You don’t need reminding that December is the final month of the calendar year. The season of winter begins in December. We often end our fiscal year at work; wrapping up plans, programs, and often budgets. We prepare for the busiest time of the year, the holiday season. We put special emphasis on giving, and are particularly joyful in receiving.
What you may need a reminder of, however, is to give YOURSELF a present.
#1 – Give yourself the gift of wrapping your leadership values, habits and practices in a metaphorical box.
Explore what learning happened for you as a leader this year that you choose to bring forward into the New Year. What are you leaving behind?
- Did you move closer to or farther from that which truly mattered to you?
- Did you consciously choose new ways?
- Did you struggle with having outgrown certain patterns of working?
- Did you mentor or assist someone in your organization with the same?
Leaders who choose to renew and replenish this month will hit the ground running in early January.
Many of us have traditions for wrapping up; others just wake up on New Year’s Day and start a new calendar. My invitation to you is to spend some private time this month in reflection. You can write, draw or walk your way through your lessons of 2013.
When I do this myself, it helps me celebrate how much was accomplished, how many valuable connections and relationships I had created or strengthened. I see themes, patterns and successes from early in the year that I had forgotten. I contemplate how much I “walked my walk.” I see the opportunities to try harder more clearly.
#2 – Consider the following questions as you wrap up your year:
- What are your top 5 “wins” in 2013?
- Name 5 things you are grateful for from 2013
- Name 5 things, habits, practices, or beliefs that worked well in 2013
- Name 5 that were costly, kept you struggling, produced poor results
- What are the top 5 intentions you have for 2014?
- What 3 things can you do THIS month so you enter 2014 with enthusiasm and focused energy?
The last tip I have is to CLEAN OUT.
If you have an office at home, dedicate several hours to purging old files, clippings, articles, etc. De-clutter=de-stress! Letting go of the old helps create space for new to come in. Plus it feels really good to fill up trash cans and shredders! If you need assistance, I recommend you reach out to my colleague and friend, Kathy Lowy at Uncomplicate Things.
The end is an end, but also can be a beginning.
As you enter the whirlwind final month of 2013, be sure to put yourself on the appreciation list. Your decision to lead and influence consciously is the gift we can all embrace.