With Thanksgiving passed and December into full swing, I find myself in the customary position of addressing my holiday cards … and of course, contemplating my list of New Year’s Resolutions. I know I’m not alone; many of us get pensive at the end of the year and consider what we want different in and a departure from old, past ways. It’s so important to ponder and dream – in our heart of hearts, what do we really want from our time on the planet? Are we living the lives we really want for ourselves? If not, let’s get to it!

Over the years, my friends have seen me throw myself into New Year’s Resolutioning with abandon – and a couple of them finally convinced me some time ago to offer a course on my 8-category approach to writing and executing on resolutions throughout the New Year. Yes, it’s that serious for me – I love it! One category that often gets prominent play in New Year’s Resolutions is work/career (others include social/relationships and financial – perhaps for another post).

After all, we spend at least one-third of our lives engaging our talents in some kind of work effort – whether for an income or a means to feel useful. Also, work represents for many of us a chief avenue of achievement and self-expression. As a long-time meaning in work researcher; I am quite familiar with the array of meaning people register and desire in their work. Notably, the end of one year and ushering in of the next has a peculiar way of stirring in us to want more or something vastly different; often in our work lives where we spend so much of our time and give much of ourselves.

Whether we consider stepping up our work game to a higher level to make more money or get promoted; it’s a good bet the realm of work figures prominently in our New Year’s Resolutions. I’m reminded of an interview I did with John Tarnoff, a reinvention career coach, speaker, and author who helps his fellow baby boomers transition to meaningful and sustainable careers, often beyond traditional retirement. We had an enlightening conversation about the realities of starting something different later in life AND how gratifying it can be. Step number one, though, is resolving to ourselves to do something about this important element in our lives and getting clear about what we want to see different about it – more time off, more income, greater self-expression, something more meaningful and/or that allows us to give back to others, the community, or the planet – perhaps?

Whatever is on your New Year’s Resolution list, let me leave you with this fantastic quote from Goethe:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.


To catch the interview with John Tarnoff and get some of his career insights for starting fresh, click here