Three steps to thrive through the festive period with success, not strife
It’s possible to engineer your thinking so that you increase your ability to thrive.
It’s nearly Christmas and it would appear that December brings with it an immense sense of potential joy yet also trepidation. Before Christmas has even arrived, there are projects to complete, deadlines to meet and things you just want to get off your “to do” list so that you can hopefully have a relaxing break. Some sectors see work start to quieten down into the third week of December whilst others see a peak in activity. In either case, motivation can be hit. As well as the practical actions required, the thoughts that you may be having around this time of year are key to whether you thrive or fall.
The way you think is instrumental in whether you see December through with a sense of optimism or worry. The emotions come after the thoughts, and even if you believe an emotion came first, the wonderful news is that you can alter your thinking to support more helpful emotions. You may have heard that for every negative thought or feeling, you need three to five positive ones to counter this. Knowing this is can be seen as a bonus as it enables you to act on it. Who wouldn’t want to be thinking positively and be happy?
The mind is an amazing tool that offers a vast opportunity to engage in the world in the way that you choose. Through social, educational, parenting and other conditioning, many of us are not used to really “thinking” effectively, helpfully, optimistically. Our mental movie is not always rolling in our best interests, giving us the best view possible of what is to come. We often skip important scenes with the mind racing ahead. But, that said, it is possible to engineer your thinking so that you increase your ability to thrive.
How can you do this?
1) You must first be aware of your natural thinking patterns and unhelpful habits. This requires honesty but what have you got to lose?
I recommend taking a notebook and investing time in reflecting on your strengths, what is going well, how you interact, communicate and think, your expectations, what is not working so well, habits you like and habits you honestly sense would benefit from altering. To fully benefit from this exercise, it is necessary to consider your thinking patterns, emotions, responses and behaviours. Identify for example, any tendency to worry, ruminate excessively, procrastinate, allow distractions, project unhelpful outcomes and so on. Once identified, consider the impact of your thinking on your actions and feelings. Keep in mind the objective of this exercise, that is, to get a balanced view of your great attributes and the developmental areas so that you can thrive.
2) Once you have done this, you can move on to review the one to three key things that you want to work on, for yourself, in 2018. You must now be willing to consider how you will adapt your unhelpful habits and thinking so that you are enhancing your self-belief and growth mindset. This will benefit not only you but those around you. For this, you can find videos online, peruse personal development books or visit a developmental coach who will support you. Your notebook will also begin to resemble a bible of who you are, including all the great achievements (which will include newly formed thinking and habits).
As you plan how you will do this, ensure that you are conscious of your objective every step of the way – losing sight of this reduces motivation and commitment.
3) Having identified very clearly how you start to work on adapting your habits and thoughts, you must put this into action. You must be willing to promise yourself that to thrive and make 2018 an even better year than this, you will take consistent action and be accountable to yourself. You must understand your choices and their part in leading you to what you desire at work or in your personal life.
So the three steps are:
1) Honestly reflect on your strengths, achievements, thinking patterns and less helpful habits.
2) Consciously review and understand the three areas that you want to commit to adapting in order to operate at your best.
3) Take thoughtful, meaningful actions to effect the changes in behaviours and thoughts so that you can thrive.
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About Anita Gohil-Thorp
Anita is a highly respected coach and trainer promoting success and wellness for leaders, executives, entrepreneurs and busy people through transformative coaching and sustainable progress. She has presented on stress managament, mental resilience, time management and more.
0203 086 9186 / 07961 111255