It’s the first week of March, and one of my favorite times of year is coming to a close — that beautiful little lull between the end of the holidays and the blooming beauty, liveliness, and craziness of spring.
Some of us would call this current time the doldrums which, after the frenetic energy of the holidays, I totally get. Whatever you call it, many of us — accountants aside 😁 — haven’t yet ramped back up into crazy (at least not entirely). Most New Year’s resolutions have by now been abandoned; it’s the calm before the storm. It’s the last remnant of a relatively slow period of the year, and it’s one of a handful of small windows like this where we can catch our breath and be a little more thoughtful and reflective.
Now is the time to get a solid sense of your intention for the rest of the year — before it gets too chaotic. The old adage goes: When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s difficult to remember your original intention was to drain the swamp. In just a couple weeks, the alligators will start gathering. In a month, they’ll be up to your ass.
Now is the time to do some important work.
This is our design time.
The first two months of the year are already gone. What will you do with the other 10? Now’s the time to consider that because if you don’t, the year will be over before you know it.
Once we hit tax season, spring is in full force, and most of us are already ramping up for summer with vacations and summer camps and family reunions and the list goes on.
The real beginning of the year for most of us hits in September. The kids go back to school, and we get a fresh start to our work-life rhythms. For many of us, September to December is our busiest work period of the year, and believe me, you won’t take the time then to do any planning, analysis, or design. You’ll be too busy doing.
So what’s your intention for the next 10 months? Build your business, invest in your relationships, get healthier?
Here are a few tips to help:
- Name the five most important things you want to accomplish in 2023. Write them down, and post them where they can be seen, perhaps on your monitor or a whiteboard. NOT under a pile of papers on your desk or in a computer/tablet/phone file that you never look at (unless the list becomes your screen background).
- You have three major seasons left: Spring, Summer, and Autumn. How do you want to feel at the end of each of them when you look back over their months? Then consider what actions, activities, and choices create those feelings — and schedule them.
- Daily, take 60 seconds to stop and notice something in exquisite detail: your first sip of coffee, the colors and leaves of your blooming Magnolia tree or favorite plant, the eyes of your love, the giggle of your child, the feel of the steering wheel in that car you worked so hard to earn, the smell of the cinnamon bun you are eating, a song you love, the sounds of the morning… anything. Just 60 seconds. Just notice.
- It will bring you joy.
- It will show you daily that YOU are in charge of your life, your thoughts, your focus, your experience. That control is typically one of the first things the alligators eat, and the absence of such control makes us feel chaotic and helpless.
- You will set yourself up to be more kind to yourself and others — but mostly yourself, and we all would benefit from a little more kindness toward ourselves.
Give it some thought, because the rollercoaster is about to crest that first tall hill.