January 6, 2011

New Year, New Beginning

The holidays are a time when we reflect on our values, beliefs and on what is important to us. We take time for things that are otherwise rushed. We think about giving, and gifts, and we think about what we are grateful for - the important things in life. We celebrate with the things that matter - family, friends and food. I like to think back through the past year and contemplate what has transpired over the last 12 months… Sometimes I am thankful that the year is ending.

Then the New Year rushes in. I start each new year by making gnocchi (from scratch!) and baking cantuccini for family and friends. I think about purpose in life. I set goals for the new year and make endless “to do” lists. What do I want to accomplish this year? What do I want to focus on? How will I make it happen? What obstacles and obstructions do I have to overcome? Whose help do I need?

People love new beginnings. We celebrate birth, graduation, marriage, new semesters, and New Years. They are the events that bring opportunity for change, renewal, and rebirth.

Change comes from within. If you want change, you have to make it happen. You cannot expect someone else to make things happen for you. It is up to you – your action or inaction is what matters. Changing your life, making things better, improving the quality of life for yourself and others, is your responsibility.

Change is not always easy. It requires struggle and commitment. It is hard and it requires leaving your comfort zone. Inaction is easy… you just have to sit there. But change is entirely worth it. The new you – the reinvention of self is the rebirth we all need to move forward. (I have never met anyone who wishes for the old brick style phone- why would you relegate yourself to that relic type status).

Way too many people complain about how things are without lifting a finger. Now is the time to fix things.

Change requires trusting your instincts and overcoming fear of failing. Pay attention to that little voice. Sometimes you really know what to do but you hear the endless tape of dismal news that says- “just sit there and wait for a better time”. Make a bold move! That is what successful people do. Make that call.

Set your goals (now!). This is not brain surgery. If you want to make something happen- a job, a new job, a new business, a new partner in life – you need to have a plan that starts with a simple goal. List your goals. What do you want in life? Write it down! Now! Do this every six months. Companies hire people who set goals for themselves… people who are moving forward, improving themselves. People who have goals are just more attractive on a number of levels…

Make a to do list. Get organized! Nothing gets done if you don’t have direction. You need to layout your plans in advance. Each day write out what you want to accomplish. What are the things you hope to do. Getting organized requires that you create a Success Timeline, maintain a Calendar and keep a Daily To Do List. In my book, The Serious Job Seeker, I devote an entire chapter to getting organized. Do it! It works!!!

Get help! You don’t have to do it alone. Find an expert to help you. I like to surround myself with wicked smart people and get their advice. I have a whole team of experts. I always get incredible ideas on how to approach problems or do things better.

This New Year looks especially promising. The economy and the job market have stated to perk in a more earnest fashion… Companies are hiring… Now get out there with a plan of action!!!