The week between Christmas and New Years is like a trip down Memory Lane and Planning Freeway. All the news outlets from Sports Center to the New York time will be showing highlights of all the cool stuff that happened this year like Alec Baldwin getting kicked off a plane or Newt Gingrich promising a Republican nominee named Newt Gingrich.
You may find yourself reliving your own personal 2011 as you reflect on the past year. I always like to ask myself the question of what I was doing a year ago and I was actually able to check on that by looking at my Google calendar from last year and seeing that I had some contacts I made with some friends and potential clients that worked out to be pretty good contracts.
I also noted that I had set some goals–both personal and professional for the year and did pretty well on some and not as good on others. But on balance a happy and satisfying year.
So how can you approach 2012 to make it a great year for yourself. Here are some ideas:
- Don’t make resolutions. These are too tough to keep. Set goals for your professional life, personal life, relationship and family and fun. Think about 2-3 in each category and then plan some time in January to map our some strategies for each.
- Talk to someone who knows you well and ask them how they think you could improve for yourself. Having others provide unbiased ideas can be helpful but give them the rule that they can’t be critical
- Map our your plans for fun things to do first. Talk with your partner or family about holidays and vacations and get them on the schedule for yourself.
- 2012 will be an election year and there will be a lot of negativity in the air with paid advertisements, debates and “the world is ending” hyperbole. Ignore it all and find your own best way to stay informed without getting caught up in all that noise.
- Talk to people at your place of work about how you can help make it a more production, positive and profitable workplace. It may mean a conversations with just a few folks who you trust but you can begin to build out your connections from there.
- Make better bad choices. You can’t think about the new year without considering food and exercise and I advocate for doing better incrementally. Instead of a whole plate of cheese fries, go with the regular fries and share the plate with someone else. Instead of buying donuts for the office, pick up bagels and cream cheese. Incremental improvements can yield great results
- Go with what you do best. Building on your strengths is a great way to have fun and do better so delegate tasks that you don’t do as well to others which might include your tax preparation, software fixes and even cooking.
- Make some new friends or reconnect with old friends. It can be tough to make time for friends but you may find that it is really good to have other people to bounce ideas off of and to have a place to vent frustrations.
- Be nice to yourself. If you find negative messages rotating in your head (more than normal) find one of those friends and talk it out. Make sure your buds are on your side and trust them that they have some secret knowledge about just how great you are.
- Write down some of your 2012 goals in your google, yahoo, icalendar or even on your December 31, 2012 wall calendar so that you can check them out at the end of the year. I bet you’ll be surprised at how well you do.
Oprah Winfrey has a nice approach to the New Year, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right”.
Have a wonderful New Years Celebration