January, for many, is like the human cannonball being launched from zero to seventy miles per hour in an instant. The year starts fast with a frenzy of emails, deadlines, new projects, and travel. By the time we catch our breath it's Groundhog's day, and we're already behind on our priorities.
But not this year, right! Prevent the year from getting away from you at the outset, by setting aside time to think and plan for success. Crazy, I know-set aside time to think? Yes. Look ahead to the horizon of 2016 and determine what will excite you and what areas of focus deserve your attention and effort.
The most effective leaders I've worked with think of their passions in both the success of their business and personal efforts, recognizing that you don't have a personal life and a professional life, but one life. Done well, you'll be intentional about how you intend to maximize your success in the coming year. Ask yourself what do you want to be different in 2016? How will you know if you are on the right track in March, June, and September? Why are these things important and what resources do you need?
There is no magic about doing this in January; you can do it at anytime though January provides a sort of freshness with new calendars. If you only set New Years Resolutions, odds are they won't stick. But being thoughtful about what you want 2016 to look like, will allow you to shape the year, instead of the year simply happening to you or your team.
And for those of you who do set resolutions, particularly in the area of improving as leaders, you may find value in my Harvard Business Review article from a few years back,
The Leadership Resolutions That Work Best
. An oldie but a goodie.