By Sarah Alexander, author of ‘Spiritual intelligence in Leadership: From Manager to Leader in Your Own Life’

At the beginning of every year, our thoughts naturally turn to what we want to achieve in the year ahead — and in particular how we want to grow our business. We have been taught that to be successful we have to set clear goals and outcomes. Once set, we have to focus on those goals with laser-focused vision and work consistently towards achieving them. Giving up is not an option!

Yet, in reality approximately 75% of us do not succeed in achieving our New Year goals. This leads to feelings of disappointment and failure. Add this to the mix of our stressful, fast paced lives and our self-esteem and our sense of confidence and worth, quickly erode.

So what is the answer?

The answer comes in the form of our intuitive wisdom and guidance. That inner knowledge, flash of insight and gut feeling that seems almost other worldly in the information it imparts.

The value of asking our inner wisdom what we are to achieve, both personally and professionally, in 2015 is three fold:

· In our lives and in our business, we can only see what our small minded perspective and narrow focus can show us. We look at our lives from this tunnelled viewpoint and think ‘this is what I am going to do in 2015’. In contrast, our inner wisdom can see the bigger picture of our lives individually and people’s lives collectively and how we best fit into that larger whole. It can nudge us specifically in every situation to the best outcome for all concerned…if we allow it.

· Our inner senses can see much further ahead than our logical minds. They know where we are headed ultimately and can guide us, with precision, to our perfect future. And, this wisdom only has our good at its heart. We can rest assured in that knowledge as we release tight control of our lives and depend on this font of inspiration for direction.

· We all have psychological blind spots as well as restricting beliefs hidden below our radar that often negate our ambitions and goals soon after we have started. They act as self-fulfilling prophecies that continuously prevent us from achieving what we believe we desire. However as we follow the one-step-at-a-time intuitive guidance, we are guided to situations that are inherently right for us. Sometimes these circumstances are challenging, yet once we have experienced them and let our limited thinking go, we are free to move forward to a bigger future.

When we follow our intuitive wisdom, we also feel happier and more fulfilled. We are less stressed and driven, less demanding of others and of life, and we develop a sense of trust that things are working out for us. In addition, we are fully ready when the big opportunity appears, with all our beliefs lined up to support this occurrence.

A 10 year scientific study on luck by psychologist Richard Wiseman proved that people who followed their intuition were luckier. Those who took decisions purely based on their intuitive guidance were, time and again, those who proved to be lucky. In addition, they were not rigidly fixed on a specific outcome which the ‘unlucky people’ seemed to be. When we fix our vision solely on our intended goals, we miss those unexpected opportunities that can give us so much.

However, following our intuitive guidance requires that we listen to this inner font of knowledge. We have in excess of 50,000 thoughts per day, so to break into those thought patterns take persistence and a willingness to still our minds.

The easiest way initially to still our busy minds is to focus on our breathing, even if just for three deep breaths at a time. This helps us relax and take our awareness from our mind down into our body. With room in our mind for inspired thoughts to enter, we are best placed to hear that other worldly wisdom from within. As we develop this practice of asking for guidance, listening for the answers and then acting on that clarity, we naturally feel happier, more fulfilled and have greater peace of mind, knowing we are setting ourselves up to be luckier!