: Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders. Her Monday Moment has been a popular leadership learning tool since 2006!

What is the best gift you, your very own leader, can give to you?

The stockings are hung, menorah’s are lit, and you’ve checked your own list twice…to heck with St. Nick’s. It’s the holiday time and most will now unwind, but what about you? Have you given yourself a present or two? It’s not the ideal pen or holiday cake, not decorations, or more cookies to bake, but time that you need and may secretly wish someone would box up and put under the tree. This Monday Moment focuses on just you and the best gifts you, the leader, can give to you.

Time to Think

So much of your time is spent developing others, approving their time, counting their numbers, or maybe even buying their gifts online. But remember to carve out a moment or two, reserved only and exclusively just for you. This is the time to think and to plan, to recap not all that you do, but what it is you want and what you WANT to do. It’s tempting to stay busy and keep your head in the scurry but without time to think your creativity will vanish in a hurry. What new approach could you take? What new ideas need this time now to be thought through and fully baked? Some of the best ideas come in the quiet of night and it’s because you got quiet and stopped moving so fast. Those who meditate will tell you I’m right, but those who say “Come on Inner Peace! Hurry up already!” will giggle and laugh.

Time to Revise

The decisions you’ve made in the last twelve months may have been right at the time, but as we always do in the New Year, soon you’ll feel you get the chance to start again, one more time. What revisions might you make in your strategic plan? What policies might you change, now that you have time to examine their impact? What people might you reconsider or spend extra time to develop? What directions might you take that seemed too much to consider before and with some extra time in consideration, may now find an open door? In the normal course of the year, making changes can take too long and create fear in employees that would take you off track. Take some time this year to sit back and imagine the changes. You’d be amazed what a fresh perspective, a break from being busy, and a moment of quiet solitude will do for a plan to rearrange things.

Time to Focus

Is there something that you’ve put off until now? Maybe it’s been set aside for more than one year. Maybe it’s been dormant for more than five. Whatever that item or task might be, you owe it to yourself to give it a bit of focus, even if it’s teeny. Focus only comes when you can get a clear head, but those with the power to focus are also the ones who get ahead on their own goals and sense of fulfillment. Don’t be the one who says “what if?” later on and use this time to focus on you and bidding that question a fond adieu!

This time of year, I know your time can be tight and as a result, I’ve kept the final Monday Moments of the year somewhat fun and light. Don’t be fooled by the focus of this message or think that it’s old school. Taking the time is powerful stuff. Thinking through what you’ve put off until now, when you’re super busy, is definitely tough. But you and I both know it’s true, that taking time to think, revise, plan, and focus is one of the best gifts you, the best leader of you, can give…to the magnificent you.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, a lovely Christmas, and of course, stay contagious!

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