As I recently spent some time exploring the writing of Charles Dickens, I have new thoughts flowing. In the mid-1850s when Dickens was forming a Christmas story, “The Chimes”, he spoke about the New Year being a time to close out any debts, matters or projects to start the next year fresh. Although the term ‘New Year’s Resolution’ and ‘New Year, New You’ are commonplace now, do you actually find yourself finishing projects and making yourself available to begin 2019 with a clean slate?
I do not personally believe in substantial, abrupt changes when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. In order to properly change behaviors and engage in new activities, a specific mindset change in necessary. It is proven incremental adjustments versus a larger one will produce longer term results ultimately leading to a lifetime of change and not just the short term. How can you beat the question of “oh, how long did you stick with it?”.
All the suggestions listed happen with your initiative. They are not reliant upon the actions of others, nor will they benefit others. This strictly falls into your boathouse of responsibilities. As always, I am realistic. I understand there is not always enough time in the day to add on extras, so what is the benefit of laying out changes and executing? As all the effort falls on your plate, so does the benefit. The list of three suggestions above is so small relatively speaking to what you may have in mind to fit your current situation and where you would like to go, but regardless, all these initiatives have one thing in common. They better YOU. It may contribute to your organization, health, time management, professional development and the list goes on.
To relate to my concentration of your professional development journey, I would like to spend a few minutes honing in on your LinkedIn profile, personal portfolio and resume. Many employers require employees to participate in an annual review, including feedback from management and self-assessment. If you are a part of an organization requiring this, great! They have provided a guide in order to get started! If not, it is not a problem, as you will have free reign to decide exactly which categories of your development to highlight. Take the opportunity to review the projects you have led or played a role in and what the results were. You can identify quantitative results tied directly back to your efforts. Another avenue to pursue is featuring educational or learning efforts pursued to further your range of expertise.
The skills or tasks you choose to highlight, will dictate which interfaces to focus on. The end result will remain consistent though in focusing on your development. Little changes to your resume, personal portfolio or LinkedIn profile produce a larger influence in the end
Close out 2018
As we close out the year, my biggest tip is to hold yourself accountable. Don’t waste time saying you will make these changes at the end of 2019. Roll into the year ready to rumble and make a difference for you. Time is and always will be our most valuable asset, so treat it right and focus on your priorities.
The writing of Dickens's presents in an old style, but his thoughts about time are relatable to where we currently stand. “The voice of time cries to man, Advance! Time is for his advancement and improvement; for his greater worth, his greater happiness, his better life; his progress onward to that goal within its knowledge and its view, and set there, in the period when Time and He began.” Let these words linger on your mind and soul until they resonate. Happy New Year, everyone!