It is the season of Advent – a time of preparation, a spiritual journey.  However, that is not how I would describe most of my experiences with Advent.  Three years ago I was caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  I had plans every weekend leading up to Christmas:  holiday parties, cookie exchanges, handmade embossed cards, Christmas cookies, homemade peppermint bark, gifts to buy and wrap, and the list of activities went on and on.  That year I distinctly remember saying to my husband, “Remind me not to do all of this next year.”  Too often we say those types of things in the moment but then don’t make a change when the next year rolls around, but I did remember.  So two years ago I began to say “No” to a lot of fun activities that I really enjoyed.  What I learned was that saying “No” allowed me to say “Yes” to the things that mattered most. 

That year my experience with Advent changed. I felt less stressed.  I was clear on what my priorities were for the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas.  I was clear on what I wanted to say “Yes” to.

When you look at your career journey, how would you describe it?  Hectic and rushed?  Unfocused and sporadic?  Take a few minutes to reflect on what you are saying “Yes” to in your work life. 

If your list looks like my list of Advent activities from three years, it is time to determine what your core values are.  Once you have clarity on your core values, you can measure your actions against them to create a more focused, intentional plan for your career.  Then, you can easily say “Yes” to only those things that matter most to you as you guide your career journey.

Wouldn’t it be worth your investment of time in 2016 to get off to a great start in the new year? Make 2017 your transformational year!  Take 20 minutes to reflect on the people and things that are most important to you and examine how your career is empowering you to live the lifestyle you most desire.