2018 is well and truely underway. Have you set any goals or intentions for yourself this year? They say that ‘there’s no timelike the present’ so if you want to make some realistic changes that ‘stick’, have a read of the article I wrote below which was recently featured in the Cork Evening Echo
The start of the year brings with it a sense of change and a general atmosphere of excitement and potential. We might pause to think about our new year’s resolutions, we might ask our friends and colleagues to share theirs. We might even go a step further and think about what we might achieve if we stick to “a plan”- a holiday? A 10K run? No more stress? Losing a few ‘lbs’? A new job?
Resolutions or goals are tools for focusing our lives and for getting us to take action. They consist of objectives and tend to reflect our priorities and principles. Creating change doesn’t necessarily determine that we will get results. Our success depends on how clear we are about our motivation for change. Don’t be fooled into thinking that any action will move you forward (even a dead fish can float downstream!)
Having identified the goals we want to achieve, we should work back to determine the actions we need to take. For example, if you are looking for more work/ life balance in your day to day- what do you need to do more of or less of to achieve this? “Begin with the end in mind” is one of Stephen Covey’s author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and it means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired destination. Statistically, goals are more effective if they are supported by detailed action steps or ‘mini- milestones’.
Now that we have discussed the role our motivation plays in achieving our New Years Resolutions, here are my 3 tips to ensure you get results from your 2018 goals!
Tip #1- Ask Questions of Yourself
Great results and accomplishments start with great questions. When it comes to making changes, the most powerful questions are definitely the ones we ask of ourselves for a number of reasons; you go into the ‘open to change zone’ e.g. “What would I like to do differently this year?” This question is directed at a positive outcome and it fosters ownership and action as you start looking at what you need to do. Having identified the changes you need or want to make, take time to determine the relevant actions and GO FOR IT!!
Tip #2- Explore Resilience
Life can be tough. There are a lot of daily demands on us, and moreover, we expect so much of ourselves. Having resilience can be a powerful ally in our day to day survival. Resilience and building resilience can mean different things to different people but it usually involves some or all of the following:
- A shift in outlook (sometimes the way we see the problem is the problem!)
- Recovery and learning (how we bounce back after a fall)
- Asking for help (linking in with your supports or network)
- Adapting to our environment (our ability to just go with the flow) and
- Diet (healthy body = healthy mind!)
What does resilience mean to you?
Tip #3- Take Time out for You
I read a quote recently that resonated with me (and I’m sure to a lot of others), it said “A gentle reminder that “doing your best” does not mean working yourself to the point of a mental breakdown”. So, start 2018 knowing that you are going to gift yourself with some time. Busy schedules can be sabotaging and by saying ‘Yes’ to the chaos, we are saying ‘No’ to the calm and the benefits that downtime can bring. Taking time out is necessary to sustain effort and productivity at home or at work. Therefore, aim to take some time for yourself during the week- do something fun, laugh, reconnect with friends, with nature, do some yoga, go for a run, or whatever downtime means to you.
So, what do you want to get out of this year? What questions will you ask yourself to kick start the changes you wish to effect, so you can live the life you want?
Make 2018 YOUR Year! Have a great one!
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business coach. For more information, you can contact her at http://www.changegrowsucceed.com