I’m not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. Goal setting is one thing, because they are specific and actionable over a period of time. But New Year’s Resolutions seem amorphous, a little intangible and destined to failure.
I am however, a big believer in the principle of 'the way you do anything is the way you do everything' -
- The way you tackle new challenges at home, is the same way you’ll tackle new challenges at work.
- If you tend to leave things til the last minute at work, then you’ll likely do the same at home
- etc etc
Another key principle is also at play - 'if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got'.
So if you're feeling like you've been hitting up against brick walls, roadblocks and glass ceilings of bias, stereotypes and perception, then it's definitely time to find another way.
So I’m mixing it up this year and instead of a resolution for 2017, I'm adopting a theme - a way of being, an attitude or mindset that will permeate everything. And my theme for the year is 'effortless ease’.
Everything I tackle I’ll remind myself to find a more effortless and easeful way to do it. Why? Because it’s totally the opposite of the way I normally tackle things. My natural tendency is towards hard work, great work and for people to perceive that I'm working hard as well. The results are fairly reliable so this has become my default mechanism. But it’s limiting. Willpower and determination along with mojo, are finite resources worth looking after. If I keep relying on old ways, I'll only get so far. And to quote one of my clients:
"I want to thrive, not just survive!"
In a nutshell, for 2017 I'm anticipating working far smarter, far more creatively, and even more effectively, with less of the push and shove of previous years. As a result I'm anticipating feeling far less worn out by the end of 2017 and (fingers crossed) am anticipating bigger and even better outcomes for both me and my clients.
In case you’re wondering if this actually works, I’ve tried this theme before and with great results.
Some years back I had a crisis situation at work which forced us to do things differently. Willpower and determination simply weren’t going to be enough. The crisis meant we had to ditch old systems, processes and softwares, and find new, more efficient and more effective mechanisms or risk running at a financial loss and disappointing several key industry players.
I was working with a coach at the time which gave me the confidence to explore new options. By mentally ditching all the old ways and deliberately looking out for, targeting and implementing newer, easier and frequently cheaper ways, we not only avoided failure, but delivered the biggest surplus the organisation had seen in years!
The best bit?
- No more worn out, overworked and overwhelmed,
- Instead I was energised, excited and really proud of the changes, plus
- I was a better boss, a better leader, a better wife/sister/daughter - and I felt like a million bucks.
Radical new ideas
Tim Ferriss some years ago introduced the radical concept of the 4 Hour Work Week. Outrageous I know, but, even if you only get 10% of what he promises you are still better off.
More recently there have been several radical case studies doing the rounds about organisations adopting 5 & 6 hour work days with surprisingly great results. When you’ve only got 5 hours a day instead of 8 or 9, and you need to deliver the same (or better) results, then you start examining things differently, FAST.
No policy, process or system is sacred. You go to market to find out if there are easier more agile solutions available since you last upgraded. You examine each task and ask yourself “if we don’t do this, will it really matter?” Or “if we do this differently maybe it will circumvent the next part of the process anyway?” Or "if we want to reduce call volumes exponentially can we simply change the wording of this policy?"
No more waiting
So for 2017, I’m not waiting until fear of failure forces me to re-evaluate. I’m being proactive and already doing it - and I’m inviting you to join me.
Step 1. Conduct an audit - Identify and assess what systems routines and practices you need in your business and life to support your new theme:
- What can I do less of?
- What can I do more of?
- What can I do differently?
Step 2. Low hanging fruit - Implement the easy wins immediately and assess the impact. Remember, the low hanging fruit just may be enough. No going the whole hog unless it's easy or effortless to do so. Ask yourself:
- How can I more easily remind myself of my theme at critical decision points?
- What books can I easily read or podcasts can I effortlessly listen to support the theme?
- Who do I need on my support team to encourage my new theme?
- What mechanisms can I put in place to eliminate tendencies towards beating myself up for not working hard all the time?
- What mechanisms can I put in place to reward myself for doing things easily and effortlessly?
- And what checks and balances can I put in place to ensure that I’m on the right track, not simply throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so I can course correct as required?
Step 3. Ditch the guilt!! Let go of that small voice on your shoulder that tells you that unless something is fought for it's not really worth it ...... because maybe that voice is entirely wrong.
Does this mean that things that look hard aren't worth doing? No! But instead of tackling things head on all the time, look for another way.
The expected results?
- More creativity
- Seeing possibilities and solutions more easily
- Being more open to input from others
- Less of a focus on perfectionism
- More in tune with your client/customer/stakeholder needs
- Less guilt, fear and shame for not doing things rigorously, thoroughly, properly and appropriately as you’ve always done them
- You landing that promotion, pay rise or leadership role far more easily than you imagined.
The I Decide line
Remember the 'I decide' line on the Ambition Revolution model? This is the line that you step over into accepting responsibility for creating your own life, career and success. Everything below the line is 'my career, my life, my success happens to me'. Everything above the line is 'I create my own life, career and reality' and take responsibility for creating your own success.
Soften into each moment
As Brené Brown says,
"soften into each moment"
Effortless ease is my way of doing that.
So what’s your 2017 theme? And if you want to join me in mine - I’d be delighted. The view looks mighty fine from where I’m sitting!
Would love to hear from you. Drop me an email and get in contact.
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Vive la révolution!
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