'Shake It Off, Step It Up' in the New Year

As the year comes to its calendar end, discussion and conversation typically turns to “resolutions” and “fresh starts” with the new year. Many people use the phrases “start fresh," “begin anew," “do-over”; I have come to see the end of the year and beginning of the new as more of a “continuance” vs. “starting over." A “…to be continued,” if you will.

The year-end holiday season brings time for reflection and contemplation and the opportunity to look at past achievements, success and failures, new friendships and old ones lost, and learning experiences. The new year gives you the chance to build upon, remove and improve.

As the new year begins, I will improve upon my professional and personal successes, I will remove those ideas, projects, clients, and even people who take away from my life more than give to it (yes, we all have these in our lives), and I will give myself more leeway in experiencing failures—not letting them define me but instead educate me.

My reflection this season brought to mind a fable I was told many years ago that struck a chord with me and has wedged itself in my conscience. It’s a story with many variations, many endings, and many morals that can be used in our lives. It’s a story about a farmer and a donkey…

“One fine day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered anyway. And it was going to be too much work to try to retrieve the donkey.

 He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.

 A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that fell on top of the donkey, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off.”

So, just like the donkey, I am not “starting over” on January 1; I am shaking off the past year and stepping up into the new year.

What are you doing to shake off the year and step up and into the new?

Posted by Larissa J. Schultz, CMP, MHA

Larissa is a writer, author, and professional speaker in the hospitality industry. She is also an adjunct professor at Glendale Community College teaching in Hospitality and Tourism.

Follow Larissa on Twitter: @LarissaJSchultz
Visit Larissa's Website: www.ljsmeetingstrategies.com/

Editor's Note: The views expressed by contributing bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Meetings Today or its parent company/publisher.

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