For many, the end of the year provides a time to reflect and set goals for the year ahead. In my experience, however, the formal act of goal setting often comes with undue stress–the stress of worrying that you won’t be able to live out the goals that you have set for yourself or the ability to even establish them in the first place. This does not even account for the dread that the past year’s unmet resolutions can bring.
And so, over the last few years, I have chosen to frame things a bit differently. Instead of setting aside time the last week of December to make a to-do list for the coming year, I approach this period as a time to recalibrate how I move through the world and how I will tackle the challenges or opportunities that lie ahead of me. I also work with my team to help them do the same.
I know what I need and want to accomplish in the new year but establishing priorities and a plan for managing it all, is where this period of recalibration and reflection comes in hand. And while I won’t dive into it now, I have previously written about what I perceive to be the false narrative of work-life balance. Instead, I draw inspiration and energy from my personal life to fuel my professional one and vice versa. It is this recalibration time that allows me to reset and develop a plan to maximize my potential in all aspects of life.
For me, this process takes the form of taking a personal inventory. To facilitate this exercise, I answer the following set of questions that allow me to reflect and prepare for the year ahead:
- What activities (both personal and professional) over the last year brought me the most satisfaction, fulfillment, and pleasure?
- What can I do to help my team at Tampa General (both professionally and personally) throughout the year?
- Where did I experience the most success?
- Where do I have opportunities for growth and or improvement?
- What new activities (if any) do I want to start in the year ahead?
- What activities can I modify?
- What activities do I want to retire?
- Where do I want to devote more time? Where do I want to devote less?
- How and when will I check in on myself during the coming year?
- How will I celebrate successes (again, both personal and professional)?
- Who can help me on this path? On whom can I rely or on whom do I want to collaborate with this year? Who can provide me with honest feedback, and who is available for check-ins during the year? (This person could be a friend, a mentor, a colleague and or manager. You are looking for someone honest, unafraid to tell you what you need to hear, and operating without any personal agendas).
This exercise might be accomplished over a series of hours or days, but trust me, it will be worth the time. It will provide you with a sense of perspective, allow you to set aside some time to clear your mind, reset your clock, your attitude, and your approach as you get ready for a great and productive year.
As you prepare to ring in 2020, I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and joyous new year.