Today we’re going to go big picture on things and talk about how to finish the decade strong.
The crazy thing for me is that somehow we’re through another decade, and if I go as fast as I did in the last 10 years, then I better get my ducks in a row and make sure those little opportunities don’t get missed! Neither you nor I wants to be in a place another 10 years from now with a bit of regret that you didn’t do the things that maybe you should have. The one thing we want more than anything is that feeling that we left it all out on the field, and that we really had a go.
Over the next three weeks, we’re going to chat about the next decade and how to set yourself up for success. But before we get to the next one, we have first got to finish this one strong! I want us to feel like as we get to Christmas, that we’ve really given it our all.
I used to have this ultra-marathon coach and he told me that at the end of every long run (about 40km), no matter how hard the running is, make sure that the last 100 to 200 metres, get up tall in your stride and then pretend like you’re running through the tape. Doing this makes you feel like the rest of the run was actually a little bit easy and you feel like you’ve actually done something.
So, how does this work in life? Well, if we take this philosophy, let’s finish the next month strong and therefore finish the decade strong! There are three things that we really can change pretty quickly in this space for about a month:
Now, I’m not saying you can solve all of these things in a month; what I am saying is that you can make moves immediately to improve each of these things that will help you to finish 2019 strong.
What can you do in your key relationships at home and at work? If those relationships maybe aren’t as good as they should be, you should be asking yourself some questions and making some considerations. If ownership always precedes victory, and you’ve let some relationships slip, you’ve taken too much higher ground and not forgiven people, not been kind enough along the way, what is something you can do in the next month to improve that relationship significantly?
That might be to forgive, or try and do something to heal, or it might be to speak from the heart. It might be to do something special and give someone a treat, an experience by taking them out, spending time with them. This is an opportunity at the end of the decade to say to yourself, well, maybe I can give it one more, make them know how you truly feel.
This year I spent a lot more time ensuring that my health is number one. I really believe that if my health is not in the best possible place, it affects my family and certainly affects my career. There are a few ways that you can do this. For example, I’ve signed up for a run in the mountains in April 2020, and so I’ve started doing some serious training. It’s going to be really brutal and it’s going to push me into some new territory.
I want you to do a bit of an audit on your own health and fitness. Maybe it’s muscle tone, maybe it’s just general energy, maybe it’s diet. For the next month, make a commitment to finish the year strong and change a habit. It only takes 30 days to change a habit and if you’re going to change a health habit right now over the Christmas period, then there is no better time because if you can do it now, you can do it at any time!
Are you happy with it? If not, let’s think about some ways to boost your career right now. Let me give you a couple of tips. If your network is not working for you, how about starting your own mastermind? Sounds daunting, but it isn’t. Just call up half a dozen friends or colleagues whom you trust, whose advice you’d be happy to seek counsel, and set up a monthly meeting in the new year. It will cost you a little bit of time to turn up every month but it’s free apart from a coffee or breakfast.
This peer group is for everyone, not just you, so be ready to give help to others and ask for help in return. You could even set up a meeting before Christmas and say that it is an initial discovery session to see if this would be a good fit for each of us. No obligation, whatever suits their schedules and make it happen. So that’s one way to get your network working.
The second area is your development and growth. If there is one thing that is absolutely true in relation to your development, is that if you leave it up to the organisation you work for to give you all the development you need and want in your life, you will be waiting forever. You have to take ownership of your development if you want to achieve your career dreams. Some organisations are magnificent and go above and beyond, but the honest truth is that they don’t have the money or the resources to do that for everyone. And a lot would love to do more, but they can’t, so you have to take ownership. So what courses or qualifications can you can sign up for? Even if you don’t have the money to do it, just get yourself into a rhythm of learning again through books and podcasts.
The last area of your career development is getting a track record. Create some “wow stories” as Jonathan Ling calls them. What can you do in the next month to sign up through the organisation you work for to seek an opportunity, get onto a project or onto a committee and do something that is above and beyond so as to put a rocket back in your career. If you don’t show that you can do more, if you don’t show that you can get a track record, the opportunities won’t come your way. Ask your boss for more work, ask for colleagues for more work – whatever it is, just find a way to get in front of your track record.
The next decade
Next week we’re going to talk about making decisions about whether you should stay or go from a role – I’m going to give you a framework for that. Then the week after that we’re going to start a career visioning and dreaming process for the next decade. So finishing 2019 and the decade off strong is vital to ensuring you go into 2020 and the next decade all guns blazing.