Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My Comment on NY Times Article

Blogging is an interesting experience because it forces you to put yourself out there. Your ideas, perspectives, and opinions are in the public eye for anyone and everyone to consume.

I've had an overwhelmingly great response from the readers of this blog, so I decided to get even more public and post a comment in the NY Times on the article "Year-End Review, With Yourself." I have to admit, I was a bit nervous as I hit send but I'm glad it's up there (comment #39). See my comment at the bottom of the post about the 2 most challenging aspects of change for my overachiever clients!

The article written by guest blogger and coach, Michael Melcher, suggests an exercise as part of the 2008 planning process. The idea is to review all of your accomplishments in the previous year, how you spent your time and reflect on your success and challenges. Head back into your 2007 planner or Outlook calendar and take stock of everything. In doing so, you can close the year and begin with a clean slate for your 2008 resolutions.

I agree with the concept of looking back, feeling closure, and then jumping into the present (and future). The only problem with reflection/introspection exercises are that they're only as good as the effort you put into them. Even someone like me, who enjoys thinking about this kind of stuff, glossed over the exercise mentioned in the article.

Speaking from personal experience, it's nearly impossible to actually sit down and really write it all out. That's why workshops and coaching are useful - they help you get it done. It's just like having a personal trainer at a gym; the exercises usually aren't all that groundbreaking, but the fact that someone is holding you accountable means that you know you'll get it done.

If you're interested in a little nudge, I'm offering a FREE 30 min phone session to help with goals in the New Year (hurry, ends Jan 12!, email me at

Also, if you happen to be in the DC area, I'm also hosting a FREE workshop on Jan 5th entitled "YOU in the New Year" to go through some exercises as a group to get us ready to overachieve in 2008 ;)

Here's my comment in response to the article:

As a coach who specifically works with “overachievers,” I’ve found the most difficult thing for my clients is to break out of what they’ve come to accept as “life” both in their minds and in their actions.

Most overachievers are great at making lists, analyzing the past year, and even creating goals for the coming year. The two most challenging elements of change for my clients are 1) Envisioning something bold/different and 2) Overcoming inertia.

So many of us are burning the candle at both ends, trying to cram everything in during the day, and putting in time at our jobs that it’s difficult to remember what really makes us happy and to picture ourselves actually doing it.

Overcoming inertia is a challenge for everyone - change requires courage, discipline, and vigilance. It’s easy to keep doing what we’re comfortable with, but it takes effort and commitment to make different choices. Our actions are the ultimate litmus test for the changes we’re trying to implement in our lives, and that action comes from overcoming inertia everyday, whether it’s getting off the couch, being nice to the checkout clerk, or kicking a habit.

I think that taking stock of the previous year is a great way to start setting goals for the coming year, but to keep in mind that it might require a bit more to break out of “life as we know it” (both in mindset and in action). All the best in 2008!

Lee Knight

— Posted by Overachiever Coach

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