Lightbulb with plant insideOur lives become intense at this time of year. As the door closes on 2014, we are consumed with things undone, like holiday shopping. We also consider the goals that we expected to reach, and the number of days to reach them. If you are thinking about your next big idea for 2015, it is a good time to build some lists and to get rid of clutter.

It took me a few years, but I finally learned to leverage the Notes feature on my Apple devices. Unlike paper, I have them with me most of the time and can open up my list on my phone, ipad, or laptop. I find myself adding notes in-between things, like meetings, stop lights, elevators, or flights. Some of my notes are to-dos, others are things to ponder, business ideas, things I want to do for my family, or any other note I need. I get up a little earlier this time of year to take a look at that list and see what I can accomplish. This time of year that I also find myself to be more liberal than usual at simply deleting things that I can never build up the energy or courage to do. Without a burning desire, many things are not worth doing.

If you spend much time around me, you know that I tend to divide things into two categories I call painkillers or vitamins. If you are keeping your list, you may want to consider doing the same. A painkiller is something that you must have. A vitamin is something that is nice to have. Focus on the painkillers first. It’s only human to do so. Having a long list of vitamins is a symptom of taking on too much, and possibly focusing on the wrong things.

It is difficult not to think about sacrifice this time of year. It is a major theme of the holiday season that is curiously juxtaposed against a gluttonous abundance of celebration and gift giving. As you look at your list, try to find things that you can sacrifice. Sacrifice is interesting because you learn how easily it is to go without many of the things you hold sacred. There is a peace that is found in minimalism that few of us ever realize except in small ways.

Clean out your inbox. Try as I may throughout the year, it is nearly impossible to keep my inbox at 100. Those psychotic people that believe in the concept of Inbox 0 must not have a life or a job. I get hundreds of emails each day. The only way to keep your inbox at some reasonable level is to file messages into folders. I remind these psychos that your inbox is a folder. Nevertheless, going through all of your email and cleaning it out is a great year-end exercise. As I clean my inbox, I mark emails that I need to go back to as unread. I delete a lot. I file plenty.


I hope that you will find some of these ideas helpful as you close out 2014. It is an important ritual to clear the decks before you set goals for 2015. I hope that you find your Big Idea to pursue for next year. Here is a note about big ideas that we should all remember. Your big idea for next year does not need to be uniquely yours. In fact, most big ideas do not get anywhere unless you can get others to share in your big idea. There are lots of big ideas that germinated in 2014 that will reveal themselves in early 2015. There is a broker collaboration big idea. There is a big idea for new collaboration between brokers and their MLSs. There is a big idea among large boards of REALTORs.


2015 is sure to be a year of big ideas. My wish for you is that you find the one that brings you fulfillment, hope, and success.


Happy Holidays from all of us at WAV Group.