A New Year is upon us! An invitation to start afresh.
While a New Year can feel invigorating, like a blank notebook ready to be filled, it can also feel relentlessly stressful. For those of us who have annual goals and plans, our success meter has been reset to zero, and now we must fill it.
A New Year is exciting. A New Year is daunting.
Taking Stock of the Past Year
If you can, take a moment to flip through your calendar for 2012. How did you spend your time? What were your key successes? What didn't you achieve that you wanted to?
In my case, I had a phenominal consulting year, but many of my non-work goals went unmet. While I got a bit better towards the end of the year, overall I lived an unbalanced life.
How would you like 2013 to shape up? This question seems simple, but I'm going to encourage you not to fall into the same trap I did, which is to only focus on work success, which is just one slice of a well-rounded life.
For this year, I reworked my personal strategic plan. Instead of focusing only on business goals, I have three categories: Work, Fun, and Health.
Enlightened Management is Self-Management
I'm slowly coming around to the view that being an Enlightened Manager isn't just about being a great boss, a compassionate leader, and a rule-breaker. Being enlightened means that you truly know yourself, all those strengths and weaknesses, and that you manage yourself .
Being honest (with yourself first) about what you want out of life.
Being courageous and ethical in pursuit of that life.
Being authentic, open, and fearless in your relations with others.
On the Edge of Hope and Fear
As I think about the "self-improvements" I want to make in 2013, I am balanced on that narrow ledge between hope and fear.
I am hopeful that I can maintain my successful consulting business while also having more joy in my life. I am hopeful that I can reduce my ambient stress level from a 8/10 down to a 4/10.
I am fearful that making time for health, fun, and family is going to hamper my career, not benefit it. I am fearful that I'll fail.
What are your hopes and your fears for 2013?
As 2013 picks up steam, I am grateful for yet another year to live in this world, enjoy my family and friends, and do the work that I love.
For the moment let's acknowledge our hopes and fears, then set them aside. It's time to begin.
Cheri Baker is the owner of Emergence Consulting in Seattle WA.