Ah well, the excesses of Christmas are behind me once more. Every year I ask why I do it as Christmas looms ever bigger on the horizon and work pressures build in the lead up to Christmas. It is so easy to lose the plot when preparing lavish spreads to celebrate Christmas. Even though I didn't cook a turkey, as we would still be finishing it if I had, I still managed to cook far more than was truthfully needed. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed preparing the feast, it was not until Boxing Day that I actually switched off. To make matters worse, it is interesting how the more food is consumed the less time is available for burning it off!
Christmas was a lovely time with my son here for 10 days - a year since his last visit - and it was nice to spend quiet time as a family. In fact Perth's climate over Christmas made it very easy to do very little! Quiet time is essential if one is to reorganise and review ones priorities in life.
New Year is the traditional time for resolutions. How many have been made and broken already this year? It is important to take time to review what we each need from life and this is a good time to do so. If changes are to be made then they must be made before the treadmill starts up in earnest again. Once running at full speed it is very hard to change the settings. Last month I pondered the importance of celebrating achievements. Now is the time to review what went wrong, the things that made 2003 a difficult year, and come up with some strategies to ensure the same things don't get in the way in 2004. Often little things can make a big difference. Perhaps you can improve the way you plan things in your diary; perhaps you need to change the way you delegate things; do you have a fail-safe way to follow up on delegated tasks; perhaps you need to empty that "Too Hard" basket? Isn't it interesting how the "Too Hard" items become harder, the longer they reside in that tray!
Knowing what you personally want to get out of your job and clearly recognising the trade offs - particularly between family and work - is the key to setting personal priorities and goals. Take the plunge and set yourself some resolutions this year. More importantly accept the challenge to monitor how well you adhere to them as the year progresses!
Rather than asking after the Turkey, the question should perhaps have been "2003 again Dear?"
Have a great 2004!