A healthy dose of inspiration can help us achieve our goals in the new year. (Shutterstock photo)

A Time for Inspiration

Back Commentary Jan 2, 2024 By Winnie Comstock-Carlson

This story is part of our January 2024 issue. To subscribe, click here.

Is there any month that offers more hope for us than January? It’s when we do more than turn a page on the calendar; we go to an entirely new book — and a new year. Many of us hope for a fresh start. I’m tired at the end of each year, but always, in January, I pick myself up, dust myself off, put a smile on my face and get ready to start all over again. For many, Christmas wish lists are replaced with New Year’s resolutions, salespeople set new goals for the year, a CEO may decide to buckle down and tackle that re-organization that’s been in the planning stages for way too long or might even look more deeply at that merger option. Our lives can have so many twists and turns.

For some of us, our resolutions are more personal, but all too often, the resolutions we make to ourselves on New Year’s Day go by the wayside. By Valentine’s Day, we are no closer to losing those 20 pounds and that cluttered junk drawer is still untouched.

Are we too hard on ourselves, I wonder? Do we promise things we think we have a duty to do instead of focusing on what we truly want or need? The difference, of course, is in knowing what inspires us. Inspiration is almost always the catalyst of change — and it’s more than simple willpower. Inspiration helps us see beyond the everyday to envision what can be. And it gives us the energy to push through whatever might be in the way of our success, especially when we feel failing seems more likely.

Inspiration can be as simple as envisioning how good you’re going to look at your reunion when you lose those 20 pounds, or it can be something as worldly as imagining how many people will benefit from your idea to improve medicine. I find that I’m ultimately inspired by taking time to reflect on what happened during the past year. What went right, what went wrong, what did I miss, what lies ahead? I erase memories of poor decisions and truly difficult challenges, and fully appreciate the good decisions that produced exceptional results. Then, and only then, am I totally excited to look at what’s next!

Reflecting helps us focus on what is truly important. For me, there are many things. Being healthy is a top priority, and I’m reminded of it every day by a quote that’s taped to my computer. “Health isn’t everything, but without it, everything is nothing.” Those were wise words of Dr. Hans Diehl that had a strong impact on me since I first read them. And how true they are. 

Whether your vision for the new year is to be healthier, to top the sales charts or to learn a new skill, inspiration is the fuel that finds the creative ways to get there. We all have people who’ve inspired us because they thought outside the box and accomplished a dream that’s amazing. We’re exploring a boundless universe because scientists were inspired to learn what’s beyond our galaxy and how big “space” really is. Most of us won’t reshape the world, but we can be inspired in how we live every day. And it might even start by being kinder to ourselves, by living a healthier lifestyle or being more patient with others, something that’s sorely needed in a world divided by war and political turmoil. 

The business world will require new, creative solutions to navigate a roller coaster economy this year, in a climate of labor and workforce changes, uncertain financing and even more regulation. May I say “Ugh” here? We’ll do our best at Comstock’s to inspire new ways of addressing all of those challenges and more as we celebrate our 35th year — the product of my own inspiration to create a magazine with the unique purpose of serving the Capital Region business community with business insights. We’ll continue to look at the people, companies and issues that are shaping our business community, and we’ll deliver stories and commentary that help all of us navigate the rivers of change. 

Wishing you a very Happy New Year and hoping each day inspires you to reach your full potential, in business and in life.

Winnie Comstock-Carlson
President and Publisher

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