Happy New Year – Working towards the future you envision

August 26, 2014

I don’t know about you but I always associate autumn with new beginnings. All those years of back-to-school shoe shopping, shiny new pencil cases and adjusting to a new form teacher ingrained the idea that September is when the new year begins.

Even as an adult, September is the time you’re most likely to start learning French, sign up for a yoga class or finally try to master the Argentine tango. All of which makes now (or, at least, next week) a much better time to review to your working life than the ‘proper’ new year. Whether you are considering your career goals, reviewing key projects or refining your management style, there’s a pleasing ‘back to work’ seriousness about September that focuses the mind.

Going with the flow

There are also plenty of cues in the environment to signal change – the weather cools, the nights draw in, you pull old favourites from the back of your wardrobe or buy yourself ‘new season’ clothes that seem less frivolous than summer attire. The kids are getting ready to go back to school. You may have recently returned from a holiday and, even if you haven’t, your colleagues or clients probably have. September heralds the start of ‘back to normal’.

Back_to_school1But you don’t have to make ‘back to normal’ mean ‘business as usual’. If there are changes you’ve been wanting to make in your working life, use the momentum of the shift in the seasons to get things moving. Change takes energy, commitment and focus. These resources may be in shorter supply in the middle of winter when the transition from one year to the next can feel arbitrary and there are no external cues to pull you towards change. The weather will still be cold, the nights will still be short; it will be some time before you put that lightweight jacket back on. Psychologically, mid-winter has always seemed like an odd time to commit to a brand new you – or even a marginally enhanced one.

Seize the day

So in these last few days of summer, think about those ‘New Year’s’ resolutions. How do you want your working life to be different? What skills have you been meaning to develop? What have you been leaving on the back burner, promising you’ll give it some attention one day? And what can you do to start working towards the future you envision – now before you get drawn back into the day-to-day, mundane stuff?

And if your resolutions involve honing your management style or developing yourself as a leader, I’d be more than happy to talk to you: caroline@carolinegourlay.co.uk

Photo credits

Back to school: zcool

New Year © Amorphis

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  1. Jim O'Connor September 9, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Great post, having just got back from Rocky Mountains it echoes my feelings exactly.

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