• 20210825-151517-Michael20Norton20202120column20mug20cropped

Here we are in one of those years where Christmas and the New Year are bookending a full week. And it seems like whenever this happens, many treat it as just another work week, while others take full advantage of an extra week between the holidays where it may not be quite as busy at work. And there are many companies who have moved to giving the entire week off as an extra benefit to their teams.

Why do some feel like it’s the best week of the year? Since I am one of those people, I thought I would ask around and see why others might feel the same way.

Many affirmed my thinking. It’s a great week to decompress after a long year. And many of the folks I spoke with lumped 2020 into this year as well because of the pandemic and overall craziness of that year they didn’t have time to sort it all about last year. This year they shared that they were really looking forward to taking a breather, even if it’s just an extra day or two and not the whole week.

Some families booked a vacation, others just planned local activities. There were several people who shared that they usually start taking down their decorations immediately after Christmas, but this year, they thought they might leave them up just a bit longer.

The full week is giving a lot of people a chance to complete projects at work or at home. And a few shared that they felt like they could get more done because there are fewer distractions.

For me, I always loved the week between Christmas and the New Year because it gave me time to reflect on everything that happened during the year. And although I have already planned out my 2022, I take this week to review my plan in greater detail, adjust if I need to, and wrap my head around what the new year will bring, trying to do as my good friend Tom Ziglar suggests, “Expect the best, prepare for the worst, and capitalize on what comes.”

We know that change happens. Change is constant. Change shows no prejudice. As predictable as change is, the actual changes that come our way are so unpredictable. This means we must ready ourselves for the changes as best we can. And for me, this week is the perfect time to connect my head and my heart as I expect the best, prepare for the worst, and position myself to capitalize on whatever comes.

This week between the holidays, looking at my plan, I want to make sure that I examine every aspect of life, the spiritual, mental and physical, and through the lens of reality. The reason I call out “reality” is because my nature is to be positive. And sometimes this is an overdeveloped strength that could create blind spots for me. I find that being as optimistic as possible is my best approach, only if I am willing to scrutinize my planning and set my expectations having carefully thought through the realities of life.

As I challenge my optimism with a dose of reality, it forces me to become even more creative, to think through contingency plans, and to still try and come up with a way to achieve my goals and dreams no matter what life throws my way. Do I eliminate some of what I had been planning? Absolutely. Do I add more than what I had initially planned for the year? For sure. And the bottom line is that by taking this extra time to focus before the year begins, I go into the new year with greater confidence.

Is this the best week of the year for you? Do you take time to recharge before the new year begins? Or are you racing to complete everything you can before the year runs out? I would love to hear your story at mnorton@tramazing.com, and when we balance our optimistic planning through the lens of reality, it really will be a better than good year.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.