Hello World!
December 2, 2009

Let me share my personal reflections of this year with you. As I cast my mind back to the 1st of January it was at the lowest ebb it could possibly be. I had spent New Years Eve by my mother’s side in a hospital with the very real realisation that she was dying. Although we had been on this journey for some time, denial had cushioned us all from the inevitable destination of the journey. I simply wasn’t ready to let go. I felt four, not forty. Mum’s death signalled the beginning of  my ‘New Year’.

I share this with you because it has had such a profound effect on my personal and professional year and I have learned key life lessons along the way for which I am most grateful for.

Life Lesson No 1:

Taking time out to prioritise what’s important in your life is a gift you allow yourself to receive.

I was very well aware of my energy levels and to a large extent this helped me gain clarity around what stayed on my table of life. What remained on my plate was family and self. That’s all that mattered.

I defined my roles in order of importance; mother, wife, daughter – sister, friend, coach. Once those were clear it was easy to make choices around where my time and energy was spent.

Life Lesson No 2:

You will only be the best you can be if you are the most important person in your life.

I can hear the cry of protests as you read that statement. Self care is an integral part of my life and that of my client’s. Without it we cannot be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, colleague we wish to be.

My challenge during my grief was to find something that made me feel good about life. When you are grieving this is a really difficult thing to find! For me it was running because it ticked lots of boxes (health; well-being; fitness; friends; goal-setting).

I set a goal to run a marathon in 2009 and two wonderful friends joined me. More about that journey in ‘it’s not about the race’ blog entry.

The simplest way to prioritise yourself is to schedule your ‘me time.’ Each week I planned and scheduled my runs into my diary first before anything else. That way it was non-negotiable and each week time was created to accomplish my training miles and move me forward towards the big goal of running the marathon.

Life Lesson No 3:

Surround yourself with supportive positive people and you can achieve anything.

The ‘accountability factor’ of having two training partners was a fantastic success safety net, especially on those dreary winter mornings! I simply had to show up because they were going to be there. Their support was an integral factor to my success. We shared the highs and lows of training and as our mileage increased so did the conversations around our personal and professional lives.

I often encourage clients to describe themselves as ‘Toni Inc’ for example and list their support team for that year. Notice I say for that year, life changes and evolves and so do the people in our lives. Your support team are people in your personal and professional life who are integral to your success and happiness.

As you start thinking about your goals for 2010 take time to reflect on who you need in your life to help you achieve personal and professional goals. They will include family, friends, colleagues, mentors, networks and a variety of professionals from all walks of life. Establishing your own ‘Support Team 2010’ will help set a solid foundation for success.

So reflect on all you have achieved this year and ‘champion’ yourself for being an amazing and outstanding person. Learn from the lessons of life, set ‘break through’ goals that stretch you and above all, continue to grow and be the best you can possibly be.

Life is change, growth is optional, choose wisely. Karen Kaiser

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Toni loves working alongside people of all ages and stages, supporting their growth and success. She lives in Christchurch with her husband and three teenage boys.

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