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Insights: 2009 - A year to...?
December 09, 2009

2009 - A Year To...?

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As 2009 draws to a close it's clear on looking back that this was no ordinary year! Bill looks at the ups and downs, reflects on a few of the achievements at New Insights Africa and asks readers to consider how it was and what it meant for them.

Which word would you use to complete the title of this article?

"Remember" or "Forget" or something more descriptive, perhaps?

As each year draws to a close it is natural to look back and think about what distinguishes it from other years. Quite clearly, 2009 was no ordinary year!

The bad and the ugly

On the negative side, its likely that 2009 will be remembered by most South Africans for the challenges brought on by the ripple effects of the global economic crisis. In the latter part of 2008, many of us watched on TV how the crisis unfolded in the US and Europe, feeling thankful that it seemed to be passing us by. As 2009 got into its stride, however, the impact really began to hit home in this country and a full blown recession was to follow.

Pretty much everyone I know has been impacted financially by the crisis, whether it be through a slowdown in business, loss of a job, difficulty selling property, or something much worse like bankruptcy, foreclosure on a loan or reposession of a house or car.

The good

On the positive side, 2009 will be remembered by many South Africans as heralding our time in the world spotlight as the glamour and fanfare that accompanies the FIFA World Cup circus rolled into town.

Premature though this may be, 2009 may also be remembered as a time of great pride. South Africa looks set to take a lead in proposing dramatic emissions reductions as part of the global community's response to the massive challenge of climate change as world leaders prepare for the Copenhagen summit.

The personal

What about 2009 stands out for you personally?

Did you achieve the personal goals you set out to at the beginning of the year or are your earlier resolutions nothing but faded memories?

Did you learn valuable lessons from the economic turmoil that you can implement in time to come - or did you bury your head in the sand waiting for the crisis to go away so you can pretend it never happened?

Did you make a personal contribution, no matter how small, to a better world - or did you simply look on remotely and shake your head at the many problems we face as a society?

Did you truly grow as a person and individual or did you merely tread water and 'survive to fight another day'?

The opportunity

As I mentioned in last week's newsletter, the break with routine in December constitutes a wonderful opportunity for reflection, learning and the putting in place of groundwork for positive change and meaningful personal growth. Be sure to use this time carefully and effectively so that next year you can really hit the ground running in every area of your life!

The highlights for NIA

At New Insights Africa there is much to reflect on as we approach the final days of 2009.

I'd like to take the opportunity to list a few of the highlights of our year, despite having to cope with a very difficult economic environment.

  • To date we are proud to announce that a further nineteen of our trainees gained certification and started their own life coaching practices in 2009.

  • More than 80 new trainees started our home study programme during the course of 2009.

  • In February we introduced an Advanced Coach Training course for certified coaches and welcomed UK and international Master Coach, Lyn Smith, to South Africa to host this exciting course.

  • In March we introduced a brand new free report on life coaching - a comprehensive 42 page document, mailed free of charge to interested parties. A fully downloadable version of this brochure was made available to the public in September.

  • In April we introduced a sophisticated new version of our online Forum for the ongoing benefit of our trainees and coaches.

  • In June we introduced two great new products, Six Steps to Ultimate Freedom - a mini coaching program on audio CD by Master coach, Sharon Frith and Introduction to Life Coaching, a DVD video recording of a live workshop hosted by Lyn Smith and myself in the Cape.

  • In October we introduced a state-of-the-art online journalling software platform to our customers, in line with a partnership deal concluded with a progressive North American coaching company.

  • In December we completed work on building a brand new life coach directory - a website that aims to promote the services of our certified life coaches to the public. This site goes live next week but you can get a sneak preview now, at:

  • Throughout the year, we have played an important role in helping to establish CETASA, the Coach Education and Training Association of SA, a body that seeks to represent coach training institutions and further the interests of professional coaching in South Africa and beyond.

The future

My company and I look forward to a wonderful 2010 - a year in which we aim to step up efforts to deliver on our mission to bring personal freedom, confidence and growth to people from all walks of life in South and southern Africa.

The wish

My wish for you is that you finish the year in style and prepare the groundwork for a hugely successful and fulfilling year in 2010. I hope that many readers will choose to join us and go on to become life coaches spreading prosperity, joy and fulfillment throughout the African subcontinent!

As always, warm regards,


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