All things begin and end in their own time and their own way. Interestingly, although endings and beginnings happen all the time, the turn of the new year is the time when we often focus on this aspect of our lives.
Work projects, work relationships, even jobs themselves begin and end, over and over. It helps us if we know that plans and projects eventually end (in one way or another), and we plan for the endings, and the subsequent new beginnings!
Begin with the End in Mind
When beginning a new project, or a new job, think about where you want to end up. Take a moment to consider the desired outcome, and then you can take reasonable steps to get yourself there.
For example, if you took on a new project to… learn a new skill, meet new people within your company (or clientele), or get more exposure, make sure that you conduct the project to ensure your big picture outcome happens.
This means that you: engage those on the team who can teach you the skill you want to learn; go out of your way to get to know the others you interact with on the project; or ensure that you make the final presentation regarding the outcome.
Whatever it is, make sure that you don’t lose sight of your goals while conducting the day to day work.
Prepare for the End
Since all things do eventually come to an end, you want to prepare for this, and not wait until the last minute to close “open loops.”
Make sure you are documenting what you worked on, getting rid of items you don’t need, or following up with people you need to right away. Don’t wait.
If you wait until the very end to complete all those tasks you “wanted” or “hoped” to get to, chances are you won’t get them all done.
Instead of fighting the inevitable, learn to accept what happens with as much grace as you can. It is perfectly acceptable to have a momentary breakdown, or to go home and scream when you get taken off that big project you’d been lobbying for for months or – worse yet – get laid off.
I get it. Truly, I do.
However, know that all things must eventually end, and that the ending won’t always be the way you wanted it to be. The sooner you accept that all things must, and will, eventually end, the better you can prepare, and then get ready for the NEW things coming your way!
Be Excited About New Beginnings
This is the bright and shiny time of the year. All things seem possible – and they are – and you’ve got extra motivation and resolve.
Use the beginnings to your advantage. Get extra tasks done, use your motivation to plan and launch those plans, and enjoy the hope and optimism of the moment.
These feelings will ebb and flow, so appreciate them now.
Endings happen, but so do beginnings. At this time of change and renewal, use the energy to your advantage.
I sincerely hope 2013 is a wonderful year for you! How do you approach endings and beginnings? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Aurelia Flores is Senior Counsel at a Fortune 500 company and former Fulbright Fellow who graduated from Stanford Law School. Her website, PowerfulLatinas.com, offers stories of success, along with resources and programs focused on Latino empowerment.