Isn’t it amazing how time slips away?
It seems only yesterday that we started a bright new year with a clean slate on which to build 2016. And now three months have passed already. For me the Easter break comes at exactly the right time to pause, reflect on how things are going and decide how I want to proceed. Not only that it marks the end of a quarter of the year. Usually some of my plans are going well, I can check off a few boxes and others are needing a bit of revision. Especially the more long term ones.
Some new year plans barely make it to the end of January. We get too busy and it all seems too hard. At other times it seems we have all the time the world, then suddenly it’s all gone. However there is an easy way. Think of each area of your life and decide how you would like it to look by the end of the year.
Scientists suggest that it is realistic to have no more than three important goals otherwise our willpower becomes too fragmented and success becomes difficult. One may be enough, especially if it is really big. Here a few tricks to getting you back on track:
1. Imagine that it’s already completed. When is a realistic time frame? One month, three months, six months, one year? Then work backwards. Katy wants to be 10kg lighter. She knows from experience that if she tries crash dieting she will put it all back on so she wants to get it off and keep it off this time. She has a really busy lifestyle, her work is demanding and when she gets home she has family duties, supervising homework, preparing dinner, checking that everyone has clean clothes and equipment ready for the next day, and so on. She has decided that six months is a realistic time frame. Three months is good to lose 5kg. Maybe she can do it in less time but she is being conservative because life always seems to throw us curved balls.
2. Break it up into manageable pieces. First Katy thinks through what she needs to do to get started. In her heart she knows that when she skips breakfast she is so hungry by mid morning that she buys a danish pastry or doughnut to eat with her coffee. If she manages to have lunch at all she is hungry again by four o’clock, so it’s a chocolate fix this time. If she tries to change all of that at once her willpower will be so exhausted by the end of her work day that she’ll buy herself a calorie-laden snack when she stops by the supermarket on her way home.
3. Start with just one thing. Katy decided to put some oatmeal in the microwave to cook while her coffee is brewing. She eats a banana or apple on her way to work, or puts it in her bag for mid morning. Other things she could have tried are:
a. Pack some leftovers in a plastic container to reheat at lunchtime, or make an egg and lettuce sandwich.
b. Have a pot of yoghurt, preferably unsweetened, or a small handful of raw nuts ready for the afternoon munchies and eat it at 3:30pm before she is ravenously hungry. These contain protein so they have more staying power than sweets, cakes and biscuits.
c. Katy might have spent the first week critically examining and writing down everything she ate and when. Just the act of stepping back and noticing can be enough to give us the space to think through some options. She might also have just spent time visualising how her life would be better once she dropped a dress size, and reduced her risk of heart problems.
Of course everyone’s challenges are different, as are the solutions, but we are all blessed with an element of creativity that helps in times of need.
Katy hired me when she realised that her life is so hectic she couldn’t see how she could possibly get off her merry-go-round long enough to make the changes she realised were important to her. It’s amazing how much we can achieve when we have a constructive ally.
Are you looking forward to starting each day with enthusiasm and energy? Let’s get you past being stuck in a Career Booster Call now.