Hi Everyone,

Today I watched Major Tim Peake, the first British man (but second Brit!!), head in to space (photo from AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky).

What a year he’s had!

At this time of year I find myself being quite reflective, taking time to celebrate what’s been great about the year that’s ending and to focus on the year ahead. Endings and new beginnings, bizarrely prompted by a random date in the diary that we call New Year!!

For many of us this time of year is a time to set goals and targets and often these take the form of a New Year resolution. Despite my occupation being all about supporting others to know what they’re aiming for I’m not a big fan of New Year resolutions. Don’t get me wrong. I do think goals are important, but I find the once a year approach creates a pressure to make huge statements of intent, when actually what is important, and what gets us to where we want to be, is not the giant leaps but the day to day steps we take.

Seeing a goal as one big thing can be overwhelming and demotivating. And also, we can’t always be clear on exactly what the goal is that we are aiming for as things may change before we get there. I often work with people who can’t get started because the whole thing seems too big and unmanageable or who are trying to map their future and set goals before the information they need to help them do that is available.

So my New Year resolution each year is to know the direction I want to go, and then commit to doing one small thing every day to move me that way.

In that way life is a journey, not a destination.

Everything about Tim Peake’s biography suggests his life is full of journey, from Platoon Commander in Northern Ireland to helicopter pilot to working with AgustaWestland . Maybe one New Year he did set himself the resolution to ‘become an astronaut’, but it doesn’t read like that. His life story reads like a man who took lots of small steps and ended up as part of a space mission.

Something else that worries me about New Year resolutions is that sometimes, however hard we try and through no fault of our own, we just can’t achieve what we set out to do. And if the destination is everything, how do we cope with that?

That Tim left planet Earth today is certainly a testament to his (and his wife and family’s) determination and commitment: he began his training in 2009 but was only chosen for this mission much more recently. And even then, not until those rocket launchers fired up could he be certain that it would happen. So many things beyond his control could have stopped him. Just one hint of the common cold in the last two weeks amongst any of the three crew would have meant all three missing the trip. And if that happens, and that goal was everything, then what?

But if we have enjoyed the journey and learnt along the way then we have much to celebrate still.

Life is so full of opportunity and uncertainty. All we can do is know the choices we make as we navigate our way in what we believe is the right direction. And whilst cast iron objectives and long term commitments are great, we need flexibility and to know that the end point isn’t the whole point, and that one step at a time, one small thing every day, is much more likely to help us achieve what is important to us.

So when it comes to resolution time, be kind to yourself. Whether it’s being happy, being rich, being skinny, being healthy….whatever you wish for in 2016, commit to doing one small thing every day to make it happen. Because all those small things add up to really big things!

I hope that in 2016 and beyond you enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Thank you for reading this blog and for your encouragement, support and feedback. I’m taking a blogging break over the holiday season, but will be back to share more Choose You thoughts with you in 2016.