Written by: Sandrine Gelin-Lamrani, Senior Level Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We have now just entered 2022 and I have a recurring question in my mind: how great is this year going to be for all of us in general, and for you particularly? Of course, we have all seen the New Year’s Best Wishes and the resolutions that go with them, but concretely, how can you make this year the best of all your years yet?
Before I share some insights on this exciting prospect, let me first say that launching a successful year is a matter of Choice: choosing to live a conscious and intentional life rather than a life by default where your very own thoughts, actions, behaviors are dictated from the outside. Getting your year starting well is also a matter of Proactivity: operating on the basis of a future plan that guides your behavior and gives meaning to your daily life, in opposition to simply react on an ad hoc basis, depending on present circumstances and past conditioning.
Now, how do you build the foundation that will support and generate the life you want and become the person you need to become to be able to live that life? Here are 5 different insights to it :
Create your BIG vision
Define your STRETCHED goals for the year
Set your own GROWTH mind
Unleash the power of POSITIVE emotions
Act MEANINGFULLY, day by day, everyday
1. Get a large and dynamic Vision for yourself
Vision is about looking into the future to see what you really want to create in the world. As individuals, we do not have any chance to go further in our lives than our vision allows. Our inner world takes precedence over the outer world. For all things are created twice: once in our mind, a second time in the outside world.
Here is an idea to how you can create your own BIG vision: take half a day in a place that you find quiet and inspiring. Take the time to be and feel in a positive state of joy and abundance. Then, start imagining who you want to be, searching within yourself for what you really want. Visioning is a work of imagination where you build a mental image of what the future will or could be. Your creative vision has to do with imagining and focusing on longer-term ideals and possibilities. At that stage, it is necessary to leave the "how" aside.
Answering some of the following questions could help you in the process: What new possibilities do you want to see in the world? What is the world to which you want to belong? What do you want to see more of and less of in the future? What do you want to create in the world through you that is beyond you? Ideally, who do you want to be, what do you want to do? What is your big Purpose?
You’ll probably find multiple benefits from, first, getting and, second, owning your BIG vision: it will give a whole new meaning to your life by providing you with a direction to your ideal destination, it will motivate you and make you happier daily, it will make you more creative and energetic, while increasing the level of success you wish for. So why not give it a try?
2. Define your stretched goals for the year
Once your BIG vision is formed and you own it, it is time to identify and write down your goals for this year. Why? Because people who write down their goals are far more likely to achieve them than those who do not. Simply.
There are 3 zones for goals: comfort zone, discomfort zone, illusion zone. The comfort zone’s goals are those that are in a way so easy to reach that they are not even motivating to you, maybe because you have (partially) reached them already, or because they appeal to your natural talents and they do not require any special effort. The illusion goals are typically “impossible goals” that would lead you to failure more surely than anything else. The discomfort zone goals are those that you want to focus on because they build on individual “foundations” that already strongly exist, while allowing you to stretch, continually building on them. That way, the discomfort zone goals are kind of feasible challenges that are compelling to you.
Here are a few tips to settle your yearly goals :
Write down 8 to 12 actionable goals, maximum. Start each goal with an action verb.
Pay attention to the fact that your goals touch on the various areas of your life. You might want to chunk them down into categories like Personal, Professional, Relational, Financial. You can add more categories if you find it useful. Whatever works best for you.
Once you have your goals for the year, it might be helpful to chunk them down into quarters by selecting 3 goals per quarter and sequence them within the quarter.
3. Set your Mind on the Growth button
BIG Vision and STRETCHED Goals are awesome, but how do you make it work when you know that you will need to get into a discomfort zone to be who you want to be, to do what you want to do? This is where setting your mindset on the “Growth” button is key.
Carol S Dweck highlights us on mindset: “Mind-sets are those collections of beliefs and thoughts that make up the mental attitude, inclination, habit or disposition that predetermines a person’s interpretations and responses to events, circumstances and situations.” “Mindset” relates to our inner map of the world, our mental capabilities and our attitudes with respect to the life situations we are facing. It is connected to our identity, beliefs and values, it shapes our lives and world.
Mindset determines how we respond to the realities we are in contact with. It is habitual, shaped by experience, but it can be set & re-set so that we avoid blind spots. Especially in challenging and uncertain times, it will influence whether or not we survive, succeed and thrive.
What we call the "fixed” mindset is characterized by a form of limitation, stress, negativity. It can be observed in behaviors that consist of blaming, judging, victimizing oneself, giving up when faced with something deemed too difficult, being paralyzed by any type of evaluation, even the world in binary mode (good/bad, for/against), complaining, or justifying oneself.
On the contrary, what we call the “growth” mindset is characterized by a form of freedom, positivity, responsibility. It is observed in those who embrace the idea that they are primarily responsible for what they experience and the results obtained in their lives. They achieve through effort ("this is hard, this is fun!"), evaluation does not define them.
While navigating your daily activities, tasks, challenges, take a step back and ask yourself: am I using a growth type of mindset here? Or am I maneuvering myself into a dead-end? Does what I think about myself lead to actions and results that I target or not? What can I change in my mind that will change my actions, therefore my results? Am I really being curious, open, thriving for learning and discovering others, am I listening to the world? Or am I rather demonstrating closed, defensive, prove myself right type of behaviors?
Once you have assessed where you are, take a moment to welcome that mindset, even if is a gloomy one, as we all navigate from one growth to one fixed mindset over the course of our life journey. Really, it does not matter if you are feeling down, mindset wise. What matters more is to assess if you want to start an inner movement to reset your mind. If you want to, now is the moment to ask yourself how do I change my mind, my posture about this or that?
4. Unleash the power of positive emotions
While emotional intelligence has become an essential skill of the 21st century, impacts of positive emotions and positivity are starting to be assessed in the most prestigious universities and research institutes. And guess what, emotions are related to our mindset too!
When we find ourselves on the fixed side of mind, we feel negative emotions such as apathy, fear, jealousy, anger, contempt. On the contrary, when we lead ourselves to the growth side of mind, we feel positive emotions that allow us to adapt, to be more creative, more open to new information, more efficient, more attentive, more active. So what are those positive emotions that give us the superpower to widen our field of consciousness, to access, develop and consolidate our resources? We count 10 of them: 1. Joy. 2. Inspiration. 3. Hope. 4. Courage. 5. Pride. 6. Curiosity. 7. Admiration. 8. Love. 9. Peace of mind. 10. Gratitude.
How do you get to feeling more positive emotions? By deciding to experience more and more of them throughout your day. By re-programing yourself to see the positive, you will probably start looking for it and eventually find it.
Here are some more tip questions to attend positive emotions on a regular basis: what makes you happy? What inspires you? What do you feel proud of? What do you feel curious about? What do you want to learn more of? What do you feel when you tell yourself that you are capable of achieving your dreams? To overcome challenges with inner resources? Who or what do you truly admire? In what environment do you feel at peace? What activity puts you in this state? What or who are you grateful for?
5. Act meaningfully, day by day, everyday
Apart from your daily routines, you could focus on 2 to 3 core actions that will eventually lead you to achieve your 2 to 3 main goals for each week. Not more. And for all the actions you are about to undertake, ask yourself if they lead to your goals. For all actions that don’t lead to our goals distract us from them. So stop doing them. Simple, basic.
As I am finishing this article, I’d like to express my gratitude to those who inspired me throughout the past years so that I could make 2021 one of the best years in my life! Big hands up to Alain Cayrol, Robert Dilts, Carol Dweck, Frédéric Laloux, Simon Sinek and so many others. A privilege to meet, read, listen to you.
Here’s to 2022, the second-best year of my life!
Sandrine Gelin-Lamrani, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine A graduate of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Strasbourg and the MS SMIB at ESSEC, Sandrine has been a multi-expatriate and serial entrepreneur for 20 years. She built her 25 years international career in consulting, training, coaching ventures over 8 countries, for clients that include big corporations, Start Ups, and NGOs across a wide range of industries – IT, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Education, Security, Media.
Providing Professional Coaching 3.0 groundbreaking resources and tools, she helps her clients get gRowing by giving them a framework for reflection, placing them in a positive dynamic that generates opportunities, actions, and success. With over a dozen international certifications, accreditations and awards in the field of professional coaching, she supports entrepreneurial leaders, managers and expatriates who wish to consciously take the lead in their own development.
Published Author, Public Speaker and Radio Columnist, she shares her expertise in : interpersonal skills, entrepreneurial mindset, international career & intercultural management.
Her special power : helping you navigate your complex reality thanks to her global expertise, leadership experience, cutting edge strategies and growth mindset!
Her passion : Creating, Connecting, Contributing.