Somehow it makes perfect sense that our thoughts traditionally turn to change and resolution during the extended festive break. Equally, we’re resigned to the feeling that sooner or later the impetus to turn over a new leaf will lose momentum. But it doesn’t have to. What is needed is realistic inspiration from the word go, followed by ongoing encouragement to keep you on the right track.
A good starting point is to take a step back from daily life, and retreats are the perfect way to do this. They are increasing in popularity and don’t have to be religious. And the best coaching sites can offer inspiration and advice, and help gird the loins when willpower and determination start to flag.
The Retreat Company
Whether or not it’s a religious experience, a retreat offers a peaceful place to consider your options realistically, an essential first step for anyone who wants to embark on lasting – and dare I say ‘meaningful’ – change. The Retreat Company offers a pretty exhaustive range of retreats both in Blighty and beyond, from basic yurts to luxurious facils. If you’re suddenly baulking at the prospect of Christmas, this could be the answer. You could be just in time to find a life-changing escape.
The Retreat Association
If you want something more spiritual, try The Retreat Association, a Christian organisation that also reaches out to non-church-goers. Its website has a list of retreat houses and good information on what to expect from a retreat and how it can help. Retreats last from one day to a week.
New for 2012 are the Life Clubs webinars, weekly workshops for people who can’t get to the real-life Life Clubs that start in January. Motto: “Laugh more. Love More. Earn More. Play More.” Meanwhile, the blog by Life Clubs’ founder and queen of life change Nina Grunfeld can be relied on to offer inspiring and timely food for thought, as do the hints and tips in the weekly bulletin. If you sign up for the bulletin now, you also get a free Confidence at Work mini-guide.
Advice from leading career coaches and practical exercises on finding the perfect job. Subjects range from getting the max out of social networking, financing your career change and identifying your passions. Subscribers to the fortnightly newsletter get a free e-book, 25 top tips. Also on offer are a five-step pod course and London-based workshops. Visit Careershifters.
Suzy Greaves, life change guru
Named by the Mail as one of the “top ten gurus to turn your life around”. Most people are initially drawn by Suzy’s interviews with experts offering guidance on anything from starting your own business to writing a book and learning to think differently. She also offers two free coaching programmes: a 90-day online course on meditation techniques and calming down, and a video course on changing your life in 21 days (no pressure!). But you do have to pay if you pick the 12-month online coaching programme or the leadership course (the good news being that the former is currently on BOGOF special offer). Visit Suzy Greaves’ website.