During the holiday season, no matter where you live, you will probably participate in some type of traditional event or practice. Many traditional events or practices are culture-based and passed down from generation-to-generation without much thought about the value or purpose.
This reminds me of the story I heard many years ago – you may have heard it also:
A young woman asks her mother why she cuts the ends off the ham before she cooks it. Her mother told her that she learned it from her mother. So, the young woman asks her grandmother why she cuts the ends off the ham before she cooks it and the grandmother said it was something she learned from her mother. Finally, the young woman asks her great-grandmother why she cuts the ends off the ham before she cooks it, and the great-grandmother said it was because the ham didn’t fit into the pan she had to cook it in.
This is a wonderful example of what happens when we don’t question why we are doing the things we are doing and discover the meaning behind our traditions or rituals.
We have the opportunity as we step out of one year into another, to reflect on what works, , what doesn’t work, what we could do differently or what we should continue to do because it’s our “magic sauce”. We need emotionally intelligent leaders. Perhaps it is time to create new events or practices to help you as you grow as a leader, therefore I encourage you to:
- Reflect – take some time and think about what you have accomplished this year. Even when we face challenges and obstacles, we still can learn from the experiences. Most often the things that cause us to grow are not our accomplishments but our challenges. Everything we do is an opportunity to learn and grow not only as a person, but also as a leader. What do you wish you could have done better? What are you proud of?
- Give Thanks – one of the best ways to boost happiness is to show appreciation for a job well done. As a leader, we can thank customers, colleagues, and co-workers for their contributions in the past year; be honest and sincere – maybe even go old-school and send a handwritten note!
- Declutter – this is one I am working on right now! Start small. Clean out your inbox, filing cabinet, virtual or physical work space. You will be amazed at what this simple act will do for your mental health. The end of the year is a great time to assess what needs to stay and what needs to go. Create a clean-out plan that allows space for possibilities and opportunities in the New Year.
- Start a new practice – as a leader, what do you do to support your own personal physical, mental and emotional well-being? Could your existing daily practice use a boost? Try adding journaling, meditation, yoga, or working with a coach. Something as simple as taking a walk to prepare for or unwind from the day will help improve your well-being.
I am thankful for the opportunities I have experienced this past year. As I look forward to the new year ahead, I am excited about connecting with new people, places, and opportunities. Let me help you step into your possibilities, lending you the support you need to show up as your best self. Let’s see how we can make 2022 an exceptional year together!