New Year’s a good time to start doing diligence for yourself


There are certain traditions surrounding New Year’s Day.

Waking up from the night before and vowing never to do that again, perhaps? How about a list of resolutions, mostly abandoned before January is out?

Really, January 1 is just the day after December 31. But markers: birthdays, a new calendar going up on the wall, etc., make good times to commit to starting something new that requires ongoing effort.

Given how many pieces of data are kept sorted by year, New Year’s is a good time to start a program of personal due diligence.

It makes it easier to grab some historical data when you need it (since things are usually available that way). It also makes it easier to start getting in the habits of recording things you need to write down (or type into a spreadsheet, or document) so that you can see patterns emerge.

It’s also a good time to take stock, since your employer’s year most likely follows the calendar, too.

There are two big reasons most of us don’t spend a lot of time doing any of this.

First, we weren’t inculcated into the habit when we were young. (A quality education, for instance, would teach how to think, how to analyse, how to synthesise, how to gather information and weed it, and so on. Most of us went through a school system teaching to tests, instead.)

Second, most years, you don’t need it. Or, at least, you haven’t up to now.

While self-initiated processes of personal due diligence — assessing the risks you may be being put under by the economy, by the markets, by your industry and by your employer (to name a few), sorting out your own career trajectory, determining when and where to punctuate your experience by adding more education, and the like — require work, it’s not totally onerous.

At first, it’s probably an hour a day, until you learn what’s helpful to you and what isn’t. Then it’ll drop to fifteen minutes — something you and a tablet can do over a cup of coffee or tea.

But you need, periodically, to spend a few hours reflecting on what you’re learning, and what it means.

Most of us need help with these processes. That’s where we come in, at Personal Due Diligence. We help people get sorted, keep them on track, help them hone their skills at sussing out the future for themselves, and, above all, provide them with a little early warning system.

We also can help those thinking now is the time for a change talk through their ideas, their desires and their situation (maybe now isn’t the time to strike out?).

Do you absolutely need us? Not if you’ve got the disciplines yourself.

Otherwise, make contact. We’ll help you sort 2013 out.

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