Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Image via Wikipedia

Guys… you should see my office. I’m too embarrassed to even take a picture. As I navigated my way through the chaos for my first real full day of work yesterday, I realized something.

We tend to think of the New Year as a fresh beginning. A clean slate. And you know I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions and setting goals for yourself as evidenced in a variety of posts I don’t feel like looking up the links for. But what struck me as I tried and failed to find my 2011 planner to change it out for the new one was that the reality of the New Year is never the clean slate we think of.

Especially for us sellers, the final months of the year are always utter chaos. I’ve been tossing things carelessly around my office with the promise that I’d deal with it in the New Year when the retail madness of the holidays had calmed. I’ve been looking at emails and promising to answer them in the new year. I’ve been putting off lesser things because I only had time for the most important tasks.

The result of this is that I’ve left myself a larger than usual mess to clean up at the start of this year. Instead of diving right into my plans for the new year, I’m stilling putting out fires and catching up on stuff I put off at the end of last year. We want to think of the newness of the future and instead we’re dragged down by the past.

I’m afraid this post sounds like a downer when that wasn’t my intention. Because I know that lots of people find themselves in this same mess and let it cloud their whole perception of the year ahead when it shouldn’t. I think the lesson here is that ideas like “The New Year” are just things we humans make up for ourselves to divide the year into manageable chunks. In reality, the start of the new year is no different than the start of any week. We’re still the same person with the same strengths and weaknesses that we had in the old year. Our life is still the same around us, whatever goals we’ve set for the future.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the opportunity to audit yourself and see how you might improve. I, for one, will be easing into the New Year by taking this week to clean out my inbox, straighten up my office and make plans for how better to attack things this year so I don’t end up in this same mess by the end of next year. I will eventually get that clean slate… it’s just impossible to expect to have it at the stroke of midnight on December 31st.

So here’s to embracing the good ole used slate that is our lives. With a little elbow grease, we’ll have it cleaned up in no time!

PS: If you ever want to feel like everyone in the world is on drugs except for you, I recommend Rudolph’s Shiny New Year. I loved it as a kid but watching it again now… WHAT was going on with that movie?