If you’re like me, you’re just starting to surface from that sugar-induced holiday coma you enjoyed last month and wondering where to focus your attention. New year, new calendar, new goals, new dreams and directions, but where to start? The journey is different for everyone, but the common denominators stay the same: Find time in your life for private space and try to map out the next 12 months.
We’re not talking about goal-setting or filling every available opening so you look busy. We’re simply suggesting that you make a checklist of what you need to get done in 2016. Not the 2015 carryovers but those big-picture happenings that you know or suspect are already in the forecast — a trip to celebrate a special occasion, for example, or earning those industry credentials that have alluded you thus far.
Before you can get down and dirty with the details, you should survey the bigger picture: What’s going on in your life and where would any particular happening fit in?
Here’s a quick-start checklist to get you thinking. You’ll also need some quiet time with your blank calendar to see how it all flows into the bigger picture of seasons, holidays, work and life in general. You know there will be times of high stress ahead, so now is when you should work toward the work-life balance you seek.
A checklist for your next year
- Join or renew your professional industry memberships, making sure to concentrate only on those that truly matter to you or your job. If January isn’t your month to renew, find out what is and mark your calendar now.
- Update your portfolio of earned CEUs and gather the proper documentation before it all becomes a blur.
- Get serious about industry conventions/events you want to attend. Now is the time to research dates, rates and registration forms to see if you can make it happen.
- Did someone say vacation? You’ll only have yourself to blame if your co-workers plans theirs first and you have to miss grandma’s big birthday because you’re covering for them.
- Do you dream of a promotion or a new job? Then get busy with a resume update and a list of recent accomplishments. Freshen your LinkedIn profile, too, because you never know who’s looking at you via cyberspace.
- Have you always dreamed of taking cooking classes or something similar? Find out where to go and what’s offered now so all you have to do is sign up and show up.
Remember, you’re the master of your own schedule and there’s no better time than January to shape the year ahead. Good luck, and let us know how you’re doing.
Good ideas? Do you have others? Please share with your colleagues by adding to the comment box below.