For me, January has just begun and it already feels like the race is on.
I arrived to my lap top, after a holiday absence, to a pile of e-mails and stacked up “to-do’s”.
As I passed a member of our bankruptcy legal team in the hall, I could see what he was thinking just by looking at his face “wow, is it really time to get back on the marry-go-round”? I later came to find we added 5 new cases to his already bulging work load and we desperately need to hire support staff, welcome to the world of fast paced growth.
Maybe your experience today was not like mine, maybe your opportunities are of a different kind. Maybe the bank account is lower than you want it to be after the holiday slump, maybe a key member of your team handed in their resignation just before the holidays, maybe you have 30 voice mails from disgruntled clients and they all need to be called back, TODAY!
Whatever your current opportunity I implore you, STOP! Don’t buy into the façade that we are in a race. It’s essential, that before this year gets away from you, you take stock of 2011.
Go find your favorite spot where you can think, and go alone.
Take nothing more than a legal pad and a pen, and start writing.
Write down all the good things that happened in 2011.
Write down all the lousy things that happened in 2011.
Now, start to ask yourself, of the good things, which of them would I like to see repeated in 2012? For example, I would consider growing our firm 500% in 2011 a good thing but if I’m being honest, I don’t want to see that happen again in 2012! There is way too much stress, way too many hours and life becomes, for me at least, way too unbalanced.
List each item at the top of the page and start to list all of the “reasons” you would like these good things to happen again. Another way to think about this is what is your “why?”. What will get you up in the morning and keep you going every day for the next 200 days of work.
Then, take the top 3 lousy things and list each of those on a separate piece of paper and start to list all the “reasons” why you don’t want them to happen again.
Why should you do this? Because, it’s prudent to take stock of the wondrous things that have occurred in the previous year and to remember the bad things that happened so you can avoid them.
Better yet, it’s wise to make a plan for the year to come and this will give you an excellent start to creating that plan.
The best reason for going through this exercise is that you’ll discover the emotions behind your thoughts. And emotions are the essential “pixy dust” that makes dreams come true.
So, find your favorite place, grab your pen and paper and start writing. I promise you’ll be happy you did!