After a wonderful restful holiday, I found myself feeling fatigued and overwhelmed at the start of the new year. The past year was jam-packed with barely enough time to catch my breath. When I finally slowed down, it was hard to get the engine going, despite the best of intentions and lots of exciting new ideas for 2023. Sound familiar?
I suspect many of you will relate to this experience of overcoming inertia at the start of the New Year. When your engine has been idling, it takes extra effort to get it running again. With an abundance of messages on social media and elsewhere to set intentions and new habits, it’s not surprising that many people report feeling anxious, overwhelmed and melancholic at this time of year.
How to overcome inertia?
I am fortunate to work with compassionate and wise colleagues, and one of my first activities this year was to connect with the Krakauer Coaching team to welcome the year together.
When I started our team meeting by asking what excited them about 2023, I got some gentle push back. It turns out I wasn’t the only one feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. I quickly realized not everyone was ready for the “big hairy audacious goal” question*. It was an important lesson for me as leader and coach. Instead of pushing ahead with gusto, I acknowledged what was being said (and unsaid), and shifted the conversation in another direction.
Rather than focusing on what’s exciting about 2023, I asked the team to share their highs and lows of 2022. We learned some important lessons from each other, and personally, I felt better connected and energized.
Later on, it occurred to me that in the Jewish tradition, when we celebrate the New Year or Rosh Hashana in the fall season, it is followed by the reflective day of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. Just as we start a new year, we look back at our missteps and past hurts. It is a time to acknowledge imperfections, learn from past wrongs, and seek forgiveness.
Applying this same approach to the secular new year has helped me to overcome inertia. Reflecting on the past year of highs and lows, accepting the imperfect moments, and celebrating the successes, are important steps for kick starting the new year.
Today, I’m feeling a little lighter now that I’ve let go of the pressure to ramp up fast, and I have a better sense of my direction. By easing up on myself and others, I am finding the energy to get the engine moving again!
Next time you’re talking with a friend, colleague or your team about this year’s goals and priorities, pay close attention to the response – both what is said and unsaid. Then consider trying a different approach:
- Acknowledge the feelings – as the saying goes, “name it to tame it”
- Share your highs and lows of the past year
- Ease up on the pressure
* The concept of a “big hairy audacious goal” or BHAG was coined by Jim Collins in his book Built to Last. It offers a shorthand for organizations to think big and create a vision that drives progress. For leaders, it can help set an exciting new direction and get others on board. Coming up with a personal BHAG takes energy, reflection and often another perspective. To discuss your BHAG with a coach, schedule a complimentary call with us.
About our featured photo:
This Inuksuk (Inukshuk) is located near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Inuksuk (Inukshuk) means “to act in the capacity of a human”
Traditionally inukshuks were used by the Inuit in the north as directional markers. An Inukshuk in the shape of a person signifies safety, hope and friendship. These stone sculptures were also important for navigation, as a point of reference, as a marker for hunting grounds, or to denote a food cache.
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
As of January 1, 2023, my business is operating as Krakauer Coaching Inc. I am grateful to the clients and colleagues who have made this growth possible. The coaching team at Krakauer Coaching offers clients a range of unique talents and experiences. We always strive to be accessible and find an optimal fit for coaching. If you are navigating a career change, progressing into leadership, want to improve your communication or relationships at work, please contact us to set up an introductory call and find out how we can help.
Making the transition from a busy professional life to retirement can be daunting. For some people, it is difficult to let go of familiar routines and connections at work, and to imagine how to fill the extra time. Others have lots of interesting ideas and unspoken big dreams, yet struggle how to turn ideas into concrete actions. Working with a coach offers objective and consistent support and accountability to help you move towards your desired future. To learn more, visit retirement coaching or book an introductory call.
Mentor Coaching for Coaches
Do you need 10 hours of mentor coaching to renew your ICF credential? We offer individual mentor coaching and a Group Mentor Coaching Program. To learn more, please visit mentor coaching.
Finding Joy in Imperfection
Led by my coach colleague Claudia Aronowitz, this engaging and timely topic focuses on how we can change habits, adapt our thinking and find joy, even in imperfection. Claudia draws on the science of positive psychology and her lived experience overcoming personal and professional obstacles to inspire others and will offer practical tools for change. This can be designed as a keynote or workshop. Contact us to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect.