28 years ago today, I drove myself to my first real job in downtown Minneapolis. Anna Batz just drove off to her final year of high school.

Twenty eight years ago today, I drove my 1981 red Honda Accord into downtown Minneapolis to start the first day of my professional career. I was 22 years old…and that first ‘real job’ as an Account Assistant at Primarius Promotion made me legit!

With all due respect to January 1st, everyone in the Heartland knows the day after Labor Day is the start of the New Year. This morning my two daughters are passing milestones: 17-year-old Anna begins her first day as a high school senior and 22 year old Katie is also driving into downtown Minneapolis to start her first job at the Minnesota Mentoring Partnership. I took the pictures of Anna at 6 am, while standing barefoot on the pavement in my bathrobe. What a way to bring in the new year!

Anna is all dolled-up in her “Star Spangled Senior” outfit for her first day as a Senior.

Melinda and I are bracing for the flurry of new year activity: the phone always rings in September in the coaching and consulting world as clients race to accomplish their goals and objectives before the end of their calendar year.  This year, those calls started in August! I’m embracing the fall business rush as harvest – but it’s tough to work hard and be at home for the school stuff too.

But this year, Melinda and I are especially intent on blending our personal and professional schedules. This is our last year of high school too and we don’t want to miss anything! Example: today is Anna’s first home varsity soccer game…I plan on taking a client call from my car as I watch the first half.  Happy New Year!

Anna’s first day of First Grade: photographed on the front steps 11 years ago.

While reflecting this morning, it’s hard not to feel successful: A year ago I blogged about this same topic…and I’m marveling at how my kids have grown.  It all goes so fast: looking back over the past 28 years I married, had three jobs, started a business, written a few books (stayed married!) and helped our three kids drive off into their futures. I’ll be darned…the new  year is looking pretty good again this year!

Good Leaders make a habit of being home at the right moments for blending their personal and professional lives.  And they savor the signs that mark the start of another good year!

What does the new year look like for you today?