Imagine this. You've come back from leave, and are feeling pretty good about yourself in general and relaxed about life in general - with the exception of your ability to tackle BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals), New Year's resolutions or work challenges.
- It's possible you're feeling disappointed about those resolutions that have fallen by the wayside already - and it's only January!
- It's likely when you get to work all ready to go, you struggle to get much done other than having chats with people in the corridor on the way to get (more) coffee.
- Secretly you're planning and booking your next break because, let's face it, if you'd won the $31 million New Years Eve lottery you'd be doing something different entirely!
Well, there is a bunch of science around including some little known facts that after a heap of relaxation, eating well, lowered stress response - your serotonin levels increase - which keeps you in the "don't worry feel happy zone" a little longer than you ideally need in terms of diving head long into tackling BHAGs or goals that require a bunch of will power.
So never fear! To help you get your mojo back, find a little more discipline and tackle your work or BHAGs more easily I've tapped into the wisdom of a bunch of women around the globe to share their best tips on motivation, getting through a slump or keeping fired up with New Year resolutions.
Dorie Clark is a consultant, former US presidential campaign spokesperson, and the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. I was privileged to meet Dorie at Michael Port's Heroic Public Speaking course (HPS) in Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 2015. You can tell from Dorie's bio she's a force to be reckoned with when it comes to big ticket items, tackling big audacious goals and inspiring others to do the same.
Dorie says: Often, the secret to successful habit change is choosing one small area of focus, and being very clear with your policy. Last year, inspired by Caroline Arnold's book Small Move, Big Change, I made a policy that I wouldn't drink caffeine after 2pm, because it inevitably kept me up too late and messed up my sleep schedule. It wasn't too onerous of a policy - I wasn't eliminating caffeine entirely - and I was able to keep it, with 1 or 2 exceptions, the entire year. This year, building on my success, I'm moving the time back to noon, and expect to sleep even better in 2016! Website: http://dorieclark.com/
Lisa Cummings is a Gallup Certified Strengths Performance Coach who helps teams boost their performance by using their natural talents. I also met Lisa at the HPS course and given the similarities in what we both do (help people with their careers), I couldn't go past including her ideas.
Lisa says: My best tip for a 2016 resolution is to lead through your strengths rather than fighting the uphill battle of fixing weaknesses. Reframe it into what you want more of rather than what you want less of. It's a lot easier to repeat successes than to change who you are. For example, lets say you want to get better at not over committing in 2016. You love saying yes to opportunities. Yet you overbook yourself, which turns into stress and fatigue. So rather than repeating this trend, make a mantra like "Say Yes Consciously." You can use your natural talent of Focus to get fewer things done really well. Or you can use your natural talent of Communication to practice saying no in a way that leaves everyone feeling good. If you're not sure of your talents, take an assessment like StrengthsFinder to uncover yours. It will give you ideas for what you get energy from doing so you can stop feeling the drain and burden of a "not it" list.
Tami Reiss is CEO of Cyrus Innovation where she guides their clients through lean and agile practices to build better products. I am particularly interested in Tami's entrepreneurial and innovation ventures because she recently created a product that was dear to my heart - an app that helps women remove "credibility killers" from their emails - sorry, just, actually, I'm no expert but .... can all be eliminated with one easy software solution!
Tami says: Create an information radiator with your 2-3 intentions on them and put them in a highly visible place. This forces you to remember them and makes others aware of what you're working on so that they can help too. We cannot change by ourselves, we need reinforcement from others who we care about.
Twitter: @tamireiss @cyrusinnovation
Dana Johnson is an exercise physiologist and adventure concierge who speaks and consults about the physiology and psychology of travel with various segments within the industry. Given my own (some might say) obsession with health, fitness and wellness, I was really interested in her work and the ease and simplicity of her ideas.
Dana says: Want to be happier in 2016? Just smile more. When you smile the happiness centers in your brain light up and even if you’re not particularly happy, your mood will lighten because you’ve tricked your brain into feeling happier. The best thing of all is to share your smile. When someone sees you smiling their happiness centers light up too, even if they don’t smile. It’s called mirror neuron response. So happiness is contagious. Want to live in a happier word? Then start the contagion of happy. FYI sadness works the same way, so get the negative people out of your life and stop frowning!
Websites: www.danasjohnson.com or www.openleafexcursions.com
Jo Ucukalo is Co-Founder and CEO of @TwoHootsHQ & @HandleComplaint. She is an Australian based entrepreneur, consumer expert, startup activator, and media commentator. (Yep wow!) I met Jo some years back when she was contributing to the consumer affairs and complaints profession and she is definitely a powerhouse of innovation, drive and ambition all rolled into one - along with focused on solving problems.
Jo says: For the entrepreneur it's been famously said that the journey is like eating glass (Elon Musk). So to keep motivated and focused you need to e really clear about what your measures of success and happiness are. So set goals but make sure you will know when you get there otherwise you might miss out. Also be clear about how you are going to celebrate!
And my advice? Your bonus 6th contributor ....
Amanda says: Eliminate temptation. Get rid of it entirely. Make things really easy for yourself to succeed by making temptation hard to find.
- You probably wouldn't dream of trying to diet yet keeping a stash of Tim Tams or Cheesy Puffs in the cupboard for "just in case".
- You surely wouldn't try to do "booze free January" with a fridge full of alcohol!
- So why make things hard for yourself when tackling big career goals, work projects or entrepreneurial ventures?
Identify those things in your life that drain you - your energy, your time, your ability to think creatively and solve problems - things like social media, trashy novels, television after work on the couch or email ping pong.
Then work out ways to eliminate them. And if the goal is big enough - truly consider eliminating them. Try one, or some, of the following:
- Remove social media apps from your phone,
- Remove your credit card details from Amazon so one touch trashy novel purchases are far more difficult,
- Don't open your email until 10am at work until you've tackled one or two big substantive pieces of thinking,
- And if you have an entrepreneurial goal bubbling away, that requires you working on after hours, why not box up your television set for the duration? Or hide the remote for the month? For many of us, despite our best intentions, the TV becomes a distraction, time waster and passion killer all in one.
So eliminate temptation until you're entrepreneurial idea is good to go. You might even find that you don't miss the temptation a month or so of doing without! And let's be honest - no-one achieved their BHAGs by relaxing in front of the TV after work.
One final piece of advice
You can look at the pile of dirty dishes and wish they were done, you can even think about the dishes being done, but until someone actually commits to action and does something with the dishes one by one, they remain unwashed.
Just get started. Put one foot in front of the other and - just do it! And the end goal, what ever that might be, will be closer than it was before.
Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #lookoutCsuitehereshecomes #impostersyndromebegone
If you liked this article - please share! Let's create a network of empowered leaderly women who are leading the charge.
- I work one on one with smart 'n savvy women to keep them agile, ambitious and focused on making a difference.
- I work with organisations who are working on empowering women into leadership roles.
- I also help budding info-preneurs to create key messages that resonate.
Curious about how I can help you in 2016? Drop me a line at - firstname.lastname@example.org - and let's make time for an initial consultation about your goals.