Of course, it is at this time that many people are re-inventing themselves. Whether that is to further their career in 2019, to be more personally disciplined in some way, such as eating or keeping fit, or meeting some long-held social conscious ambition, such as volunteering. The New Year is a great time for turning the page and wanting to be a better version of ourselves. It is a time for commitment to more self-leadership in the hope that through this will come more happiness, more fulfilment, more seniority, more money, or more time with the family – whatever is the drive that we have.
Is there, then, a feeling that during the year, whether that is on 2nd January, or 31st December, somehow we have slipped into terrible ways and have been sacrificing some vital aspect of a ‘good life’ for the evils of greed, sloth, avarice or acedia (apathy)?
It would be futile of me to go into any kind of self-help advice at this point. I cannot even begin to estimate the number of books, videos, blogs, vlogs and podcasts there are on the various aspects of self-help in the world. All have good intentions, but the very fact that there are so many, means that few of them really hit the mark. The self-help industry is a flourishing one and is where many fortunes are made by those, many very genuine people, who have something important to pass on. For many, of course, that fortune is not in a monetary sense, but can be riches from knowing that they have done good work for others, such as offering strategies for self-care to the homeless, or to those struggling with mental health issues.
However, what I am really talking about is self-leadership. In our working lives especially, we think about applying leadership theories and practices around others; whether that is to our team, our organisation or our society. It may be how to make your team more productive, more efficient, more team-like, or it may be how to make Brexit work for a nation that is so divided as to find it hard to have a coherent thought.
How do we apply these principles to ourselves? Might this be the way to harness the potential that the New Year has to offer? If we were our team, our organisation, our own society, how would we use the leadership knowledge that we have to get the best out of ourselves? Do we engage with our own heart and mind as a transformational leader would? Do we incentivise our goals, so that they are worth pursuing? Are we authentic and inspirational when we think about what we might achieve? And how will we measure our progress and build in checks and balances through the year to ensure that our progress is maintained?
Perhaps if we made ourselves a leadership project in our own right, we might finish the year with some good progress to report and a kinder view of our performance.
Talking of which, I have seen several times over the Christmas and New Year period the incantation to be kinder. This seems to be a wholesome value to espouse whatever the circumstances. If everyone was kinder, to each other and to themselves, things would surely have to change for the good? Just a little more tolerance, a little more patience, a little more forgiveness wouldn’t go amiss in almost any circumstance.
Perhaps this is the one change we could all make.
Also, I would like to stop being late all the time !! – Claire Collins