As a challenging year comes to a close, many of us are eager to put 2020 in the past. But as much as we’re ready to move on, we may also be holding on to stress or feelings of resentment and frustration, especially if we experienced professional disappointments and setbacks. These negative emotions can color our ability to succeed next year and throw our work-life balance off-kilter.
Letting go helps us move into the new year with a fresh perspective. These are three ways to let go and rediscover your work-life balance:
Refocus on small moments of success.
When you practice letting go, you can reflect more clearly. Maybe the big milestones you planned for last January didn’t happen: promotions were delayed, salaries were frozen, and projects canceled. But there’s still plenty you did accomplish.
You navigated remote work challenges and found new ways to stay in touch with clients and coworkers. Perhaps you started a new task force at work or took a virtual learning class. Maybe you’ve shown appreciation for your colleagues in ways that helped inspire the team during a difficult moment. Celebrate these small wins; they’re a springboard for future success.
Make a plan to achieve your goals.
We’ve all been there: It’s easy to make a resolution on January 1 only to fall back into old behaviors before the month is over. Part of the reason resolutions fail is because we don’t follow through with a step-by-step action plan.
Letting go offers an opportunity to grab hold of our goals anew. The goal itself might not change, but how you achieve it will. Take stock of what worked and what didn’t this year, and use these insights to shape your path forward.
Time management is energy management.
With many Americans working from home this year, “time management” took on a new meaning as our personal and professional lives blended. Without the typical hallmarks of our workday, like a commute, it’s easy to jump on emails as soon as we wake up and work straight through lunch and dinner. It’s also just as easy to feel distracted by a long list of household “to-dos” and find the day has passed without any work getting accomplished.
How you spend your time directly affects your energy and mood. As you reflect on this last year, consider how you felt at the end of every day. Did you feel drained, exhausted, or overwhelmed? A midday break, like a 30-minute walk or virtual yoga class, can help you refresh and refocus. Sunshine and fresh air clear the mind, making it easier to let go of negativity or stress built up during the day and reset for success.
There’s incredible value in unplugging and letting go of whatever may be holding you down. By keeping that mindset, you’ll foster a healthier work-life balance moving into the new year.
What’s your secret for letting go and resetting? Let me know in the comments below.