Thursday, 28 December 2017

Wellbeing Project 4 - goal setting

Small changes, big benefits for 2018

I don’t set much store in new year resolutions - generally they’re about as meaningful as the targets you choose for your performance management at work - what you think you should do and pleasing others. But I do always set myself goals and evaluate where I’m at as I go through the year. 

I usually have a big goal, but I’ve also learned that it’s the small changes that matter so this year I have chosen some small behaviours to change in addition to bigger goals, a continuation of my wellbeing journey I started in September. 

I have five goals that should improve my productivity and therefore efficiency and therefore happiness. I will write them all as well-formed outcomes after doing a self-coaching activity to make sure they happen.
  1. Apply mindful practice to my everyday life - course booked to understand more clearly the benefits in addition to using NLP. It also feeds into my love of learning.
  1. Write a clear business plan - business coaching session booked. You might ask yourself why I would go to a coach if I am a coach. Quite simply, coaches ask you the difficult questions, challenge your thinking and make you dig deep.
  1. Fix my evening routine - I’ve worked out that when I struggle to do my morning routine, it’s when I haven’t got to bed ‘on time’. I’ve been trying to have a decent night’s sleep as research has shown how important sleep is to our wellbeing, but I can’t seem to break my night owl habits. My self talk is ‘I’ll just finish this, oh and I might as well do that’ and before I know it, it’s after midnight. 
  1. Drink water at regular intervals during the day. I have developed a bad habit over many years of teaching of hardly drinking from when I get up in the morning to when I sit down for dinner at night. The brain needs water to function so this is not a very clever approach. I’ve found an app - Absorb Water - that I’m looking at as it looks at your total water intake including through fruit etc.
  1. And finally walking - just 10 minutes a day to nurture my fitness and concentration. I love walking so how difficult can it be to add 10 minutes or so into my daily routine? Well, it’s been on my to-do list forever so what’s the problem? I know I think, ‘I’ll just do this first’, or ‘this task is more important.’ (Have you noticed a pattern here?) So I could simply change my self-talk through Swish technique.
These are all important changes to me. Not changes for anyone else. I know the last three are small changes but I will still struggle and will use NLP techniques to help me change these old behaviours to ones that are more helpful for me now. Techniques like be your own guru and the new behaviour generator.

What small changes would you like to make to 
reap big benefits this year?

Monday, 11 December 2017

The Wellbeing Project 3 - being kind to yourself

Take Time to Be Kind

Acts of kindness have been shown to boost our happiness and therefore to improve our wellbeing. Given it’s the time of goodwill, we should all be very happy in December. 

Last week started with a tweet of Action for Happiness’s Kindness Calendar - a suggestion for each day in December, eg a kind note, donation to a charity helping the homeless, counting how many people you smile at in a day. Fabulous idea and we retweeted it as well as putting the ideas into practice.

At my Mindful Mondays session, I was reminded that we can sometimes be so busy giving to others that we end up making ourselves stressed rather than happy. Why is that? Often because we forget to be kind to ourselves. 

In NLP we have strategies to be kind to ourselves: 

  • we build anchors that we can use to give ourselves positive emotions whenever we need them, 
  • we learn to reframe how we view events to see them in ways that are more compassionate to ourselves, and 
  • we learn to change our negative self-talk - to turn the voice down, change the voice to one that might make us laugh or relax more. 

I changed the voice of my self-talk some while ago from a nagging voice to one that is kinder, yet urgent and practical. This works for me because my negative self talk is triggered by stress. In a timely reminder, I caught myself saying unkind things to myself when I let my stress levels build up and then something went wrong. Perhaps you can relate to those blaming and unhelpful comments that actually if you put yourself on the outside of your head are hurtful because you would never say them to someone else. 

I was able to quickly soften the voice, reframe the comments to ones that were more supportive by focussing on what I could do now - what I actually wanted to happen - rather than focussing on what had gone wrong. And remind myself of what I had got right. 

So be kind to yourself this Christmas. Listen to Anna's advice to prepare for the emotional challenges of Christmas. Just remember we are all doing the best we can with the resources we have available. 

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

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