If you don't know where you are going, it's easy to end up exactly where you didn't want to be. Knowing what you want to achieve and where you want to end up will make you more likely to end up achieving those things.
2012 was a year for the books and I am ready to close the covers on them right now. I lost my way as I pushed through months of 12-hour days and an HR-crazy stream of thoughts, leadership worries and miscellaneous things to-do. I should have seen it coming but I did not. And when I did, it was too late.
A well-planned last day of work before the holiday weekend quickly went awry at 7:30 a.m. with a text the kid had a broken wire the last day the orthodontist office would be open for the next five days. They squeezed her into a 2:40 p.m. appointment slot and my now-shortened work day continued to veer off course with HR happenings and a delayed arrival of holiday flowers for our staff. The flowers arrived 30 minutes before I had to leave so we walked swiftly through the department delivering bud vases to all.
I opened a closed door, bounded in with glee and, unknown to me at the moment, stepped in it big time. Once I slowed down, I put the pieces of the afternoon together and realized what I had done. The door was closed for a reason and it was not because of the noise in the hallway as I had presumed. I clumsily intruded into grief.
It was a comedy of errors except that it wasn't funny at all. This was not me, this was not my leadership. Yet, it was. When I later realized what I had done, it was all I could do to not cry for my action and for the reactionary, singularly focused and extremely tired state I let myself slip into. Right then and there I silently committed to the lane of traffic to my left, to my daughter in the passenger seat to my right and to myself, to get it together for 2013.
Doing 2013 Better
If 2012 wasn't all you wanted it to be, here are four ways you can transform 2013 into a year to remember.
- Reflect. Where did you meet, exceed or fall short of your expectations? What impact will you have over the next 12 months? Who were you as a leader, colleague, family member or friend? What were you most proud of? Where will you pull back? Where will you stretch?
- Focus. Take a tip from Chris Brogan and forgo the idea of a resolution. Instead, come up with 3 words that will help you define your goals and experiences for the coming year. As you move through the year, "execute on the meaning of those three words each month."
- Be Intentional. There is a difference between writing to produce new content and writing to change ideas. Whether you are writing, leading, recharging an exercise plan or starting a new business, define the "why" behind your choice. Take actions that support your intent and toss the rest.
- Be Accountable. Not to bore you with platitudes but the means do not always justify the ends, your actions speak louder than your words, and you may fool some of the people some of the time but you won't fool them all. Really. Choose not to do business with those that are anything less than the real deal.
Now is the time to take that first step in the right direction. I'm putting plans in place to execute on my three words - Story. Flow. Tribe.
Did 2012 go as you had planned? What do you have up your sleeve for 2013?