The new year is a chance to get on the front foot, bearing in mind your specific circumstances.
It’s back to school and to work for many people this week. Those who have been working over Christmas may be rolling their eyes as this point, but even for many if these this week will spell an influx of emails and demands as everyone else goes back online and at the very least, an increase in traffic at commuting times.
You may not have had time to reflect on anything over the holiday. You may have been bogged down with colds, noroviruses or any other manner of bugs. You may have faced endless hosting duties and watched way too many re-runs of Pitch Perfect and Jurassic Park or you may have just wanted to escape as much as possible from anything serious and try to forget 2019.
But now, as the Christmas tinsel comes down and we get back to the norm, you might – if you are lucky – find yourself thinking about more than getting through the next day.
So what do you do to prepare yourself for the year ahead? It may be a momentous year family-wise. You may be facing settling your child in primary or secondary school or nursery, coaching them through important exams, children leaving home or any manner of family milestones. All of these may affect what you can do jobs-wise. They may mean treading water or open up new possibilities, for instance.
All those five point articles for the new year ignore the fact that most people make decisions from within very individual contexts.
The important thing is to craft something that works for your family in terms of practicalities, while not being too rigid about things. For example, if a promotion beckons or a new job comes up, don’t immediately say no. You may be able to negotiate the flexibility you need. There’s no harm in asking in any event. If enough people ask – and keep asking – eventually things will have to change.
So, just as many workplaces use January to strategise for the year ahead, why not have your own personal strategy meeting? Some things you can’t plan for, of course, but you can map out different scenarios. If you don’t have some sort of road map the risk is you let others dictate your path. Happy 2020.