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All I Want For Christmas

christmas gift

As we approach the festive season, we start to reflect on the year behind us and look ahead at what is to come. What were the highs and the lows? What are we proud of and what makes us cringe? What do we want for next year? Are there changes we want to make? And how will we make them happen?

Tired of making New Year resolutions which I’ve broken by 4pm on the 1st January for the last few years, I’ve taken a more enjoyable route to the seasonal review. In our house, we enjoy taking some time to talk about the year that’s gone, remembering the things that have happened to us and the things we have created together.

This year, both of our mothers have passed away, bringing times of sadness and mourning that mean that life will never be the same again for us. And we have welcomed a new baby into the family – a new life and a seventh Grandbaby in our burgeoning family. We have traveled to some exotic and mundane places and spent good and sad times with friends and family. We’ve exercised, laughed, sung and eaten well from our allotment and been to some amazing concerts, shows and movies. We’ve worked hard, learned new things and met new people.

Reflecting on the past; dreaming for the future

In walking through the year, we cherish the everyday as well as the spectacular times, and really appreciate all that we have and create together. Our memories are stirred and our hearts warmed by the stories and images this conjures up. And we are inspired to dream for the future, building on what we value about the past and the present.

So we talk of the things that we want for next year. Not material things but the things that matter to us. Spending time with family and friends, work we love, time together, places we want to visit, ways of being that we want to continue or extend, things we want to do and really want to make happen.

And I am deliberately using the word ‘want’ rather than ‘hope’, as this is about making choices and changes that we want to see – keeping it real and committing to action.

The Oasis Seven Stage Model

The Oasis Seven Stage Model has really helped me with this – getting clear about what I really want and getting support to explore the challenges and choices ahead. Clarifying what I really want and understanding what might stop me from getting it. Spotting my self-limiting beliefs that keep me stuck in wanting and never moving forward. Working out what I need to change and who can help me with this. Maybe acknowledging what I can’t change or control and accepting this. Working out my choices and how I can give myself more room to experiment and try things out, knowing that things can change again if this option doesn’t deliver.

Working with the model has taught me that when we get really clear about the changes we want to make and start imagining them and planning for them, we will know what we need to do to make a start. We don’t have to know it all, but the first steps become clear.

And as we look back at 2015, we find that much of what we dreamed of last year has indeed happened, and there is still time to do the things that got away or slipped out of reach, if they are still important enough to make the 2016 cut.

What’s on your list for the New Year?

Get to know the model better on our short programme, Skills for Change, which runs twice a year.