Happy New Year
What do you mean Happy New Year? What's up with that?!
Well, it might sound strange, but it really isn't. This time of year marks a time for new beginnings. September means we are pulling away from vacationing, camping, cottage time and that general summer slowdown; and we are heading back into routine. School starts up again and work again becomes one of our primary focuses.
I always tell my kids, "Now is the time to set the year right; stay focused and really apply yourself this school year." Sounds very familiar to words that we might speak in January but in a different context. Getting back into the routine has been really challenging these past couple of years, but I think this year it is even going to be harder. I believe the lockdown potentials are behind us and we are now getting more and more engaged the way we used to be, or if not even more because of the drought of reality that we have been living in. We have to admit, that we have adapted to a new norm but this norm is now phasing back into the norm we once knew before. This might be causing some anxiety for some. I can share that typically the final week or two in August has always been my most anxiety-filled time. I have always feared shifting gears and having to change back to the regular routine and out of the free spirit that I typically became over the summer months. I can tell you that I even feel anxiety for my children as they embark on the new school year, although I shouldn’t. My kids are really looking forward to returning to school and I just don’t get it. Why didn’t I ever have this eagerness to return to school as they do? I am not saying I did not like school, I am saying that I was afraid to have to adapt to a new routine, with potentially new people and new approaches. Looking back and evaluating who I am today it all makes sense.
My persona has always displayed itself as an extrovert, but as I get older, I recognize that I am really an introvert. I fear meeting new people and I fear new routines or changes to my day-to-day existence. But my career has enabled me to push forward and meet new people and conduct business. I have actually become good at breaking the ice and getting to know people even though my anxiety is still very present. A lot of times when we experience anxiety, we can go through a cycle of safety-seeking behaviour. This is when we create barriers and avoid situations that cause anxiety instead of facing it with perseverance and resilience. Well in my career I have not really had a choice in the matter. It was either adapt or have no place in consulting. The thrill I get out of consulting at the end of the day keeps me engaged. But the exhausted state I find myself in at the end of the day is due to the efforts I put forth to avoid dangerous safety-seeking behaviour. So, as I embark on this New Year, I unfold what is happening with my family and myself. Whether it be my anxiety or the children’s excitement, September marks an opportunity to set new goals and a time to become better.
I think the final four months of the year should be viewed as the time to prepare for the next year; a trial period or a time frame that allows you to test out new ideas, approaches and concepts. A term to ease into new routines and make them better, or to change them altogether. I know that I have many new changes in the months ahead. Different extracurricular activities for the kids as well as a bit more travel are anticipated for my work. It’s really a matter of me just setting out plan A and plan B and making it work out.
So, as we say goodbye to our summer and move into the more focused time of year, be prepared for the routine or the new routine and any changes that might present themselves. Start off on the best foot and make your goals known and achievable. I think waiting until January is far too late... I chuckle... I am not saying to lose sight of 2023 as the new year and of new beginnings; I am saying there is nothing wrong with getting a head start as so many are in September.
Want to chat about your routine? Curious how you can embark on new journeys into the month of September and bring your team along with you? Reach out, a call doesn't cost a thing!