This Christmas I didn’t send out cards. I simply ran out of time.
Not wanting my friends to worry, I posted a message on Facebook, letting them know not to expect anything via snail mail. Everything is ok, life is good but busy. After that, I made one phone call to the one elderly friend who I know is not on Facebook, and would have worried. So there, my friends have followed me into the digital world. I wonder if I will ever send out Christmas cards again.
I want to start the new year continuing this pattern of redesign in my life.
How many of our habits, be they annual traditions, or daily tasks, stem from a pre-imposed but no longer necessary sense of duty? Worse yet, are we doing something simply because an industry convinced us we should? (In my previous example, the greeting card industry.)
Even if you are taking some time off during the holiday season, you may be aware that you are returning to work with a full agenda. Your first week at work in the new year will most likely resemble your last week at work in the old one. Meetings may be necessary, but how many do you really need to have and how often? Take a look at what your average day looks like, and be honest about what you don’t like about it. What changes can you make? Make them now.
Think about who helps you be most productive. Reward the colleagues who energize and inspire you by making time for them. Be polite, but honest, and if you need to cancel a series of meetings with people or projects that aren’t moving forward, then do so. Don’t waste a new year by falling into a tired routine. Find ways to advance your ideas and truly help your team succeed.
Cut it out
Beyond work, you may be involved in societies or activities that seemed like a good idea at some point. Take the opportunity given to you in a new year seriously: start fresh! Just because you’ve been part of a club for many years, it doesn’t mean that you have to continue. If it’s rewarding and fulfilling stay, but you are free to leave if you no longer need or appreciate the interaction. You can always make new friends elsewhere. Get rid of extra-curricular activities that bore you, and make time for fun.
Dreams of your own
You’re never too young to be independent, or too old to have hope. Be courageous and choose to live a life of your own design. If you rethink your average day, find a better approach to success, and cut out the projects that have gone stale, you will find time to pursue activities that truly make you feel alive. It’s your life, so live it as only you can. If you make excuses, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. What changes will you make today?
Happy New Year!
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