At this time of year, it seems everyone is setting goals, making plans, celebrating successes and feeling energised about the year ahead.
But what if you’re not? What if the new year stretched out before you makes you feel overwhelmed or just plain bored by it all? Do you feel inspired, or do you feel panicky or inadequate, wondering where your enthusiasm has gone? Does 2020 feel less of a walk-in-the-park and more of an uphill climb?
Fear of missing out
Whilst I’m all for aspirational goal-setting, I also know that this time of year can, at best, bring on FOMO, and at worst leave you feeling inadequate and lacking confidence in your role. Especially if you’ve just emerged exhausted from juggling work and Christmas, and feeling like you need a break (there’s a reason why holiday companies are so busy at this time of year!)
Maybe you’re a manager with a team looking to you for direction and inspiration? Maybe you’ve taken stock and decided that this is a year for change, but you’re not quite sure how to move from where you are to where you want to be? Have you got the inkling of a business idea but not sure how to make the next move?
Sometimes, the solution can be something as simple as booking a holiday, finding a new hobby or having a go at setting some goals of your own. Or you may be feeling bold, ready to shake things up and look for a new role? Whatever your next move, it can really help to talk to someone about your dreams and ideas – often expressing them is the first step to realising them.
Working with a professional coach can be a great first step towards changing direction. A coach can help you make sense of your ideas, helping to ignite the spark needed to regain your motivation and start to prioritise being the best you. As an experienced coach, I use simple strategies to help you feel productive, satisfied and confident to make the next move. I work with individuals and teams to help people like you reach their true potential.
Why not try these 3 simple steps to get you started?
- At the end of each week, ask yourself 2 simple questions: ‘What went well this week?’, followed by, ‘What could I have done differently or better?’ This simple reflective strategy allows you to identify the whats and hows of your week: what was it about that conversation/meeting/intervention that inspired or excited me? What behaviours or skills did I display?.
- Once you’ve completed step 1, can you identify your own skills and strengths in these scenarios? Write them down. Did your communication style help? Maybe you implemented some new learning? Was it your knowledge of the subject that led to the situation going well? If you are feeling brave, ask others for their thoughts. Capture feedback from clients, colleagues or managers that might come your way via emails, appraisals and testimonials.
- Do something FUN! Do something just for you and just for fun. Then make a habit of it! Boost those feel-good hormones by doing something that puts a smile on your face. Go back to an old teenage hobby, join a choir, get a monthly cinema pass, get creative, draw, make music, play sport. Anything that sparks joy.
Your past is not your potential. In any hour, you can choose to liberate the future (Marilyn Ferguson)
Why choose LifeMatters?
I’m an experienced coach, with an uncomplicated, straightforward approach to helping you shape and achieve your goals. I provide practical guidance and support, delivered with energy and humour. I’ll work with you and help you become the best version of yourself. What’s more, if you book four sessions with me by February 14th 2020, you’ll receive the 5th session for free!
Contact me today to find out how LifeMatters Coaching can help you.
*New year offer – book 4 x 1 hour sessions and get a 5th session FREE! Offer ends Feb 14th 2020, so book now – limited spaces available*
The art of the self-soothe – remembering to relax & wind down this week:
As Christmas approaches, are you reflecting on the year that has passed? Or even the decade? It’s been quite a turbulent few years in which the world has developed at an incredible pace, especially in technology. We are more connected than ever before, with a multitude of social platforms to choose from. Yet for many of us this can also present overwhelming challenges.
At this time of year, emotions can run high as we rush to complete projects at work, attend various school or social events, plan the ‘perfect’ Christmas celebrations, and present that ‘competent and confident’ persona at all times.
So, amidst the noise, how can you process your place in the world and begin to think about what lies ahead? How do you measure success or satisfaction at work or in relationships? What plans for your future excite you and drive you forward?
Many of us don’t have the luxury of a fjord nearby but there is growing evidence of the benefit of being amongst trees. They’re believed to have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing, and even give off an immune-boosting chemical. Getting outdoors, going for a walk and a having a change of scenery can be a great way to give yourself a mental break and refresh. I often incorporate this into my coaching sessions, as I find it’s a great way to help people relax and shift into a different mindset, often prompting exciting, creative or ambitious ideas that we then work on turning into reality.With a nod to the winter landscape, in the UK we often take inspiration from our Nordic cousins. The Norwegians have a slightly ironic phrase, ‘føling i fjæra’ – which (I’m assured) roughly translates as ‘feeling emotional while staring out to sea (or a fjord)’. Sometimes just being with your emotions can help to reflect on how we’re feeling, what we’ve achieved or what hasn’t gone quite the way we hoped it would. Without that time and space we run the risk of going through the motions, like a hamster on a wheel. But with all the pressures of modern life, this can lead to stress and burnout.
As the decade draws to a close, you may wish to think about new beginnings, or consolidating something you’ve been working on already. How can you build on your achievements as you head into 2020? Maybe you’re thinking of changing direction or facing a new challenge. Whether you’re staring out to sea, walking in the woods or having a cosy moment at home, now is a good time to slow down, step back, reflect on the past and think about the new year.
To find out how Life Matters Coaching can help you find the right balance in your work, your personal life and your business, get in touch – I’d love to hear from you.
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!