A different approach to the new year

Take the first step to creating positive change
December 3, 2019

Although I make my living as a coach helping executives create the work-life and impact they want, the new year “let-me-share-the-blueprint-for-starting-your-year-off-right” stuff makes me a bit queasy. I find myself turning off and not checking social media during this time to avoid paying attention to that “go-back-to-square-one” message. The emails, commercials, and ads feel at best, unnecessary, and at worst, self-promoting.

My inner critic always speaks up around now to flog me that, yet again, going into my 16th year in business, I have “missed the boat” of promoting a new program right at the beginning of January to help leaders “make-this-year-the-one-that-counts.” As loud as that critical voice is, another voice – that of my intuition – is the one I choose to listen to. She says that the “I-have-the answer-you-need-to-make-this-your-best-year-yet” promotion is unnecessary and ironically, gets in the way, at least for me, of momentum building.

There is a point, after celebrating the holidays and spending the week of Twixmas (the time between Christmas and New Years) in a chocolate-eating-TV-binge-watching stupor when I find myself coming to a new resolve about how I want to be in the new year. It is typically not a “design-from-scratch-this-year-to-be-better,” energy that I see being offered all around me. Instead, it comes as a whisper, the small voice of my inner wisdom, declaring a quite different message.

Her message is, “keep going.”

The bottom line – I already know what I want to achieve, shift and evolve into during this year. I don’t need to go back to square one and start anew. Rather, I need to harness the galvanizing energy of Q1 to just keep making good progress against what is important to me. 

This year, my commitment is to get my first book fully drafted, to an editor, and published, whether I publish myself or someone else does so on my behalf. I have been dancing around a book, developing an outline and drafts, and this is the year I want to get it across the finish line and have the message out into the world. Yes, admittedly it’s a daunting commitment, but it is neither new nor one I have been waiting to start; rather, it is already well underway.

I believe the opportunity of a new year is just to get going. A revitalized post-holiday perspective can often illuminate obstacles that might be in your way.  Take advantage of this moment to see what can be shifted to make already-in-play intentions easier to achieve.  

What I find works well, to support continued progress toward what is important, is to put in scaffolding that makes moving forward easier when one’s courage and energy flags. For me, this year, that scaffolding comes in the form of hiring an editor to help with the book-writing process. I’m also going to invest in a new app to help me keep better track of my true priorities.

However, again, these are not new things…rather, they are the continuation of the path of living an intentional life and career. I’m choosing to not waste any precious new year energy on figuring out what I’m going to do this year; rather, I’m going to harness the energy of January and just get going doing those things.

To me, it feels easier to do it this way, like taking advantage of the wind at your back when sailing. 

Won’t you join me?