The final days of the year are here and soon 2014 will be a distant memory. Like every year, it has brought numerous gifts and opportunities, as well as challenges and setbacks to so many. As the media recaps the best and the worst of the year, our emotions can run the gamut—from joy and laughter, to anger and despair, and even hope and inspiration. So much life has happened in such a short span of time. It’s remarkable.
Aside from these very public events that replay over and over on our televisions and in our minds, much has also occurred in our own lives—stirring the same emotions along with many more.
For some, reflecting on these past moments and events can be difficult, and almost too painful to extract real value. After all, shouldn’t we just forget what’s happened and move forward?
When the month of December finally arrives, are you like me where you become excited to start planning for the coming year? Do you let the idea of a fresh start and renewed focus wash over you as you reflect on past successes and failures—enthusiastically greeting a clean slate? Or are you typically looking back wondering how it went by so fast with little evidence of improvement or growth? Do you get a sense that something happened along the way that knocked you off track and you really never recovered?
The New Year introduces a shared experience where the entire world immerses itself into declaring new aspirations and opportunities. Collectively, we each want to do more, do it better, and with greater success.
“Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” – Anonymous
This Sunday is the 37th running of the Chicago Marathon. Every year, this inspiring event runs right by my building on Michigan Avenue, very near the home stretch. As 45,000 participants grace our city streets, I join the 1.7 million spectators cheering them on in pure awe as they fight every obstacle to make it to the finish line.
Like many, I try to get out early so I can witness the winners in all categories pass by with full press, helicopters, and police escorts. Each time I see them passing by, I get incredibly choked up as the crowd goes nuts witnessing their amazing inner strength and perseverance as we all share in their great accomplishment.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain
For many of us, getting started on a Monday morning is easier said than done. Our minds are still in weekend mode, our bodies want to crawl back into bed, and the thought of that pile of work waiting for us is exhausting. While research shows that Monday mornings are the most productive time of the workweek, getting excited and energized for another round of long meetings and short deadlines can still be a challenge. Building some level of routine to jump-start the week is a great way to begin and end on a more productive note.
Below are just a few of my tips for giving some rigor to the week, while instilling renewed motivation, energy, enthusiasm, and positivity. What are your tips? What rituals do you incorporate to make the most of your week?