Thank you 2018, let's move onwards and upwards!

2018 was a complicated year. Was it not a confusing political hailstorm of crazy in your neck of the woods? No, just mine? I can't say I felt scared, but I felt concerned and at times I was left questioning whether I had done things wrong or misunderstood the world's news as it continued to unfold. But no, there were no misinterpretations - complicated global changes were everywhere.

The HR lens in Canada was no less foggy from where we sat. We managed staff through the legalization of marijuana, changes to maternity leave, and continued to overhear puzzling stories about the impact of the Phoenix payroll system.

Leading Presence supports clients who are seeking a more positive work experience: the next engaging role in a fulfilling career; strategies for meaningful conversations with staff and supervisors; the ability to communicate effectively about professional development. To be a stronger leader and professional, focus on your strengths, which includes the lessons from your past.

In 2019, I challenge you to be the presence that leads the trajectory of your career:

1. Set aside time to make plans

During my first office experience, I sat beside a gentleman preparing for his retirement. Each day, he would proudly cross an x on the calendar and announce that he was one day closer to leaving. He was planning to retire by the end of the year. I had younger colleagues as well, and none of them had calendars that outlined the personal goals they had established. Celebrating the achievements of career-related milestones was unheard of. Why would you focus on planning what you will do at the end of your career rather than build the life you actually want to live? Wouldn't you prefer to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, growth and success over a lifetime rather than just at the end?

2. Reflect and show gratefulness.

None of us have built careers alone; we are all standing (teetering at times) on the shoulders of giants. This was my first year truly focused on providing the services I had intended through Leading Presence. If it wasn't for colleagues and supportive friends I would not have the gumption to set the goals I have intended for the new year. I'm grateful every day for the hope that thoughtful people have given me.

Sandy Arsenault is a colleague who understands my personal philosophies on work, balance and curiosity. Without the ability to genuinely share confusion, intention and ridiculous questions with Sandy, Leading Presence would not be the same.

Nicole Fortin is a dynamic presence who inspires me daily. Her lifestyle focus, professional grace and genuine interest to elevate the employee experience directs me to choose excellence. I absolutely needed Nicole in my corner to succeed this year.

There are others who were impactful to my success, for whom I share my gratitude privately. I encourage you to do the same. As we've seen in the media this year, there are times when public announcements are necessary and impactful, but there are also situations when private declarations of honesty are more powerful. My message is the same - be grateful and share your gratitude with those who elevate you. Be thoughtful and intentional with your words and actions.

3. Dream!

Allow yourself to drift along, listening to the desires of your soul. You can't plan and build the life you want without giving yourself the space to feel and hear what you actually need and love. Give yourself space in your life for growth. Mindfulness continues to be statement that inspires quiet - let the buzzword have the impact that you seek.

Allow yourself to receive the beautiful life you've already begun to manifest. If it's necessary, remove some distractions. You'd be surprised how impactful that will be. In 2018 I released some huge distractions, and it took a long time to accept that they weren't serving me; I simply continued providing support to them with no reciprocal benefit. Once I was quiet and respectful of my personal intentions, I gained the courage to walk in the direction that was meant for me. But that growth required reclaiming some of my time, and honoring what I learned and wanted.

I earnestly implore you to prioritize yourself this coming year. Each day and every moment offers the gift of growth and action. Please remember to consciously focus some of your time inwards. Let's stay connected through the year and see how that one choice - that series of choices, that year of choices - deliver success and peace. Happy new year!