A New Year Can Mean a Fresh Start For You

By now you’re back at work after holiday celebrations. Perhaps you took some time to reflect over the break. Maybe you summarized for yourself what worked and what didn’t in 2014. Chances are you made a few mental notes about what you’d like to change in 2015. Resolutions are a traditional feature of a New Year, but it seems that fewer people are making them this year. I asked several of my clients why and I heard this:

“I’m tired of disappointing myself when I don’t follow through.”
“There are so many things I need to change, I don’t know where to start.”
“Resolutions are dumb. Nobody ever really changes anything.”
“Just because we change calendars, doesn’t mean we have to change ourselves.”

I appreciated both the candor and the undercurrent of frustration and futility. Students of change management know that there’s a paradox to change that can be very difficult to manage. On one hand, with so many things in need of improvement, it’s easy to be paralyzed by not knowing where to start. On the other hand, if you start somewhere, all other things will be effected, so it’s wise to be cautious.

Overthinking change can kill even the most enthusiastic among us.

Pick one area of your work life in which you’d like to build greater confidence. Would you like to be clearer in your thinking? More decisive? More influential with your communication? More convincing as a leader? More focused on what’s possible? Write out the reasons why you want to change and make sure they’re genuine. Sometimes we fall prey to the “shoulds” and “oughts” imposed on us by others. When that happens, we not only DON’T change, we build resentment that leads to headaches, back aches, stiff necks and other physical maladies.

Finally, find someone who can help you create a plan to alter your behavior in ways that will help you build confidence. Start small. Elicit feedback. Focus on little successes. Stay the course.

This is my work and I’ve been privileged to help many people find a fresh start in addressing some nagging difficulties. The New Year may create an artificial starting point, but so what? The point is to identify something that you can get excited about. Find the help you need and get started. As your confidence grows, you’ll begin to see a lot of things differently. If you’d like help imagining what’s possible, please call me.

Happy New Year!

Categories: General Advice, Leadership

About Susan Marshall

Susan Marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.