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Michelle Redfern: Seven Steps to Be The Best Version of Yourself This Year
Seven Steps to Be The Best Version of Yourself This Year

I want to show up as the best version of myself every year for my wife, my family, my friends and of course, my wonderful clients, members and listeners. I do not leave this to chance. I plan how I am going to show up for the year, every year, because my friends, hope is NOT a strategy!

So once a year, I stop, breathe and reflect on the year that was. I then stop, breathe and plan for the year ahead. I schedule a block of time in my calendar so that I can undertake this process in a disciplined way without distractions. No, I am NOT setting goals for the coming year. I’m setting my intentions using a word or words that will guide me throughout the year.

Georgina Dent says “I have a goal not to set goals” which works very nicely for me thanks very much as I have openly confessed that I am rubbish at setting and achieving goals. However, I do want some framework, some guidelines to make sure that my actions in the coming year are intentional and have impact on the things that set my soul on fire. Having a framework means that I can show up as the best version of myself, consistently. I have followed this pricess since 2016 when I learned the technique from Dr. Margie Warrell. It has served me well, I hope it serves you.

The Process of Stopping, Breathing and Reflecting.

Step 1: I ask myself, how did I show up last year? Did I show up in alignment with the words that I’d set to guide me?

Step 2: I ask myself, how do I want to show up this year. Who do I want to be in the coming year? Who am I when I am at my best?

Step 3: I stop and breathe. I’ve planted my questions in my mind. Now its time to undertake some kind of mindfulness exercise (guided meditation, deep breathing exercises, a massage or a long, silent walk) to get my monkey mind ready to pay attention to what emerges.

Step 4: I write. I write the words that I feel when I think about how I’ve showed up and how I want to show up in the next year. The words I feel when I consider who I want to be in the coming year. The words I feel when I visualise showing up as the best version of myself. This step might take minutes, hours or even days. I use the same journal each year, scribble down the words that come to mind without overthinking it.

Step 5: I priortise. Just like a values exercise, I work through crossing out, consolidating words and circling the ones that make me feel like I want to be.

Step 6: I write my final list of words our on a fresh page in my journal. Its dated with todays date and titled “My Guiding Words for <year>”. Most years I have three or four words. You may choose to only have one or two, but I do not recommend more than four otherwise it might seem more like a task list than a list to inspire you throughout the coming year.

Step 7: I write the behaviours I’ll be exhibiting when I’m showing up in service of that word. This is so I can come back to my journal at any point during the year to remind myself of the feelings I want to have and the behaviours that I need to exhibit to achieve that.

Words That Have Worked

Here are a few of the words and behaviours that have served me well in the past 5 years.

Fearless: I decided to be fearless, a lot. The conversations I had to have with people in powerful positions, mean fearlessly calling out what it’s time for now!

Audacious:  I must continue to be audacious. Pick up the phone. Talk to that person. Write that article. Audacious women will change the world.

Persistent: Persistence, resilience and tenacity are traits I draw upon regularly. Don’t let the knock-backs, the setbacks and the drawbacks distract me from what I must do.

Intentional:  I will be intentional about everything that I do. And importantly, everything that I don’t do is the key here.

Impact:  My work must have measurable impact, or really, what is the point?  What outcomes are being created for women, socially, politically, financially and personally as a result of my work? How am I positively impacting the life that my wife and I share?

Influence:  Being named as one of the AFR Qantas 100 Women of Influence in Australia in 2018 opened my eyes to how advocacy and influence can be powerful tools for advancing women.  I use the platforms and resources at my disposal to influence outcomes for women and for gender equality.

Simple:  I want a simple life that has flow, not friction. I will focus on the things that matter most to me and continue to follow my bliss.

Actions Not Words

The words I choose guide my actions in the coming year.  The truth is, they already are, so I’m simply calling it out to literally hold myself accountable! It’s too easy to let the days, weeks and months go by without stopping to reflect, check in and make are you are in track, whatever the track is. I’ll reflect on my words and behaviours, written in my beautiful journal throughout the year and then again at the end of the year to see that my actions weren’t just words. I”’ stop, breathe, reflect and celebrate the fact that I’ve shown up as the best version of myself that I could.

What about you? What are you doing to make sure you show up as the best version of yourself this year? If you want help with that, come and join A Career that Soars! Its the global online network for ambitious women who are committd to showing up as the best version of themselves.

What about your workplace? Does everyone have the opportunity to show up as the best and most authentic version of themselves? If you want help with that, book a call with me to discuss how I move workplace gender equality, diversity and inclusion from conversation to action.

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