New Year’s Resolution: I will have a better attitude at work or get a better job!
In January and February health clubs often have their best months. This is largely due to individuals making a new year’s resolution to be healthier. I often hear from clients at the same time who have also been reflecting on their professional lives, and are seeking a “healthier” year at work, be it healthier results, change of attitude / approach or a complete job change. Spending time away from work, often brings thoughts of “I need to have a break more often”, and “how can I have better work-life-balance this year”.
We get back to work, with grand ideas of change, and after the memories of our holidays or break fade most of us (often without noticing) fall back to the same thinking, habits and routine. Don’t feel bad, this is very common!
But why? Why after having such an epiphany of “every month I will take the family away for a weekend”, or “I am going to exercise 4 times a week without fail”, or “No more drinking during the week”, or “I am going to have that difficult conversation at work to move forward”…. don’t I follow through?
Simple answer: It is hard! Change is hard! Getting out of our comfort zone takes effort.
Complex answer: Our brains have developed neural pathways that are like well used footpaths in our mind, with no obstacles to navigate, and therefore take less effort. These pathways become habits which are hard to change, often with a belief attached that this is the only way to reach my goal or destination, with speed and minimal effort. But is this really true? Did you try something over your holiday that was outside your comfort zone and was far easier than you thought? Or perhaps it was as hard as as you thought but you felt amazing afterwards.
If I do everything the same way I did it in 2018 is it going to get me to where I want to be this time next year? If the answer is yes, this is great start.
If you answer is no, I have some great news for you!
- Change isn’t as hard as we imagine
- You can change the pathways in your brain
- Change is incredibly motivating and can be fun
- You can achieve what you want this year
If you are looking to kick start your year here are some strategies. Lots and lots of evidence that writing down thoughts decreases stress responses and increases logical ones!
- Write a list of the top 10 things you achieved in 2018. Try to include things from all parts of your life, such as health, work, relationships, interests.
- Write a list of 5 things that didn’t turn out as you hoped. Put the list aside for a moment. Take 3 slow deep breaths, look at each item and then right down what you could have done differently to change that outcome.
- Write a list of 5-10 goals, or changes you would like to achieve this year. Create some space between each item. Then go back and under each goal write down the answers to these 2 questions for each: a) What is going to get in my way to achieve this goal? b) What is going to accelerate my success in achieving this goal?
- Finally, a miracle has occurred! You wake up tomorrow, and a miracle has happened overnight where you have overcome one of obstacles to achieve one of your goals. What would you see differently? What would be the first signs the miracle has occurred? Take your time with this answer and apply it all of your goals. Notice any common themes.
- When all else fails, break down one of your goals or resolutions into a bite-size steps. Even moving 5% towards that goal is better than going 5% in the other direction!
I hope these strategies result in you having a more Prosperous 2019.
If not, and you feel you need a deeper dive into your professional pursuits or need help with getting your team fired up, we can help! Check out our free tools and information by clicking on the below:
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As a Psychologist in the Workplace, I am always interested in the latest data on stress and other mental health issues at work. Depression at work is now very common and can creep up on people, often with low awareness.
- The World Health Organisation, predict Depression will be the second leading cause of disease burden behind heart disease by 2020 (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2005, 2017).
- Sixty percent of the world’s population spend 60% of their waking hours at work which is why employee wellbeing is fast becoming a new “norm” (WHO, 2017).
- The pressures related to financial crisis in 2008 and ongoing economic problems equates to employers expecting more and more from their employees (Gunnel, Platt & Hawton, 2009; Kler, Leeves, & Shankar, 2015).
- These pressures affect the mental health of the individuals and Australian Psychological Society (2015); Australian Human Rights Commission (2010) estimates that 45% of Australians between 16 and 85 years will seek depression related assistance.
- Depression, often as a result of stress at work leads to increased absenteeism and sick leave, and is costing Australian organsiations $27.5 billion per year (DHS, 2016).
Lets all work together to change this outcome.