Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Wellbeing Project 2 - morning routines

Setting myself up for success

After reading blogs from life hacks and talking to other professionals, I decided that the first thing I needed to do to improve my wellbeing was to improve my morning routine. The consensus seemed to be that a good morning routine improves wellbeing and improves productivity, both of which were important to me. 

The problem was I associated ‘routine’ with killing creativity and essentially being boring. However, I needed to have a way to ensure I could focus and discipline myself to get on with my work now I was working from home; in addition, I wanted to introduce things into my life that would make me feel better. I already took Korean Ginseng and Gingko Biloba every morning and had a healthy breakfast of blueberries, greek yoghurt and flaxseed all of which was designed to improve my concentration but I wanted to add something more.  

As a starting point, I experimented with meditation as mindfulness is widely advocated as a wellbeing and productivity tool. I found an app to follow but couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I didn’t have enough time - I felt I was being pulled away from my work which defeated the object of the whole exercise. However, I did find that a short burst was really helpful. 

I also found that the NLP peripheral vision technique that I had been practising for improving my listening skills was helpful for building my general concentration as well as for getting me ‘in the zone’ at the beginning of the day. It was particularly useful if I was feeling a bit scatty and jumping from one task to another because I had too much to do.  

One particularly scatty morning,  I started off with the peripheral vision only to switch to meditation part way through which focussed me again and I went back to finish the peripheral vision exercise. And there I had it - my own concoction for success - combine the two by putting a brief one-minute meditation exercise in the middle. 

I also decided to use my positive anchor I had created a few years earlier each morning. Previously, I had used it when feeling aggravated and needing to change my mood to go to teach or go into a meeting. Now triggering it every morning at the end of my focussing exercises means I start my day off feeling on top of the world and I accomplish lots. 

Of course, I’ve found I don’t do all of this every morning, just most of it most mornings. I have read lots of other advice that I sometimes follow to add variety and have included it in a Free to Be routine

View and/or download the routine here!

What routines do you find help you have a great day? And how do they help? I would love to add the best of them to our routine.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Wellbeing Project 1 - using NLP to be happy

In the race to be happy

Striving for wellbeing, I researched what other people, friends, therapists, journalists, hacks and scientists were recommending for us all in our quest for a work-life balance. I read a wide range of topics from sleep to exercise, from positivity to productivity, from teas to books. As part of that research I ordered the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. As I read it, I realised I had been taking a similar journey only I considered mine The Wellbeing Project.  

The book captures many of the themes and techniques we teach on our NLP courses, including the role of the unconscious mind in our behaviour choices, so I was engrossed from the start.

A presupposition of NLP is respect for the other person’s map of the world. Because we have different belief systems, there isn’t a ‘right way’. Our experiences and our beliefs impact on how we react to a situation or what we want. For example, we will all have a different version of happiness and this is Gretchen’s exploration of how she could be even happier - her version of happy.

What matters is if our definition of happiness is the right one for us and are if we are going the right way about achieving it. Sometimes we have forgotten to update our values as we have had more life experiences and changed since we first created that value. We need to review our values as beliefs as we journey through life and take time to reflect. 

I love Gretchen’s 12 commandments, especially No. 1 “Be Gretchen”. We can all benefit from being true to ourself - being congruent. 

“People can boost themselves up to the top of their happiness range or push themselves down to the bottom of their happiness range by their actions”. In NLP we say ‘energy flows where focus goes’ as our physiology and state affect our internal representations and our filters. So if we change our behaviours and create a way of being through a positive mindset then we will be happier. 

Even more astounding, Gretchen found out that 30-40% of our ‘happiness’ is determined by how we think or act rather than genetics or environment. What a difference you can make to your wellbeing if you choose. No wonder NLP has changed my world! 

What do you do to positively influence that 30-40% of your wellbeing?

Routines are not just for kids! Routines are the cornerstone of highly successful people.

Do you crawl into bed at night (or the early hours of the morning) and then can’t get to sleep because your brain kicks into action? Do y...