Thursday 24th November marks the national holiday of Thanksgiving for our USA cousins over the pond for 2017. It’s now a holiday known the world-over as we become more and more of a ‘global village’.
The traditional origin of Thanksgiving dates back to the 16th century when it started to ‘Give Thanks’ for the fruits of the harvest. It became a national holiday with a consistent format in 1789 by order of George Washington. It’s now celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November with a generous meal based around turkey & pumpkin pie.
National public holidays can be an opportunity to shake off the usual work routine, gather together with friends and family spending quality time socialising and catching up, and of course indulging in some foodie treats. It’s an opportunity to press pause on ‘normality’ and get together to swap stories, reminisce and to create new memories in our personal lives.
But, how many opportunities do we have to pause and celebrate in our work lives…? Could coming together out of our normal routine help us to reflect, learn and create a new way forward for our ourselves and our team if we had the chance of a ‘Thanksgiving’ day at work…?
- How much creativity could we tap into?
- What learning could be enjoyed?
- What new connections could be made?
- How would we review our achievements so far?
Could you create a few moments of ‘Thanksgiving’ for you & your team this week…? Working with an independent coach or facilitator can improve the quality of these conversations and successfully set you up for the year ahead.
In addition to being a Bon Jovi lyric for ‘Livin On A Prayer’ – we are indeed ‘half-way there’ in terms of the calendar year right now. This milestone in the year has reminded me of those conversations about resolutions we seem to have at the New Year. Personal resolutions such as: getting fitter; joining a gym; spending more quality time with our family and so on. Lots of us also make work-based goals: secure a promotion; find a new job in a new company; build better work relationships; make an impact at work etc.
Yet despite our best efforts, research shows that just 8% of us fully achieve our New Year’s resolution with 25% of people who make goals giving up within the first week! http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/
With that in mind, and to support myself in achieving one of my goals this year, I joined an online community and made a public commitment which was tracked via an app. Crucially, I was ‘rewarded’ with feedback and ‘thumbs up’ icons and I felt my achievements were celebrated. I lasted a full 6 weeks doing it this way – definitely longer than I would have done normally and it encouraged me to add new elements into my exercise routine, which, continue to this day.
If you made a resolution or a commitment to a goal earlier this year – how is it going? Have you achieved what you set out to do? Have you changed behavior and habits you previously struggled with?
Even if you haven’t yet fully reached your aim, it’s still worth thinking about how far you have come and celebrating the small changes that often add up and create a more positive life. Perhaps, that original goal is no longer relevant – that’s fine, things change. But what new goal is now more relevant and excites you…? Have you drifted and now want to ensure you realise at least one new goal this year…?
To help you achieve a goal in 2015, you could try this simple exercise:
- Write down the goal you want to achieve & set a timeframe
- Think about the behaviours and actions you now need to initiate:
- What could you STOP doing – ie: what are you currently doing that makes it hard for that goal to be realised..?
- What behaviours or attitudes could you MINIMISE/REDUCE to help support your goal
- What new actions could you START doing
- What’s going well that you should CONTINUE that supports your goal
- Think about your environment including your support network that will help you achieve your aim and any ‘tools’ you might need
Remember, identify a goal that you are motivated and committed to achieve. Be bold and be public in your commitment. Write it down or use a vision board. Track your progress – one small step at a time. Find an advocate to support you & don’t forget to celebrate when you achieve it!
A good coach can be the ideal advocate when tackling big life-changing goals. A coach is a cheerleader supporting you and offers important constructive feedback to keep you on track, and when you have achieved – they can help you review and celebrate your efforts!
“If you want to reach a goal you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar
Professional athletes and other highly successful people use the power of visualisation technique to achieve their goals on a regular basis. This is because studies show that the brain processes in terms of images, and ‘seeing’ your goal achieved increases your chance of it actually happening.
Seeing your goal achieved and in particular the actions you took to get there creates the illusion in your brain that it’s already happened – it’s a ‘done deal’. The brain is tricked into believing it already and this gives you the edge in making it happen for real.
“Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.” – Bo Bennett
You can use formal ‘guided’ visualisation techniques on a regular basis if that suits, but equally as effective is simply closing your eyes, relaxing your brain and working through each step in the active current state of your mind and achieving your successful outcome. At the very end don’t forget to remember what your success outcome feels like, what it looks like, and what it means to you.
You can use this method for anything you want to see happen – of course you still have to go through the practical actions you need to take, but it seems easier and you face less (internal) barriers. Try it for a week & see what results you gain.
“Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.” – Robert Collier
Remember, a qualified supportive coach can help guide you through the process of making your aspirations a reality – get in contact today to find your inner image of success!