At the start of a year I always consider having a theme. It could be learning, fun or balance. After every experience, especially the more challenging ones, my reflection includes looking back on the incident or project and asking myself, did I learn, did I have fun, did I keep the scales balanced?
It is quite easy at the beginning of a year to learn when your mind is clear and the pace is only picking up. There are still a lot of social things happening, and if you allow yourself to be caught up in the last few weeks of student holidays, you too can retain that relaxed feeling. Fun happens naturally, and balance does not require too much effort.
The challenge lies in the change of the seasons. January is easy, there is still the rosy residue of holidays and people are smiling and happy to re-connect. In February the glow may start to subside and by March you will notice when you get up early that you may have to put the lights on. The sun sets earlier and the days start to shorten (and hopefully that dreadful southeaster disappears!). That’s when you are firmly in routine and there is no going back. It is then that I do a quick check on how I have kick-started the new year.
Start this year the way you mean to finish. Here are some practical tips to put you on the right road:
- Put routines, rituals and rhythms in place to ground you.
- Write a list of your quarterly goals and put them up in a visible place.
- Plan your year. Combine your work and personal calendars if you wish to aim for a work-life balance.
- Pay careful attention to career goals. If you are not aiming to change jobs then consider what changes you could make to ensure that you are more effective and efficient.
- What skills do you want to add to your repertoire? Is it something that you want to learn or need to learn? Think about learning one skill for fun, and one that will assist your career path.
- Ideally have an update.
I have chosen mine for this fabulous year that we have ahead. It is excellence. I will be trying to do everything a notch up from last year. I will be trying to do less, but better, faster…yet ensuring that I combine it with my last three years of learning, fun and balance! What’s yours?