• Debbie Platts

New Year Alignment

This time of the year we seem inundated with various insights into new year resolutions, goal setting vs. non-goal setting, how to set goals etc. etc. Evaluating these insights and determining how—or which—to implement is a ritual many of us are likely to perform. Prior to launching forward into these new activities, it’s important to set aside dedicated time to truly reflect on the previous year. Taking time for some thoughtful reflection allows us to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year and examine areas where perhaps we fell a little short of success. Additionally, it’s beneficial to consider the following:

  • What, or who (including ourselves), might have contributed to our success or interfered with it?

  • How do we dial into that awareness throughout the entire year so we maximize efforts and opportunities in the new year?

  • Is the effort we are investing really reaping the opportunity we desire?

  • Is it time for a professional alignment?

This idea of a professional alignment struck me when I took my car into the dealer to be aligned. It occurred to me that similar consequences result when we have a misalignment with our vehicle or a misalignment with our professional life. Most often both cause us to get pulled from center and experience a much bumpier ride!

I define a professional alignment as an exercise to ensure that our professional goals remain aligned with our values and vision of success. It provides an opportunity to evaluate whether the steps we are taking (actions we are performing) are ultimately taking us in the direction we desire—with the smoothest ride possible. Unexpected events (pot holes, curbs, detours in the road, accidents, wear and tear) transpire throughout the year for all of us, and might impact and alter our previous vision of professional success. Therefore, performing a professional alignment should become part of our new year routine. The benefits gained are similar to those attained when our car is in complete alignment.

  • Energy conservation---When our professional goals (and/or related actions) are misaligned with our core values or idea of success, it causes an internal friction and pressure that zaps energy. We often feel a persistent sense of resistance pushing against us. This leads us to work harder for just small forward progress and we expend energy on something that might not even be taking us in the desired direction.

  • Collateral strain---Misalignment does not just impact our professional performance and productivity but can strain other areas of our life as well. If we invest energy in pursuing accomplishments that produce frustration, stress, and disappointment then we risk disrupting family and relationship goals which potentially prevent us from experiencing life at optimal levels.

  • Replacement costs---One of the biggest costs of professional misalignment is lost TIME. Striving for excellence in an area that is not our passion or investing in skills that fail to get us closer to our personal vision of success is a drain on the very precious resource of TIME. Not to mention the potentially high opportunity costs!

Achieving complete professional alignment will not happen overnight. The key is to recognize the signs and be proactive when we feel we are pulling away from center or steering our career is becoming a challenge. Take whatever actions are appropriate—even if small steps—to get back on the road that eventually leads to your desired destination. To learn more about how JWP Coaching can partner with you on your professional alignment set up a complimentary discovery coaching call at

Debbie Platts is a leadership and small business coach with an extensive background as a results-driven executive of a Fortune 30 company. As a leadership coach, she partners with emerging and established leaders in designing their focused roadmap for success by increasing their self-awareness and maximizing their strengths. As a business coach, she works with businesses to clarify their vision and set impactful strategies that result in goal achievement and successful business results. She is a committed and passionate coach that holds her clients accountable for taking productive steps toward their vision of success.

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