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A New Year Offers the Gift of Pause

By February 2, 2012No Comments

One of the greatest aspects of starting a new year is the opportunity for a clean slate perspective on longstanding opportunities or dynamics in life, family or business. We can choose how we see things and influence the actions that follow. We can choose to leave dormant projects or issues dormant, or we can raise them to the surface of our thinking, behavior and relationships. We can let pressing matters remain at the forefront of daily life or we can choose to tie up loose ends and take a step forward into new territory in a relationship or a business venture.

The New Year seems to offer both permission and bandwidth for contemplation and introspection. For planning and parsing things out. A new year is a clean sheet of paper from which to prioritize our energy, resources and focus.

Out of this clean slate thinking can arise a renewed sense of leadership and gratitude. If our own thinking is clear and more precise, it paves the way to lead others to clarity. It models the very behavior of taking time to assess or reset our priorities. If we take pause to consider, record and communicate what we’re grateful for, it can inspire others to follow suit. And the recipients receive the greatest gift of all: our undivided attention.

In a society where busyness and doing are celebrated over the simplicity of sitting still and doing nothing, the New Year is a chance to assess the direction and focus of our thinking and our activities. It’s a chance to be highly intentional as we step into a full calendar year of promise for family, career and business. A chance to choose outcomes and notice opportunities. To brush away cob webs that need clearing out and shine a light on people and projects that might warrant our focus.

Certainly every day that we wake up and step into the world is likewise an opportunity for this kind of reflection and assessment. Yet a brand new year offers momentum – a powerful point of pause.

Successful people are inherently great planners. They’re typically highly strategic. Looking ahead is embedded in their thinking. Intentionality is infused in their DNA. If you’re reading this article, that likely applies to you. Yet there’s always something left to evaluate. Something latent or pressing that needs a breath of fresh perspective or the opportunity for added focus.

If this resonates with you, consider setting aside some focus time to consider three relationships, issues or opportunities on which you’d like to focus. Perhaps it involves something you’d like to fix, pursue or communicate. Then make a game plan for following through. As you do so, celebrate the gift of pause that 2012 has bestowed upon all of us.