It is a New Year and already goals have been forgotten or neglected so I thought I would write a guide for those enthusiastic to make this year different but not yet discovered how. One of the secrets to change is to take small gradual steps, develop a vision but keep your focus on now and making your experience in this moment as full as possible.
Firstly if you’re going to set goals make them SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time framed. Use visualisation to flesh out your goal, see it, and feel it until you believe it. Use meditation to keep relaxed and be more aware of the moment.
Relationships are often the key to self-growth so make sure you nurture the ones you have and be open to creating new ones. Relationships help you to reflect and learn valuable lessons about yourself; it also allows you to share your experience making it all the more sweeter and real. Develop your relationship bonds through exercise, entertainment, simple daily rituals and time together in nature.
Try to focus on one task daily, multi-tasking can zap your energy and research has shown when changing focus the brain takes 15minutes to adjust, loosing time can delay your focus and dilute your efforts. Do easy tasks last in the day and the more challenging ones early when energy levels are high and the mind is fresh and ready for challenges. Things like emails, messages and responding to calls can be done at times when energy is lower and will not give a sense of achievement like overcoming a major challenge earlier on.
Diet and general health is most important and should be an ongoing lifestyle choice to keep you healthy and productive. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have treats and indulgences it just means keep balance. If you neglect one area correct it the next day and bring balance back into your diet. Be aware of what foods give energy, what ones sustain you the longest and what foods make your energy crash. Drink plenty of water, your body needs it to cleanse toxins, rehydrate, and restore a sense of flow to your biology.
Set your work-life balance straight, avoid overtime or like your diet if it occurs make up for it the next day. Make sure your body and mind have relative rest to the amount of work you’re engaged in. Using skills such a delegation and deferring tasks can help with overloaded chores, work smarter not harder.
Take time to work out, exercise gives energy and releases endorphins which absorb stressful hormones. This is really important in life; our modern lifestyles don’t often allow us to fully use all our energy we accumulate because really life is physically easy. We must make the effort to engage our body in a strenuous way that facilitates the expense of extra energy and gives our body and mind flowing blood full of happy hormones and at the end a sense of exhaustion. Be creative with exercise if it is winter find a way that is not affected by weather; if it is summer do something that perhaps involves the outdoors and part of your recreational time.
Be in control of your budget, calculate your expenses, know your earnings and set targets for future earnings, moving in a direction without a road map financially will leave your destination obscure, be certain and be accountable. Try not to get emotional about money, it is the worst thing you can do, know there is plenty and use it wisely and sustainably. Using a journal to record your spending and find out where your weakness is in regards to spending then make take small steps daily to avoid these mistakes and get you on track for a successful financial plan, save where you can and reinvest any extra in a way that maximises your interests.
Lastly take a look at your whole life and be aware of the areas that need improvement, this way you do not need to tackle one area but can improve daily habits in all areas or at least begin to be mindful. Do what you can, one small step will cause a ripple in other areas and one goal accomplished will give you confidence, courage and belief in your ability to master yourself.
I have included a diagram here of the wheel of life, please print it out and fill it in. This task gives you an overview of your life and where effort might be needed to bring balance back into it. Shade in the areas, grading it from least satisfied to completely satisfied and then you may like to redo it again in six months and celebrate your improvement. This is the first tool we use in Life Coaching and is a good record to keep as we move through change and personal development.
Be good to yourself, each and every one of us is an amazing human being, with the right kind of self nurture and gentle love and kindness can go onto shine in your own little worlds. Be brave, be courageous and make the most of your life, it is the only one your got!