Another year is almost through. How’d we do?
Are you where you want to be?
How will your story continue in the New Year?
Here’s what you need to know:
You can’t start a new chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.
Here are 12 Signs You’re Ready for a New Chapter in the New Year:
Sign #1: The Ride Feels Like a Merry-Go-Round – Didn’t you have this same conversation with the same co-worker about the same project last year? Or the same concerns about your micromanaging manager and the same complaints about your credit-stealing colleague? If those continuous circles are like a nauseating carousel, it may be time for a new ride. After all, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Fasten your seatbelt!
Sign #2: Something is Suffering – Work can be challenging, that’s why they call it “work.” But if your health and happiness or family and future or something you care about is truly “suffering” due to your work, it’s time to re-evaluate what you do and how you do it.
Sign #3: The Future Isn’t Viable – Are you in an industry shrinking or undergoing massive change? Is your current lifestyle sustainable? If you don’t believe you’ll be able to do or interested in doing down the road what you do now, it’s time to take steps toward something your future self will thank you for. You can proceed ahead even if the view isn’t yet clear.
Sign #4: You’re Living Someone Else’s Life – Feel like you’ve been cast in a role meant for someone else? Sticking with it for another’s approval? If you’re pursuing someone else’s dreams, it’s time to stop the masquerade. When you finally tire of wearing that mask, take it off and step into your real self.
Sign #5: You’re Bored – Yawn. Can you do this work with your eyes closed? You long for a new challenge, new inspiration. Change up your routine. Create new goals, cast a new Cast of Supporting Characters. Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our direction.
Sign #6: You’ve Changed Your Mind – Did you know you are allowed to do that? If a previous storyline – something you once wanted – no longer appeals, you don’t need permission to punt. Here’s the beauty of thinking about your life as a series of chapters… You get to write a new one whenever you want. What will the next one include?
Sign #7: You Want More – As you’ve grown so too have your needs and desires. Identify what it is that will make you feel complete and aim name those “unidentifiables” – more joy, more success, more satisfaction. If your tank is empty, in any area, make sure you’re adding some semblance of balance.
Sign #8: You Want Less – Maybe it’s all been a little too much this year! Have so much that’s good in your life except any time to enjoy it? Step off the Crazy Train or at least slow it down. Don’t let the things you love in your life speed by. Edit what’s not important to you. Sometimes we add most to our lives by what we take away from it. Don’t hesitate to hit the delete key.
Sign #9: You’re Sick of Serving as a Bit Player in Someone Else’s Plot – Are you taking care of everything… for someone else? Is your day-to-day only about making someone else’s day easier? Make the new year the time you stop waiting and take command of your own story.
Sign #10: Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right – Can’t shake the feeling that you should be doing something else? Seeking a greater sense of purpose? Figuring out what is meaningful to you doesn’t have to require massive change. Pay attention to what you pay attention to. Notice what you notice. Have the courage to identify and pursue your life’s work.
Sign #11: Life is Short – Maybe you’ve been given a recent reminder of this. A health crisis – yours or someone you love – makes you realize that time is short. What are you waiting for? “The trouble is, you think you have time.” You don’t. Start now with what you have, where you are.
Sign #12: You’re Finally Sick of Your Own Bullshit – There are only so many excuses you can spew. Eventually, even you tire of your irrational rationalizing! Start that new chapter. Everything to this point is mere back-story. It’s your story… what happens next?
You don’t need to check each box to get checked in. Set a storyline in motion that will have you looking back at the end of next year with a sense of progress and a feeling of pride.
It’s your story… what happens next?
Valerie Gordon is an Emmy-winning television producer and the founder and owner of career and communications firm The Storytelling Strategist. She speaks at conferences adn works with corporations to empower high-achievers with the storytelling skills necessary to create careers of impact and influence.