Looking beyond “the winter of our discontent”

“Now is the winter of our discontent”… whether it’s the weather or our finances! But as a new year approaches it gives us time to take stock.

So what changes will you make? How would you rate your satisfaction levels with different aspects of your life? Think about how many marks out of ten you would give yourself for career, business, health, relationships, finance, relaxation for example. What scores would you like these areas to have by this time next year? We usually know what we must do to achieve those changes, but many of our good intentions fail to stick because we take on too much.

Just like walking with care in the snow to get to where you want to be, baby steps are the best way forward. So instead of deciding to give up cigarettes and going cold turkey (sorry), how about replacing one cigarette a day with a grape or small piece of fruit, and do one more every day? If you want to improve your finances, look at where you are now and where you want to be, and see what options you have for cutting down spend or other options to increase your income. We always have options, sometimes we just choose not to see them, or don’t like the consequences of those choices.

So while the big freeze and the budget have added to our “discontent”, it has meant that many of us have had to get back to basics – walking to the shops, or school or work, wrapping up warm, looking after neighbours – and maybe the chill in the air has given some of us an opportunity to slow down a little, and think about what’s important to us. Hopefully now we should know where we stand and begin to make plans to move onward and upward next year – the best way to get ourselves moving again is by the collective energy of each and every one of us.

So take time out, set some goals and baby steps for next year, and in 2011 lets aim that “the winter of our discontent” can be “made glorious summer”– with apologies to the Bard!

Published www.allaboutbusiness.ie Dec 2010

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