What’s Your next Chapter?

by Karen on January 7, 2011

That is the headline on the front page of the current edition of The Oprah Magazine.  I had to pick it up because “what’s my next chapter?” is how I’ve framed significant unplanned changes in my life and it has helped me move ahead with curiosity, an open mind and optimism.  Change is difficult for almost everybody when you see it coming but it can be a brick wall when it comes without warning.  It seems to me that 2010 was a year of significant change for so many people.

What I’ve come to realize is that you can do everything you believe to be right and still get blown away and forced to shift gears.  The whole idea of looking at life after change as a new chapter actually came from a chick-lit book given to me by a friend when she thought I needed a mindless distraction.

I used the next chapter approach when the pace of change was too much for colleagues and I had to coach them through it.

I used it to navigate the massive changes that came my way when the company I was working for was put up for sale and purchased by an organization with a completely different definition of success.

I used it after my daughter was born.

As I think about using the next chapter approach to manage change, wondering why it works for me, I realize it is because it encourages me to be visionary, creative and forward thinking.  It gives me the opportunity to close the past and label it a success (or a tough lesson), it gives me the freedom to paint the future picture I want, and gives me permission to decide who will live out that next chapter with me, and where it will take place.

Instead of New Year’s resolutions I use the next chapter approach.  I pause to vision what the next chapter in my life will be.  In my next chapter I see a confident and respected business woman, a healthy fun-loving mom, a kind and patient wife, and a home where friends and family love to congregate.  With a terrific excursion thrown in to somewhere unexpected!  I can hardly wait.

What’s your next chapter?

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