December 29, 2014

Looking forward at this time of year

By Paul Laughlin
Russian icon of the Theophany (wikipedia)

Russian icon of the Theophany (wikipedia)

Well here we are on the fourth day of Christmas, so I hope those calling birds have arrived!

If you’re like me, right now you are probably feeling a mixture of awareness that the over-indulgence over recent days needs to end soon and excitement at the prospect of a fresh start in the New Year.

It can be a very peaceful and productive couple of days between the celebrations.


I don’t know about you, but traditionally this is a time when I tend to reflect on how I’m doing against my life priorities and consider setting goals. This year I’ve been nudged in that direction by a vodcast from Jeff Walker, a timely reminder of how we can spend this time productively:

As a trained executive coach, I fully endorse the power of goal setting. But I would also recommend taking that time out first to reflect on “why” you want to set that goal in particular roles within your life. A structured questioning session can help you do this, ideally using an appropriate coach for you, but this can be a useful practice by yourself.

The G.R.O.W. model is a well practiced simple framework for such a review, to help you set goals. Try these questions as an example on a role in your life:

  • GOAL = How would you like it to be?
  • REALITY = What is happening now (what, when, where, how much, how often)?
  • OPTIONS = How can you move this forward? What options do you have? What would my role model do?
  • WILL = Which of these are you willing to do? When are you going to do it?

Another popular hobby over this annual ‘pause’ is futurology. In between the endless TV specials and emails reflecting on 2014, you’ve probably seen a few forecasting what will be the big themes for 2015. Here a few that I’ve enjoyed in recent weeks:

Mobile trends in 2015 and beyond:

Peter Fisk forecasts for societal trends for 2015:

Data Science trends for 2015:

Forrester Research’s trends for Customer Service in 2015.

I hope those have whetted your appetite to reflect on the year coming and protect some time for yourself to set goals. Have a great time during the remaining 12 days of Christmas & I look forward to talking with you more in 2015.