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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Resolution time (not)

As we prepare for the Christmas break, you are probably reflecting on the past year, and thinking about the future. You may even be thinking about New Years resolutions.

Yesterday, at our modest Ottawa employee Christmas lunch, colleagues discussed the idea of resolutions and one of our employees, who like me takes personal fitness seriously, remarked that come January 1, we'll see the gym filled with out-of-shape people trying to lose weight and become 'healthy'. And we'll know that most of the gym visitors will disappear by the end of the month.

In a similar manner, I've noticed that business projects initiated shortly before Christmas with planned implementation in early January usually fizzle pretty quickly. They may be good ideas, or not, but they attain greater theoretical weight because of the long time between discussion and the first available opportunity to put them into work.

This is in part because the Christmas season in our business is unlike any other time of the year. From now, through January 5, we are virtually shut down. Sure, things can slow down in the summer and periodically for public holidays at other times in the year, but nothing quite equals the 10 days or so beginning yesterday and ending the first monday after New Years.

I'll take this time to work on finishing the first draft of my book on Construction Marketing, and our family will be on vacation for nine days commencing Boxing Day.

You'll still see the blog during the vacation, with allowance for a few days where travel/schedule doesn't allow -- in fact the entries may increase in frequency when, with time on hand and laptop in front of me, I can write freely.

But if you are expecting me to bravely announce new projects to 'start' in January, or (worse) to declare resolutions, you should know that I find January to be the most frustrating time of the year at the gym. The place is too crowded and full of people who could, if they really wanted to make improvements in their lives, achieved much more by getting to work on their concerns in November or December.

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