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Three Steps Towards a Fresh Start this Fall

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September 06, 2016 | Andrea Best, Stock & Option Solutions

Three Steps Towards a Fresh Start this Fall

The end of summer is upon us and with it comes the ushering in of a season ripe for new beginnings. Though spring often carries the reputation of representing renewal and rebirth, for us professionals, fall may be a great time to look at ourselves and what we do with fresh eyes.  Indeed, those long summer months tend to turn our attentions away from our professional pursuits and towards the fruits of our labor, such as much deserved time away with the family, BBQs, and picnics; the results of that diverted attention often being shorter work days, skeleton crews at the office, and the postponement of departmental projects and professional goals.  As we all get back into our grooves at work, I thought it fitting to share a few ideas for making the most of the fall season.

Step 1: Take Stock

With children back to school and cooler weather on its way, fall is an ideal time to reflect on career and company goals. Are you on track with what you set out to accomplish this year?  Are there projects, hires, or other activities that you put on pause for the summer that you would benefit from revisiting?

Those looming back-burnered projects and tasks, such as process documentation, developmental pursuits, making the case for additional staff in your department, or starting that job search, move farther and farther down the priority list as more urgent day-to-day activities keep us on the busywork treadmill. Scheduling some time for yourself to create a plan for tackling those big picture goals is a necessary step for making progress where movement has stalled out.

With three more months available to us in the calendar year, we have time left to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves. Even if you set no goals for yourself back in January, fall could be an ideal time to start.

Step 2: Get Organized

Consider prioritizing items based upon their potential impact and ease of completion, giving preference to both those items that can be quickly completed (this builds confidence as you check low hanging fruit off of your list) and those goals that will give you the most bang for your proverbial buck.

Once you have your priorities in order, you can then commence the process of planning and execution. However, if your working environment has become cluttered or messy, you may want to make decluttering your workspace your first goal to tackle.  A clean and organized workspace can do wonders to clear your mind and focus your energies.

With your priorities identified, office in order, and plans in place, consider setting regular meetings with yourself in your calendar to ensure that you have time set aside to make progress on your goals.

Step 3: Go to Town

Though few speak freely about it, all of us struggle from time to time with self-sabotaging behaviors. Procrastination, perfectionism, self-doubt, unreasonable expectations, fear of failure, negative self-talk, and a plethora of other real or imagined obstacles can foist themselves at our feet and threaten to derail the best of intentions.  The best remedy I have found for self-sabotage is taking action and recognizing myself for doing so.  Committed action, one step at a time, and you will be there in no time.

When goals are very ambitious and long term, it may support you to break them into milestones and reward yourself along the way. Be kind to yourself and catch yourself doing it right.  When we focus on what we want, we create more of that.

Achieving the goals you set out for yourself can be incredibly rewarding and empowering. There is no better time than the present to usher in a fresh start this fall.

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