By Susan Hatten | Senior manager, corporate community engagement, Holmes Murphy 

Whether you are a goal-oriented resolution-setter, have big plans to create a new filing system for your email inbox, or are simply looking forward to a spring break in the sunshine, we all have to find what works to personally motivate us to reach these milestones, and we all have the same 24 hours, each and every day.

One of my dearest mentors once challenged me to ask myself, "What is the value of an hour of your time?" whenever I am making decisions about how and where to spend my time. I’ve taken this snippet of wisdom with me, and perhaps remain more cognizant of this more than ever, during and after the holiday season.

Being more aware of each hour of my time also allows me to prioritize and allocate time so that I am more prepared and focused in a state of presence. This concept of the presence we offer one another  as a state of mind, bringing balance and well-being, may be the greatest gift you give yourself as you drive toward your resolutions and goals.

Several years ago, my family made a collective decision to move further away from purchasing many gifts and "things" for one another during any holiday, birthday or celebration – and moved more toward the sharing of presence, an experience, with one another. This family decision has been one that I am most grateful for, and even more so with each passing year. The decision was really placed upon the basis of the same concept – of the valuation of an hour of our time, and times, together.

So many of us are trying our best to achieve some kind of balance – or more meaningful cadence to our daily lives. What would you give to have just one more meaningful hour in your day? Doesn’t that sound like the best and most valuable gift of all – more time in your day? What if you took a moment to slow down before making commitments, so that you might convert valuable time back into your "presence" piggy bank.

Now imagine who you might gift those reclaimed hours back to – in the form of sharing an experience, or simply dedicated time, together. The opportunities are abounding, and certainly a part of leaping in to the new year with gusto.

Perhaps if we all stopped, even for a moment, to pause and to ask ourselves, what is the value of an hour of my time? We might just find that presences is far more valuable that ribbons, tags, boxes or bags.

Susan Hatten is an account executive at Holmes Murphy where she also assists in sales and strategic partnerships. She dedicates much time to community involvement through fundraising and volunteering for several organizations, including Variety - The Children's Charity, WineFest and the Variety Riverview Park Star Playground campaign. She is a founding member of the Junto Networking group and is an active member in Lead Like A Lady. She was named the 2017Meredith Corp. Emerging Business Woman of the Year and a member of the 2011 Forty Under 40 class by the Business Record, dmJuice Young Professional of the Year, Variety's International Ambassador in 2012 and the Downtown Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year in 2012, among others. Hatten is a graduate of Iowa State University. Contact her via email.