Debbie* rang me at the end of her tether “it has got to change” she said “I cannot go on doing what I am doing. My husband said last night that he cannot go on having a wife like this.” A high-achiever on a six-figure salary, Debbie had realised that she had become a stressed-out work-a-holic and it was costing her quality of life: she had received a big wake up call. I reflected back that it sounded like Debbie was gaining a lot from her work and that she was enjoying the fact that she was “needed” and “giving” so much to her clients and colleagues. The challenge was that her addiction to work meant that she now felt empty: there was nothing left to give herself, let alone those close to her. Also, she had just completed a Higher Degree and instead of enjoying the free space, she had immediately set about finding an ambitious new project to fill the gap.
As a result of our short conversation, Debbie agreed that she was going to create a Vision for her ideal life for 2011 plus sit down with her husband so that together they could formulate a combined Vision. This Vision would provide the impetus for her to make decisions about her career that would ensure her work contributed to her personal goals, life-balance and those of her marriage.
You may not have a partner to remind you however, the holiday season is a great time to review the year and think ahead to what you want 2011 to be all about.
Here are a few questions to help you get you started:
What do you think about your 2010?
What are you proud of accomplishing this year?
Are you where you would like to be, or has your life gone a little (or a lot!) off course?
If you could have or achieve anything, what will 2011 be like?
What do you want to have in 2011 that you do not have now?
What will you change in yourself to achieve it?
What and who would you like to appreciate more?
Remember, refrain from waiting until next year to start making changes: NOW is the best time to take action! As Gandhi famously said “Be the change that you want to be.”
I look forward to hearing what you learn about yourself from considering the questions.