Still feeling that new year/new decade buzz?
We can sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves by leaning too much on the new year to spark some inner change within us. The whole “this year will be different” mantra can lead us to disappointment and most importantly not enable us to make the changes we know we should.
I urge you to take some time before you get wrapped up in the ‘new year, same you’ trap to stop and reflect. Take stock of the last year by running a quick retrospective, and look forward of what you think this year has in store for you. As a leader, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself first, and are fuelled by the right kind of energy. You need to feel empowered and in control or else your team has no hope!
An exercise that I have found very valuable and continue to do at the start and middle of every year is to identify what is taking away my energy and what’s giving me energy. It’s not only fascinating to see how this shifts as I grow but enables me to ensure I am not taking on work that I shouldn’t be doing or need to let go of (cough delegate).
This exercise has helped me to ensure I am constantly adapting and moving forward. It’s helped me make changes to both my personal and professional life, manage my schedule and hire new team members, and let go of work that wasn’t serving me anymore.
Sometimes the tasks I know deplete me of energy or that I procrastinate around are actually under my control and I can’t let go of. I find this exercise still helpful as it increases my awareness of how I might approach those tasks and instead of feeling burdened by them, I now see them as things I just have to 'get through’ so that I can focus on all the stuff that gives me energy.
Here’s how I run it:
- I do a quick reflection on the past 6 to 12 months by mapping my highs and lows. I find that going through my calendar sparks memories and energies 📆
- I take an A4 and draw a line down the middle, label one side + and one side - and fill out accordingly.
- I then look at the “+” column and identify where I can add more of that in my life 🙌
- I look at the “-” column and do a similar review, and I’ll usually bring this to my coach, friend, accountability buddy, to talk through how I might go about adjusting these. Making change here can often take a lot of courage, so it’s important to get that external support 💪
Give it a go. This will help you get more focused on where to put your change making efforts and break away from patterns that are not serving you.
You got this.