I’m sick of pumpkin pie.

If you saw my Facebook posts on Thanksgiving eve, you know I spent Wednesday evening baking several pies for the big family gathering. Baking has always been rewarding to me. It brings an easy sense of accomplishment as the process moves from raw ingredients to finished product.

Now, several days later, the curmudgeon in me has started grousing about the end of the year coming and the Pumpkin Pie Coma that seems to infect too many of us in the weeks between the U.S. Thanksgiving and New Years.

We have nearly a full month left, yet between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, holiday parties, and panicked cramming to complete all of our unfinished projects it is all too easy to waste these weeks. If we can avoid that pattern, we actually have the opportunity to strike a competitive advantage for our tribe.

What can you do to avoid the pattern? Hiding out in your office, avoiding holiday parties, and self-flogging when you recover from daydreaming won’t bring about greater results.  Here are a few suggestions to try:

  1. My Best Thing Action – Take an hour tomorrow and reflect on the best things you accomplished so far this year. Call a couple of colleagues, friends, or family members to get their feedback as well. Then, start each day with one action from your Best Thing list. If you do this every day for the rest of this month, what would you achieve? I took this approach this morning. When I talked to a couple of tribe members about My Best Thing Actions, they reminded me about how much fun I’d had writing this past year.  It got me back to the computer after several weeks of writer’s block. Rather than doing what I do well, I’d gotten so focused on “end of year,” that I’d lost sight of today. The conversations and reflections turned into this blog, an email to our Tribal Rainmakers, and a completed proposal for consulting services.
  2. Take a Weekend Every Week – Dave Logan shared this one in our latest Tribal Rainmakers call. Each week, your genius needs two days off. In a row. As the end of the year gets busier and we hurry to complete unfinished goals, the amount of time we devote to ourselves steadily declines as well. Malnourished by time off, we become less creative, less effective, and less poised to take advantage of the New Year. This one might even mean that you need to take an honest look at your “gotta get it done” end of year list and take a couple of things off the list. What do you have on your end-of-year list that you are pretending is critical, important, or even slightly interesting? Whatever it is, take it off the list. Thanksgiving weekend was a great time to implement this technique. By the time Sunday evening rolled around, there was no more “gotta get it done” noise in my head. What happened next was that I was up half the night working on one of those “big goals” that keeps rearing its ugly head. My genius was awake, plans were being made, and research was happening. Today began with emails to three individuals most likely to influence what happens next. At this pace, I’m wondering what goal my genius will tackle next week.
  3. Start 2014 Today – If today were the first day of 2014, what would be the most important goal on your list and what one action would you take? The end of year Pumpkin Pie Coma is a game we play with ourselves. The year winds down, so that means we must wind down also. Since it’s just a game, we get to create the rules. Make today the first day of the year. Now that it’s the first day of the year, identify what you need to get done first.  This is a great time to pull out a 90-day Microstrategy template, complete it, and start implementing now. For more information on Microstrategies – including a great recording of Dave talking about how to super charge the beginning of the year, check out these resources. This is the one I still need to put in place. There are at least two big 2014 goals that need a 90-day microstrategy starting now… not in three-and-half weeks. I’m going to get those done tomorrow.

If you’re going to join me, let me know. We can set up a call to walk through it together.

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