This morning I headed into my City Centre office space, which I use to keep me focused, and as it is a shared office I bumped into another tenant who I hadn’t seen this year yet.
I wished her ‘Happy New Year’ and asked how things were for her, which prompted a moment or two of reflection after which she replied with words to the effect that it was ‘tough’. She went on to explain that in January she always finds it hard and questions whether she really wants to be in business still.
What surprises me more than the fact that she was honest about how she was feeling, was that it isn’t the first time I have heard the sentiment that January is tough, after all I have worked a lot with accountants, many of whom dread January.
It started me reflecting about why that might be the case.
One of the first things is that for many the festive season is about family, fun and all the trimmings. That means that when January comes along, the tree and decorations are taken down so everything looks dull, you are back into the routine of going to work with the next Bank Holiday a long way off, things feel dreary.
Also New Year is often a period of reflection about all the things you did, or as is more commonly the case, didn’t do in the previous 12 months. We then use this reflection to beat ourselves up about the lack of success and so it is entirely possible for us to then start questioning whether we are pursuing and/or doing the right things. When instead we could be using the positives of things we have done to feed our goals and ambitions for the next year.
It is strange how the tradition of goal setting tends to be done in January, New Year – New Start, as a overriding mentality. But yet it is at such a time of general gloom and even despondency, but in spite of that it is a habit that I still follow.
Two of my friends, Mick and Gabi, every new year create a ‘vision board’ with different images which represent the things that they would like to achieve within the year.
Now I have known about this for ages, but every once in a while I would be reminded and think, I must do that. But there was always a reason why not to do it there and then and more recently the thought was that I might as well wait until January.
If I am being honest though there was probably also a general reluctance for me to put the things I wanted to achieve down on paper.
I am pleased to say though that I have overcome the resistance and one of the first tasks of the New Year was to get on and do mine.
Of course there were some new things I would like to achieve around the business but there were not that many things there. So I started to reflect on all the different things that I wanted in my life over the next 12 months. What surprised me was that when I was thinking about it many of the things I already had, it was about maintaining or improving them.
It was quite a positive experience for me and gave me a boost to realise that I have so many wonderful things in my life already. From that place I can now take action towards achieving the other goals I have set.
So my advice to you is to go through the same process, consider what are the things that you really want in your life this new year? What would you like to achieve? Then of all those things, how many of them do you already have?
For those that you don’t already have, then start to put together some plans for how you can go about achieving them and take some action.
Remember if you need any help planning your goals and actions just get in touch and ask, I would love to help!