In Praise of a Labor Day Reset

This is the wikimedia commons photo of the day, and I like it. I'll let you be creative and find a relation to Labor Day.

This is the wikimedia commons photo of the day, and I like it. I’ll let you be creative and find a relation to Labor Day.

In most cultures around the world, we have this giant personal reset button known as New Years. We take time to set goals, declare that we’ll be better people, accomplish great things…and then promptly blow it by March. Okay, maybe that’s just my experience, but I feel like it’s probably a fairly universal one. I’m totally in favor of the idea — it’s uber-beneficial to have a time set aside to reset and reflect and think about the coming year. In the last couple weeks, however, I’ve come to think that New Years is just a bad time to do so.

The holidays are generally a stressful time already. There’s a lot of family around (sometimes out of obligation), there’s a lot of event planning, there’s a lot of spending — you get the idea. To throw in time for thoughtful reflection and goal setting in the midst of that may actually hamper that process a little bit. I get that it’s built right into our calendar, but I suggest a different approach; one that I’ll be trying for the first time.

Labor Day is approaching in just under a week. It’s a long weekend that is often comprised of vacations and relaxing grill-outs with the people we care about. Our attitude about this season just fits better with the idea of a personal reset. Summer is often considered (even in the business world) to be a time when things slow down a little. Half days on Fridays are more common, less night/weekend work happens, and projects generally aren’t as harried. The higher ups take vacations, and workplace libations become more common.

Much of this is simply because of the school year calendar — parents want to take advantage of the kids’ time off. And obviously warm weather helps that cause. As a result, the adults (even those without kids) inevitably get onto that schedule. When it’s time to get back to school in the fall, we’re all probably a bit laid back, and we need to get into gear for fall and winter. As we make that transition in business and with our families, why not do so personally as well?

This year, I’m trying a Labor Day reset. Instead of having a large laundry list of categorized goals like I often do, I’m going to focus on three big ideas for the next year. They’re fairly broad, which is not often the case with good goal-setting, but I’m motivated enough by them that I don’t think it will be an issue. We’ll see. This is all an experiment for me, but one that I look forward to and I think will have some success. For whatever reason, I just felt the need to shake it up a little bit.

Next year, I’ll report back with my findings. If you’re lucky, I may even share my three big goals in the next couple weeks. We’ll have to see about that, though.

What do you say about the idea of a Labor Day reset? I’d love to hear your thoughts!