Following my last blog ‘Tips to encourage a positive mindset in your children’, it occurred to me (with your feedback!) to explore how adults can ‘mind themselves’. Two weeks in France at the start of the summer got me “thinking”, but I knew that the challenge would be in the “doing”. 1 month on, here are the 5 tips that had the most impact for me…
As we are more than half way through the year, it’s a good time to take a break and assess how life is going in order to map out the months ahead. I reflected on 2015 to date- I thought about what has gone well for me and made a note. Next to that, I wrote WHY it went well. I found that this strengths based approach got me thinking positively and created a powerful visual of the choices I have made.
My advise? Grab a pen and paper and make a list of 5 things that have gone well for you this year – anything at all (a project in work, a relationship, a deadline, learning a new skill etc.) but identify WHY it went well. This thought process should boost your awareness and empower you in the decisions you make in the months ahead! I will be interested to hear how you found this exercise!
2. Get busy doing nothing!
Do you ever feel that your life has been hijacked by lists of endless activities for the children, the house, work, exercise and if you’re lucky, the odd social event? We fantasize about having ‘down time’ but how are we using the ad hoc pockets that come our way during the day? Smartphones? Facebook? We all whinge about how busy we are but give us the chance to do nothing and we baulk!! Interesting isn’t it?
Given that we are human beings and not human doings- the danger is that by having no time to ‘switch off’ we are actually depriving ourselves of the art of thinking and reflecting or even taking meaning from our experiences. Lawton Urnsey said “Idleness isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity to keep you at your peak… “ The challenge? Let’s Unplug and Be Idle- it really will make us all more effective! This definitely has been the ‘tricky one’ but I haven’t given up on it yet!
- Forge meaning in the moment!
This follows on from the point above. I am learning that meaning does not ‘Happen’ to us us- we CREATE it. Indeed the best moments in our lives rarely happen while we are on our own but rather, fully present in the company of our close relationships.
Approaching this more practically or, if you’re unsure as how you’re spending you’re really time, you could always complete a simple audit (again, grab that pen and paper!) : How I spend my time vs How I would like to spend my time. This exercise never ceases to reveal certain ‘gaps’ (and although it may be hard), it gives us the opportunity to redress. Making necessary tweaks enables us to make the most out of every minute.
- Forge meaning in your goals!
As a Coach, I live, breathe and preach Goal Setting. I give workshops and blog about the topic and in my experience there are two reasons why people don’t reach their goals;
- They were unrealistic and
- There was no real meaning behind them e.g. ‘my partner wants me to start jogging but I just can’t seem to get myself off the couch’
Goal setting is most effective when there are milestones/ feedback in place to showcase any progress. Thus, ensure to keep the meaning or reason behind your goal intact, the motivation will follow and despite the challenges of the journey, you’ll surely reach your destination.
- Take action
Procrastination is a choice. Fact. As Alan Cohen said “Don’t wait until the conditions are perfect to begin, beginning makes the conditions perfect”. Give thought to and choose actions and habits that take you in the direction of where you want to go and I have no doubt that the last few months of 2015 will be all that you want them to be!
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information on how coaching can benefit you, contact her directly on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com
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