Back to the New Year´s thing. I want to say something about New Year´s resolutions and professional growth. This is just about the time when you might start losing steam. We get really excited about what we´re going to do differently after the first of the year and then soon after, for some, we lose a little momentum and then before you know it those goals you set in December are hazy and out of focus. So as you get swept up in everything try not to lose sight of those resolutions for the New Year. And don´t think for a second that you can´t create new and modify old resolutions throughout the year. Just because it becomes March or June doesn´t mean you can´t consider where you want to go in this New Year.
Yes, December and January are good times to reflect on what you´ve learned and how you´re going to apply it to your everyday work life, but too often we lose our momentum. How does that happen, especially when we´ve jumped in with so many good and solid intentions? It´s called life and work and getting busy and multiple deadlines and simply not enough hours in the day. That, to me, is the culprit. But the good news is that there´s nothing we can do about that per se, but we can squeeze as much as possible in the hours that we have. That usually means we need to select, very, very carefully, what we´re going to do and in what order we´re going to do it.
In many cases, we don´t know when or how our workloads grow. My workload grew precipitously a couple months ago, so one of my resolutions, one that must maintain its momentum or I´m totally lost, is to judiciously manage my time. That means carefully weighing invitations to speak, play, and anything that would otherwise take me out of my office during "normal" working hours. I also need to draw some boundaries between work and home. Even though I sit in a home office which has given me the flexibility to run out to collect a sick kid or dash into the front office of the junior high to drop off some money for lunch or-gasp-something homemade in a brown paper bag.
I know that if I forget for second this important goal my life will suffer. So I´ve made peace with the fact that while my new year´s resolutions may not become realized in the very first quarter of the year there´s spring, summer and fall to make some progress. Resolutions aren´t just for January; they can inspire and push throughout the year.
So as the days go by don´t lose sight of your good intentions and don´t be afraid to ask your colleagues-in June-about their resolutions for 2007.