In reaching the end of the year, I have been doing what I suspect many of us are doing right now – thinking about the year ahead and the things I want to happen. I’m not a great maker of resolutions, because I’m not a great keeper of them. But I do like to have some ideas in mind about what I want to achieve for the next year; both in my personal life and in work.
This year has been an exceptional year for me as it is the year I set up Virtual Madeleine. Naturally, my goals for next year are very much focused around my hopes and dreams for my business. Whilst allowing myself to dream big and be ambitious, I think it is important to adopt a sympathetic approach to goal-setting and not be too hard on myself if things don’t go as planned; after all, mistakes are there to be learned from and not to become regrets.
I love a good mantra and my kitchen walls and cupboards are adorned with various popular phrases. At some point in my life I’m sure I will learn to dance in the rain, live simply, compromise, and all the other lovely things that are written on the wooden love hearts in my house. But not all mantras come nicely packaged. And perhaps my favourite is one that was inspired by something my daughter said to me.
My daughter’s primary school operates a traffic light system for helping the children understand whether their behaviour is okay or not okay. So, green is clearly very good, amber is not so good, and red needs looking at. In the few words I receive from her about the status of each day, my daughter always makes sure to give me a run down of how she and her friends did on the traffic light system. I do sometimes find myself wondering about what happens if you hit ‘red’. What happens the next day? I haven’t had to ask her. She told me anyway – “Every day we start on green”.
Every day we start on green. Every morning is a clean slate. Everybody is at the same point and can have a fresh start.
I’ve come to love this phrase and I think of it myself on the days where things may not have gone well. I may have had an unsuccessful day, I may have lost my motivation momentarily, there may be something upsetting me. But I tell myself that it’s okay, because tomorrow I will start on green.
And so instead of making resolutions that I will not keep, I will have my goals in mind for 2018. But I will always have this in mind too – with the new year comes another opportunity to start on green. No matter how established you are, or how experienced, or how long you have been in business; there is always room to look again at how you’re doing, with fresh eyes, almost as if you’re starting from scratch.
Start on green for 2018 and see where it takes you.