Good grief…that whole year-end reflection/new goal thing really bit me this time around.
Ahh…the theme is so consistent in the media. New Year/New You, full fitness centers, Auld Lang Syne and the ball-dropping at midnight. Probably some sort of “do” or “don’t” diet, style, money or relationship tips thrown in the mix.
I like to take stock in my life/business around the Winter Solstace to decide what to purge, add, declare, etc. The inventory helps me to determine what is/was working, what I choose for “next”, what needs serious regrouping, what I need to gently put down and what needs to be dropped like hot rocks.
After choking down a few lesson sandwiches, I’ve decided to share one notable distinction that may be of benefit to you as you start filling up your squeaky-clean new 2012 calendar. Here was my obvious, yet hard-to-swallow recognition: If I’m not doing maintenance, I’m going to be doing recovery. If it’s recoverable, that is.
Yes, they both have a “cost” involved – time, money, attention, work. Maybe some soul-searching or writing.
All of us have examples of the need for maintenance:
• If we don’t change oil in our cars, the garages will be fixing more engines – if they can. Oil is easier.
• If we don’t brush and floss, the dentists get more business. Oral hygiene is cheaper.
• If we don’t cut the grass or weed the gardens, the weeds are happy to take over – fast.
• Unwatered house plants don’t live. Unscrubbed showers get moldy.
It’s not rocket science that babies, systems, projects, etc. cannot maintain themselves – they don’t. “Self-cleaning oven” = false advertising. The only thing that has the capacity to maintain itself in some way has a beating heart and a brain with a plan. Well, in theory.
My not-so-easy lesson involved the maintenance and growth of one of my lists. I had started and nurtured a group I built over the last several years and hosted monthly events. Well, I didn’t focus on maintaining that as a monthly gathering during 2011 for reasons I won’t address here, and when I decided to engage again in the 4th quarter, my normally fabulous response was pathetic at best. I didn’t maintain (bring value) to the awesome people that came to depend on the ongoing monthly events and correspondence. My “feedback” was very clear – Cindy who? Yeah… Big recovery opportunity. Big.
Considering we can’t change anything we don’t acknowledge, now the questions becomes…do I choose to invest the time, money, attention, work TO recover it?
That friends, is what I offer you to consider. Be aware that your goals and dreams DO require nurturing and maintenance. You’re going to mess up your squeaky-clean calendar anyway with all kinds of stuff that in the end may not matter.
Make your “This is my best life – ever” list! Be clear about what brings you value, joy, fulfillment. Decide what value/inspiration you choose to bring to your business, environment, relationships, self-care.
What isn’t on your list, let go. What remains, take care of it well.