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The new year is a great time to reflect on the habits.  Habits you may have intentionally developed for your life as well as the habits that emerge without you knowing. You know, habits like checking your social media first thing in the morning, staying up too late, eating too much fast food or checking email or news at all times of the day. These habits are not who you are or who you want to be.

Then we can intentionally reset!  This is the time to make purposeful changes to your daily life.  To raise questions at work about how you work best!  This is the time to start carving those new grooves and living in a way that aligns more with your purpose and values.

Look at your Life

It starts by asking some of the big questions in life. What is important to me? What values do I hold dear? How do I want to show up in the world? Maybe you’ve done some of this thinking before and maybe you haven’t. Either way – it’s a good time!

Author, Brian Johnson suggests starting with three key domains in your life – energy, work and love to align your purpose and values to the everyday actions in your life.

  • Energy:  Without your health, you can’t show up fully for your work or life so your energy is foundational to living your best life.
  • Work:  Happy people have meaningful work serving a purpose greater than themselves.
  • Love:  Cultivating connection with family, friends and community has been shown time and time again to create enduring wellbeing in life.

So let’s look at those in-depth…

1: Energy – lighting you up!

The pandemic has caused a fair amount of physical and mental stress. It’s important to acknowledge this as it takes a hit on our energy levels ongoingly. Research has found people with high energy are happier people.

So how do you increase your energy? There are two key ways we can create energy in your life – physiologically and psychologically.

Physiological – Creating energy physiologically means the basics of life – how you move, eat and sleep. How would you rate on the basics? It wasn’t a surprise when the lockdown first hit, many people were extolling the importance of eating well, moving your body and getting enough sleep. That’s because it protects us from physical and mental illness!

But it’s so easy to see these things as getting in the way of what we really want to do in your life. They become a chores that need to be done. Dr Michelle Segar, in her book No Sweat*, suggests we reframe these chores to instead seeing them as a gifts.

How?

Dr Segar suggests connecting exercise (or eating healthily or sleeping enough) with the short term benefits it brings to your life. That’s right, forget about vague promises that it’s good for your health and think about how it makes you feel today.

She also suggests focusing on the smallest improvements. For example, instead of trying to fit in our hour of rigorous exercise, she says make it a game to find OTM – Opportunities To Move throughout your day. She says – everything counts!

You may think that your day is crammed so full that you can’t fit in one more thing, but believe me: It’s not true. If you’ve got one minute, you’ve got time.”
Dr Michelle Segar, Author, No Sweat

Like finding a parking spot furtherest away from the supermarket, train station or workplace rather than the closest (you’ll be spoilt for choice!). Taking the stairs rather than the lift (easy way to avoid the crowds!). Taking a walk during your lunch break or while the kids are taking their music class or when meeting with a colleague. How many opportunities to move do you have in your day?

Psychological – You can also create energy psychologically too. I’m sure you’ve had the up and down of negative thoughts and emotions over the last few months. Recognising the emotions you are feeling, acknowledging them in the moment and realising they will pass are vital skills to manage the stress.
There are a number of scientifically validated mental tools to get you in the right frame of mind too, training your mental resilience through focus training, gratitude, confidence building and hope.

It starts by spending small moments thinking, talking or reflecting about what you are grateful for, what goals you have for the future, reframing mistakes and acting in integrity with your values. Setting habits to review what you are grateful for, your purpose, goals and values can help cultivate your mental strength and resilience to weather the highs and lows in life.

The more you move away from our values, the more you feel stressed and anxious in your life. Instead, aim for coherence between your purpose, values and goals and your everyday actions.

2: Work – serving the planet with your greatest strengths

What conditions help you to do your greatest work? Think about where prefer to work? What time do you have the greatest energy? What cues help you to focus? What gets you in the zone? This is what top companies obsess about – helping their people do their greatest work. What did you learn about this during lockdown?

  • Did you learn you work best from five to seven in the morning?
    Did you learn you were most productive with less distractions around you?
    Did you learn what triggers you into your most productive work?
  • What percentage of your work allows you to use your greatest strengths?

Psychologist, Martin Seligman found using your strengths makes you more productive, happier and engaged at work! Are you making the best use of your greatest strengths?

The challenge becomes creating space and time to focus on your strengths deeply within your diary. In Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work*, he suggests your ability to focus deeply at work is becoming increasing uncommon. Think – notifications, open plan working, back to back meetings or 24/7 email. Yet, this deep work is becoming more and more valuable in our economy.

The Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”
Cal Newport, Author, Deep Work

Your deep work is your life’s work. It’s building a body of work that makes you proud. We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in a day and underestimate what we can achieve in a year. So what is the focus for your next 12 months and how are you breaking that down and working towards it little by little every single day?

You can’t do eight hours of deep work every day though so Brian Johnson suggests you match your the energy levels to the type of work you want to do. You want to create rhythms to do your best (deep) work when you have your greatest energy and the oscillate your deep work time blocks with time with your team (team work) and then the monkey work (email, admin and so on) as well as some time to rest (don’t forget this too)!

3: Love – cultivating moments of connection

The pandemic gave many of us a huge wake up call about how much time we are spending with our loved ones. A recent newspaper article shared how many leaders had been able to reset during the lockdown, realising that events every night of the week was not only burning them out energy wise but slowly disconnecting them from their partner and children.

Clayton Christensen, Harvard professor and author of How will your Measure your Life? suggests we live in a culture that over invests in work and under invests in our close personal relationships.

 

The relationships you have with family and close friends are going to be the most important sources of happiness in your life. But you have to be careful. When it seems like everything at home is going well, you will be lulled into believing that you can put your investments in these relationships on the back burner. That would be an enormous mistake. By the time serious problems arise in those relationships, it often is too late to repair them.”
Clayton Christensen, Author, How Will you Measure your Life?

What does the best balance look like for you?  Career or business success can be super important, for sure, but it is not the only type of ‘capital’ you want to build in your life.

Are you building a life which allows you to be the healthiest version of you?
Are you building a life which allows you to connect with your partner and children?
Are you building a life which allows you to be an active member in your community?

Time to RESET?

Every new year is a new beginning if we choose to take it.  It’s an opportunity to step into the direction of the person you want to be in life, work and play!  What habits do you want to build this year?

 

Want a positive start for your 2024?

I’m so excited to let you know we have just opened registrations for the Greater Good Collective kicking off in March 2024.

The Greater Good Collective is a transformational 3-month personal leadership program to boost your self awareness, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills in an energising learning environment.

Keen to join me – register here.

In this special round, I facilitate 7 live online sessions for all participants too!  That’s means more interaction, community connection and more motivation to make the most of this program 🙂

Worried if you have time?

Now, I get it – you might be thinking, “Do I have time for this?” Good question. That’s why we’ve made our program super flexible for busy people like you, offering flexible schedules and bite-sized modules that fit seamlessly into your routine.  Plus, sign up for the 3-month program, and you get access for the whole year!

Every time, every group, I get to witness the power of aligning your life with your strengths, values, and purpose. It’s like unlocking an unstoppable source of confidence and energy in yourself.

The program is for you if…

  • You are looking for time and space to define or redefine who you are
  • You want to connect to your purpose, use your strengths and clarify your values
  • You are over the self doubt and want to live confidently
  • You want to connect with others who want to stretch themselves for the better.

Check out the program brochure to share with your manager! We can also send you an invoice to your organisation directly.

Or we’ve got a payment plan that spreads the cost over three months too.  Register now and be part of a community that’s all about helping you create your best life for you and the world around you.

 

*Disclosure: We love to promote great resources to support your personal leadership development. This post contains affiliate links which means if you decide to use the links and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

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