Three steps to thriving in the festive period
It is possible to engineer your thinking so that you increase your ability to thrive.
It’s nearly Christmas, and December brings with it an immense sense of potential joy and festive cheer, but for some, potential trepidation. Before Christmas has even arrived, there are projects to complete, deadlines to meet and things you just want to tick off your “to do” list so that you can hopefully enjoy 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 struggle through the holidays.
Emotive thoughts in December
The way you think is instrumental in whether you see December through with a sense of optimism or worry. Emotions evolve afterthoughts, so the good 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 counteract the original negative thought. 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 or 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 into the new year.
Changing your thought pattern in three steps
1) Be aware of your natural thinking patterns and unhelpful habits; this requires honesty and patience.
I recommend taking a notebook and investing time in reflecting on your strengths; what’s 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’s 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: to get a balanced view of your great attributes and the developmental areas so that you can thrive.
2) Now you can review one to three key things that you want to work on for yourself in 2019.
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. For this, you can find videos online, peruse personal development books or visit a developmental life coach who will support you in your personal development journey towards your goals.
Your notebook will also begin to resemble a bible of who you are, including all your great achievements and newly formed thinking cycles 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, put this into action.
Promise yourself that to thrive and make 2019 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.
Three-steps to thriving:
In summary, the three steps include:
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 adapt, 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.