It’s that time of year when keep-fit DVDs and weight-loss programs are everywhere we look! There is no hiding from adverts showing us how we can have a healthier lifestyle. It has been many years since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution, I cannot remember how I got on; probably not too successfully! I think making changes, or promises even, are a good idea, it’s only that this should happen throughout the year not just at the beginning.
It’s true that there’s more motivation with New Year’s as it’s seen as a new beginning for many, but rarely do we keep our resolutions. What could it be this year, get fit, read more, study a new topic, make more time for friends? Starting something is easy, it’s the continuing that is difficult. The amount of motivational blogs posted during this time is excessive, they can be de-motivational themselves, but it’s finding something important to us that makes the difference. Any change will survive longer if it means something personal to you. All too often we pick something that we already know won’t last because our heart is not in it…maybe it’s best not to even start if this is the case!
Would you have more incentive to go to the gym if your doctor told you your health is at serious risk if you don’t make changes? A health improvement is your motivation, or may be you have family that give you that will power to be healthier. This can apply to different situations, looking for a promotion or a new job; different reasons can give you a real desire stick to any change.
Setting realistic targets are also essential for keeping momentum and focus, but even then it can be hard. Will power will only get you so far; boredom sets in when we continue doing the same thing. This is when we need to vary what we’re doing so it’s not so repetitive. Like doing exactly the same thing in the gym each time…I’m guilty of this so I try and change my routine. Even making slight changes can give the same task a fresh new feel. I’m very much a man of routine, I find it difficult to break out of long established habits, but when I do, even the order, it feels different! This can be good! Even reading in a different place feels strange but those new surroundings can help with concentration. The important thing is to vary what we do, small changes can help see a new perspective.
Changes or resolutions can also apply at work. Are there new techniques you want to bring into your teams? A change of process to help efficiency? Again we should be observant to these changes throughout the year, but it seems to be common to have a fresh start in January. Retrospectives are one area I’ve found difficult to generate enthusiasm, the first few go well but become boring they repeated the same each time! So I try to vary these each time, asking different questions, trying out different exercises to bring variety and fun to these meetings. What can you change to engage with your teams more?
Having a new focus as the year starts is good but don’t limit yourself to only once a year. The world is rapidly changing around us which means our lives are affected in some way too. Be watchful for the things that mean something personal to you and set yourself goals in those areas to improve yourself and your life. With the right focus 2016 could a year you continually to surprise yourself!