It’s that time of year when it often feels like a mad rush to the new year!
And yet, in the midst of that rush is when a timeout, even a short one, can set you up with a successful end to the current year and a fresh start to the new year.
The Mad Rush
At work we’re hectically trying to make those Q4 numbers, pushing out the product in time for the new year, or closing the books.
At home we’re planning for summer vacations if we’re in the southern hemisphere, or making the complicated plans for family get-togethers and holiday celebrations.
And we’re still looking forward to the new year as well by refining business plans and budgets, deciding on new year’s resolutions and anticipating those family squabbles.
If this sounds anything like your end-of-year then I am excited to share with you one technique I’ve used over the past five (5) years that has helped me keep centered in the middle of the storm.
It’s always good to have reflective time but during the hectic holiday season which also happens to be right before the new year, it’s more than good …it’s important.
So give yourself the permission to take a timeout. Think of it as your holiday gift to yourself.
This timeout can be as short as a couple of hours, or as long as a couple of days.The duration is not the important part. The permission you give yourself to hold the ENTIRE world at bay, is.
This reflective time is the most important time I give myself and sets the tone for the entire next year and so I think of it as my investment for 365 days of dividend that gets paid out to me, my family, my friends, my colleagues and my clients.
I am unapologetic about it. And you should be too.
The key characteristic of the timeout, is to gain perspective.
To gain perspective on the last 11 months. What was good about those 11 months? Did it go the way you expected? What was unexpectedly good about them? What was unexpectedly bad? How would you like this year’s story to play out in your memories? And, is there anything you can do in the next 2-4 weeks, before the year ends, to punctuate that story?
It is in looking back at the last year that we can highlight the 1, 2 or 3 things that are most important to finishing the year off well, and starting the coming year with fresh perspective.
So what’s most important for your timeout, is to do an exercise that gives you solid perspective on the current year, and fresh perspective on the next.