If you’re anything like me, it can be hard to step off the merry-go-round when you’re in the thick of the day to day. Or even to imagine that it might be possible.

Stepping off the merry-go-round for reflection

Christmas seems to be one of the only times where many of us feel that we can do just that. To step down.

  • We may be encouraged / allowed / forced to take time off at this time of year
  • It’s one of the only times of year where things either shut or quieten down enough so we feel we won’t be too missed or missing out on too much

Caveats

I know that some people do work over the Christmas period, sometimes out of necessity, especially in roles that are 24/7 e.g. caring and emergency professions. I appreciate what you do and am truly grateful for the role you play in holding everything together.

 I know that others still opt to work during this time. Sometimes to make use of vacation time at other times of the year. Sometimes for the peace and normally of work. Sometimes to avoid home or family. Sometimes just to avoid Christmas.

 

A time for reflection

Whether you’re working or taking time off, this is often a period of reflection, especially as this coincides with the end of the calendar year. Breaking from our normal routines gives us time to think and to reflect on a few things. You may join me in thinking about some or all of these:

  • Where you’ve been
  • Where you’re heading
  • How you’re feeling
  • What will you do differently

Where have you been?

It’s not uncommon to look back over the previous year to see what we’ve achieved. We may have had a great year, or things may not have gone quite to plan. It can nevertheless be useful to take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re at.

How do you rate your year? What went well? What didn’t go so well?  What can be carried over with you for next year? What did you learn? What is best left forgotten?

As we reach the end of another decade, some people are looking further back.

I actually recall 1999 more easily than 2009, maybe this is an age thing!

  • 1999 – I was near the beginning of my career, in the 3rd year of training to become a Chartered Accountant. It was hard juggling work and study, but the world was essentially my oyster!
  • 2009 – I had a young family and much of my energy and focus was spent there. I had an interesting role but was “just keeping my career ticking over for the time-being”.
  • 2019 – I’ve left my corporate career to run my own business full-time. I feel energised and liberated like never before.

Just a point to note: 3 years ago, I hadn’t even an inkling that I’d been doing what I’m doing now. Things can move and change relatively quickly!

Where are you heading?

I’m fortunate to meet a lot of people through my work. I know some who have a very clear picture of where they’re heading and what they want to do. Others have absolutely no idea – not at the start anyway. Sometimes they just know they want something different.

But, who really knows what the future holds? I certainly don’t.

However, it’s great to have somewhere to aim towards, if you how will you know when you get there.

What I do know is that “I want to live a long, satisfying, purposeful and financially free life and to encourage and support others to do the same”. This is my personal mission.

To achieve this, I think I’d like to work for the next 20 years or so, and I’d like to be doing something I feel passion about. Maybe I’m on the right path, already – that would be great. But maybe I’m still finding my way too and this will evolve. Only time will tell.How are you feeling?

Our feelings can be instrumental in the actions we take. They can spur us forward. They can hold us back. Sometimes we’re in touch with our feelings. Sometimes they seem to be buried deep.

What can you feel?

Is it excitement? Maybe you have something exciting brewing for 2020!

Is it apprehension? Maybe you’re embarking on something new. That can be understandable…

Do you feel fear and dread? About going back to work? About working for the next X years of your life?

Any of these feelings are normal, along with countless others. I don’t want to make assumptions about how you’re feeling, any more than I want to judge those feelings. But are they acceptable to you? Is this how you’d like to feel?

Do you know how to improve your feelings? Do you know what makes you happy? Do you know what inspires and excites you? Do you know what motivates you?

Would you like to know?

12 months ago, I felt somewhat trapped and frustrated, even though I already had my ‘corporate escape’ planned and support from around me. Now, I feel liberated and free. I feel motivated and empowered.

What will you do differently?

Maybe you’ll do nothing. That’s OK. It’s your life. It’s your choice. As long as you know you do have choices.

You may well circle back to this at another time.

Maybe you’ll decide that you want or need to do something. At this stage you’re not sure what, or how, or when. But the seed has been planted.

Maybe you’ve decided that 2020 will be your year – what a great time to start.

There’s a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

So, what are you planting today? What dreams do you have? What actions can you take – however big or small – that can help you to get there?

 

Can I do this?

Of course, you can. If you can dream it, you can do it. You are embarking on a path that many others have trodden. They decided to do something and they’ve worked (or are working) towards it. Some get ‘lucky’ and make it first time. Others need to course correct along the way. Many need some help in identifying where they want to go in the first place.

That’s OK. There are often people along the way that can act as guides.

But you can also start today, whilst you’re off the merry-go-round for a little longer:

The first step is reflection – you may need to give yourself some time and space for this to happen.

The second step is deciding to act, or indeed to stay as we are.

The third step is actually taking steps forward…no matter how small they may seem.

If you’d like any help along your journey, please get in touch for a discovery call. I’ve trodden my path, not so long ago and I’d be happy and honoured to help you some way along yours too.

 

Wrap-up

It can be hard to step off the merry-go-round when we’re in the thick of the day to day, or even to imagine that might be possible. Christmas seems to be one of the only times where many of us feel that we can do just that and reflect a little on where we are.

  • Take some time to reflect – where have you been, where are you and where are you aiming?
  • Make a choice – to stay where you are or to take action.
  • Be OK with your choice.
  • Move closer to your dreams!

 

Thanks for reading. Check out other Blue Diamond articles to help you take control of your work and life.