‘Tis the season… You, your students, and institution have several reasons to rejoice at this time of year. Semesters are coming to a close, commencement ceremonies are taking place, and winter break is upon us! The end of the year also provides a perfect opportunity for us to recharge for the upcoming year and reflect on our personal accomplishments and even those disappointing and challenging moments.
Throughout this blog series we have discussed practical things that you as a leaders of institutional change can do to bring additional structure and process to your efforts. The tools we have provided are critical and can help yield promising results for your work, however, we have yet to cover the most important component of a successful implementation – YOU!
Creating and leading a change effort requires a lot of work, energy, and time. And, yes, while the work you are doing is rewarding and meaningful, we know that the experience can sometimes be draining and exhausting. Therefore, it is important that we practice a little self-care throughout our efforts. This Success in Action blog offers suggestions for how to make the most out of your winter break. However, these practices can be used at any time, not just at the end of the year. Because sometimes we just have to relax, relate, and release.
Take time to relax and destress…
Realize that success is relative…
Release the past and forge ahead…
Take time to relax – you’ve earned it! Shut down the computer, disconnect, and take time for some self-care. You have put in some serious work this past year. You have supported your students and colleagues and still found the time to complete your other job responsibilities. Now take some time for you. Read that book you have been putting off, binge watch your favorite Netflix shows, catch up with family and friends, or sleep in just a bit. It is very easy to get consumed by the work we do; therefore it is important to take a few moments to step away and focus our attention on something else. I PROMISE you the world won’t fall apart because you took some well-deserved “me” time.
You rested (check)… Now before you get right back into the grind, take time to reflect on the work you have done over the past year. For some, you may be exactly where you thought you would be and that should be celebrated. For others, this might not be the case – and that’s okay! Funding challenges, having too little time, competing priorities, coordinating schedules (and many more) are all common realities that we may face when leading change efforts. And sometimes even with our best efforts and intentions, we are unable to move the work at our desired pace and/or anticipate potential barriers that could impede progress. All that said, don’t be too hard on yourself. Despite challenges, you have kept the work moving and that should be celebrated!
After you have spent some time resting and reflecting you are now ready to conquer the world! Okay, maybe not the world, but hopefully you are recharged and still excited to continue the work ahead. Don’t let the setbacks you may have experienced impact your momentum to getting the work done. While the barriers and challenges you faced in 2017 may still be prevalent, now is the perfect time to revisit your plan and think of new approaches to better address them head on. Lastly, as you revisit your plan, make sure you add in a couple moments for you to relax, relate, and release, because your students, institution, and the work want and need you at your very best.
Enjoy your winter break and Happy New Year!