Fresh New Start? Not So Fast!

messy-closetHappy New Year everyone!

All of us at YSN and hope your holidays were a blast.

We were a jetsetting crew here, traveling all over the place.  Collectively our team hit the snow in Kansas, the slopes in Whistler, Vancouver BC, the mountains in Northern California, the streets of New York, the cities of Bangkok and Berlin, and the beaches of Cancun and Cuba.  And just a week or so before the holidays hit full swing, Scott and I were in London, Romania, Greece and Brazil! Wow, that’s a lot of frequent flier miles, ehh?

This week it’s like a little family reunion.  Everyone back to the office, all fresh and rested, happy to see one another, trade stories and eager to take on 2010 by storm.

But wait!  Before we all dive back into the groove, and into our regular routines, I thought it might be wise to take pause and settle up any unfinished business from the 2009/2010 transition.  You know, all the things you planned to take care of, attack or reconcile over the holidays, but that slipped onto the backburner when more exciting or relaxing options started cropping up?  (Don’t worry, you’re not alone!)

If you’re like me, you still have some end of the year projects still lingering—from cleaning up the house to updating computer files to organizing your office (mine looks like a bomb went off in it!).  Take a few minutes to take a quick accounting of what’s left on that hope-to-do-list and hold yourself accountable to checking a few more things off it in the first few weeks of January.  Odds are, if it bugged you in November and December, it will even more in February and March.

Why start off the year feeling guilty about stuff you had the best of intentions of tackling, but just didn’t get to.

Once you get back into the groove of normal work and life mode, all these seemingly little things start to slip out of focus and right off the priority list.  So, I just wanted to give you one more chance to clean the slate.  Let’s give ourselves the best possible chance to get a running start on the year and make some significant strides here in the first few weeks.  Can’t do that with old baggage hanging around!  So clear it out once and for all!

Before your best-of-the-new-year intentions get lost in the shuffle, I’ve put together a simple little check list that you can peruse, ponder or fill in with your own notes to ensure you take care of old business before jumping into new.  As I write this, I’m compiling my own notes and list and making arrangements and plans to get them done this week.


Anything left to put away? Unpack? Reorganize?  Fix?  Get your living space in order.  Make it somewhere you’re excited to be at the end of the day.  Be sure it is a reflection of you and what’s important to you.  Consider adopting an animal to brighten up your life and warm up your home.

Anyone you missed catching up with?  Reconnecting with?  Are there any special people you should have let know how important they are to you?  Make it a point to connect with people more this year – especially live on the phone and in person.  Social and online media is amazing, but it will never fully replace human contact….nor should it. Commit to taking your relationships to the next level, to being a better friend, son/daughter/niece/nephew/cousin, boss, employee, neighbor, etc.  Spend more time with the people who matter most to you.

Any presents you forgot to send?  Cards?  Notes?  Pictures?  If you promised to “get together again soon” make those plans now!  Take the time to plan visits to family you didn’t get to see this past month, even if the dates are months out.  Think about staying in closer contacts with older family members too moving forward.  Take advantage of still having them in your life.

Business Contacts
Make it a point not to take anyone for granted.  Staying connected and close to your customers, patrons, mentors, advisors, staff, investors, and vendors can take a lot of time, but make the effort as often as you can.  Even in bad economies, people take care of those who are kind and generous and take care of them.  Even a simple email or shout out online to say you’re thinking of someone can go a long way.

Career Planning
Even if you’re not in a clear state of transition (changing jobs, starting a new business, moving, etc.), it’s still a great idea to think about where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going.  Give some serious consideration to what you can do on the professional development front to make yourself an even greater asset to your current workplace or any others that you might attempt to join in the future.

If you’re at a cross roads and are not sure what to do next, or are looking to jump to the next level, consider taking our free assessment on and get “Your Path to Success” career planner.  OR, check out our exciting new online learning program called Fast Track to Success: 30 Days to Transform Your Life and Career.

Regardless of where you are with your career, just don’t forget that maximizing your success is our specialty!  So there’s almost always something we can do to help.

Time Management/Balance
If you’re time management got pretty sketchy towards the end of the year (again, like mine), you may want to consider coming up with some new rules, processes, or systems to keep you on track.  I certainly am!  Balance is another one of those concepts that you either live by religiously, actively strive for, or merely laugh at when suggested.  Think about which group you fall into and what, if anything, you might want to do to change things up.

You’re already thinking about this one.  Make your resolutions, and try to stick to them of course.  Maybe there were some doctor visits you’re over due on?  Perhaps you were going to clean the junk food out of your house or give up caffeine?  Think prevention.  At any age, it’s a heck of a lot smarter (and cheaper) than waiting for something bad to happen.

Happiness/”YOU” time
Are there any new hobbies, traditions or activities that you want to incorporate into your life?  Any big changes you’ve been putting off making?  Any purging you need to do?  A new attitude or perspective you’d like to adopt?  Despite however hard you might have to work at this stage in your career, take the time to enjoy the journey as much as you can and take care of you.  You’ll be so much happier and more successful ultimately, as a result.

Take control of your financial situation.  Know where you stand and figure out where you’d like to be at very least.  What do you need to clean up, control or reallocate?  How can you make smarter decisions in 2010?  Try to plan ahead for your bigger investments or indulgences too – whether this is the year you finally want to buy a place of your own, get a new car, or take a big trip somewhere fabulous.  Thinking ahead will ensure you make more calculating decisions along the way.