how are you enjoying your single life?  Look at your health, are you eating well, exercising and generally taking care of yourself. It is important to be totally honest as you explore each area of your life.

Imagine how 2009 can be different, and create a future history
If you were to sit and imagine 2009 has already happened and you are looking at the future on a cinema screen and it is December 2009, you are once again taking stock, what would you be seeing, hearing and feeling? Take each category of your life and watch the movie as if in each category; you have had is your best year yet. Notice how you are enjoying your relationships, health and fitness, finances and wealth, personal development and other areas of your life. Make sure you can see and hear each category clearly and notice how you feel as you observe the change in the important areas of your life. Notice how the visualisations impact how you feel. What you are beginning to do is create a future history, but in a different way to how most people are doing it. Your average person is visualising doom and gloom and will probably actualise it. You are visualising something empowering and if you are congruent, you will also actualise it.

Set goals and resolve to take the action
Most people in January set goals called New Years resolutions. Most people break their New Years resolutions within a few weeks of setting them. This is because they not truly committed to the resolution or goal. I suggest you set the goals and really commit to making them happen. Use the NLP ‘well formed outcomes’ procedure for getting clear with each goal.

1. Stated in positive terms (focus on what you want)
2. Initiated and maintained by self
3. Specific sensory based (VAK) description of outcome and steps
4. More than one way to get the outcome
5. First step is specific and achievable
6. Increases choice
7. Is ecological

Start now; The Butterfly Effect
If you have followed the suggestions in this article you will have set of outcomes for each category of your life. You will have formed a sensory based representation for each outcome i.e. you are clear about what you will be seeing hearing and feeling when achieving the goal. Each goal will be stated in the positive and you will be congruent. You now should be feeling good about 2009. The key distinction that separates success from failure is the ability to take action. In chaos theory there is a theory known as the ‘Butterfly Effect’ scientists have calculated that the atmospheric change resulting from the flap of a butterfly’s wings can begin a chain of events resulting in a tornado in another part of the world. You can apply the butterfly effect to your outcomes - what are the small, but very important things you can do NOW, that will begin the chain of events to make 2009 ‘your best year yet’.

About The Author

Michael Carroll is the founder and course director of the NLP Academy and co-founder with John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair of the International Trainers Academy of NLP.

He is the only NLP Master Trainer in the world certified by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair and he works closely with them in developing and delivering high quality NLP training.