Christmas is the season of gift giving and receiving. As I searched for the perfect gifts for family and friends, I found myself shopping like it was my job. After all, I reasoned, I need to do my part to contribute to the economy. Apparently I was not alone in my commitment to do whatever it takes to push, pull or spend our economy into a better place. Retailers reported some good numbers, and we all felt a little better for a day or two.
As a new year rolls around, we begin to ask ourselves how to make the new year better than the old year. It seems to be human nature to make resolutions and plans to make our lives better. The new year is a perfect time to take stock of what went well and what didn't go so well. We resolve to continue doing the things that worked, stop doing the things that didn't and to begin taking some fresh actions to lead ourselves in a better direction.
Each coach at The Quality Coach! goes through a process of planning our best year yet. We walk our talk as we purposefully prepare for the next year to be our best. This exercise provides both personal and professional benefits and also helps us to become better coaches for clients who engage us to help them make business and professional improvements.
As I took myself through this year-end process, I noted several things that I need to stop doing so as to make that attention and energy available for more productive activities. At the top of the list for me was to mind my own business. As I write this, I am imagining a loud "Duh!" coming from those of you who know me all too well. Alrighty, then.
This profound revelation dawned on me at 3:15 a.m. on a long winter's night when sleep would not come. What was the problem, you ask? It started out innocently enough with me just processing the day's events. One stray thought led to another and another, and the next thing I knew, I was in a full-blown stew. And what was the stewing all about? It occurred to me that I was obsessing about something that was completely out of my control and, frankly, not my business. Concluding that allowed me to relax and get a few winks. As I reflected on that experience, I realized just how easy it is for me to get caught up in situations and circumstances that are well out of my control.
Deciding to make only one New Year's resolution, I shall pay attention to my attention. When it wanders into something that is not my business, I am going to remind myself of that immediately by simply saying, "Not my job."
As I vow to keep my single New Year's resolution, I expect to receive a great gift. It should free up time and energy to do the many things that truly are my job. Resolving to give myself that gift seems like a great step in assuring that this year will become my best year yet.