It’s hard to believe that the official beginning of winter and the new calendar year occurred only a few weeks ago! Many people use these milestones to reflect on the past year and plan for the future. As an interim Executive Director, I often find myself coaching staff who are experiencing a leadership transition. I encourage them to include a balance of large and small professional objectives that they control independently. This helps them manage the uncertainty that they may be feeling and positions them well for when the new leader arrives. But this approach can work for anyone. So, rather than hibernating through the winter (although who could blame you), here are a few ideas to tempt you out from under your duvet.

Feeling Dull? Sharpen Your Saw

The story I heard goes like this: Several woodcutters were deep in the forest working hard to finish their work before dark. They were so focused on sawing as quickly as they could, they forgot to stop and sharpen their saws. The result? A lot more effort and less productivity for the woodcutters than if they had paused to sharpen their saws.

Regardless of your line of work, every person needs to stop and sharpen their professional skills from time to time. Professional organizations, affinity groups, online learning videos, your local library or bookstore – the opportunities are almost endless and often customizable for your learning style and availability.

Save the Date

Socializing with colleagues is just as important when the wind chill is dropping. We all need to keep our professional networks current. I recently joined an organization devoted to governance issues and I’m looking forward to their events so I can deepen my knowledge while making new contacts. Planning a few outings, especially trying something new to you, will keep your spirits up and keep you visible in your workplace.

Refresh Your Profile

This is a good time of year to review and refresh your online presence. Consider making some easy changes such as updating your client list, adding a testimonial or two or uploading a new picture. I took a course last fall and forgot to add it to my resume and to my LinkedIn page. No time like the present to get those tasks done in preparation for a busy winter.

Here’s to a productive and prosperous 2019.