Moving forward with greater energy and resilience in 2016
Happy New Year From The OWDT Staff!
Ever since writing my Ph.D. dissertation on work-related stress, I’ve been strongly interested in strategies that help improve personal/workplace resilience and health. I’ve read thousands of pages on stress coping techniques, setting practical goals–and assessing the right career fit for folks of differing aptitudes and personality profiles. Further, I’ve applied those techniques in the real world of one-on-one corporate coaching and countless life skills seminar facilitation.
New Year’s Resolutions May Help, But Usually Don’t
How do you see yourself improving the quality of your life in 2016? How do you feel about returning to work in the New Year after the holidays? If making a list of New Year’s resolutions has worked in the past to fuel your energy and enthusiasm, great! –By all means, write down your goals for the coming year. Give it serious thought and make revisions to ensure it’s consistent with what’s realistic and doable. Review your list frequently to monitor your progress.
The Big Picture
Striking out boldly with new plans can give you an entirely new lease on life. Success in doing so, however, can only be achieved within the context of working constructively within your current abilities and life circumstances. No benefit comes from denying or suppressing what they are. In fact, it’s much easier to grow beyond them with self-acceptance and crystal clear awareness.
What am I talking about? –Even with identical twins/triplets, subtle differences in DNA individualize us for different talents, temperaments, even things like emotional intelligence. Just as important is our childhood socialization within our family of origin—whether, for example, our parents were nurturing and easy-going, or less so. Then there are the many influences we internalize over time with formal education, training and other forms of professional development. –Not to forget that our friends, co-workers and even children have also helped shape us into the people we have become. The old concept that personality is set in childhood, never to change in adulthood, is simply bogus…
Two Proven Strategies For Gaining Forward Momentum
- One tried-and-true strategy for gaining forward momentum is to schedule time (even an hour or so a week) to get rid of things that you no longer need. I recently downsized to a home one-half the size of my previous one and was surprised to see that most of my possessions no longer had use or value for me. This included rooms full of books that were outdated (including some duplicates because I forgot I had a book to begin with). I knew I’d never have time to more than a few of my remaining books because, like many of us, I now read virtually everything online. Among other completely dispensable things–a room full of clothes I no longer needed or fit me.
- Every time I’ve given things to friends or donated to charity, I’ve gained energy with the satisfaction of knowing others needed or would appreciate them on a daily basis.
- Just as important, but seldom considered, is doing an inventory of ALL your goals and objectives to date–including those still rattling around in your subconscious from old New Year’s resolution lists. For example, if you’re now middle aged and your ‘bucket list’ includes earning an advanced degree in linguistics when you’ve been a successful programmer for 10 years, is that still a viable option? Does it make sense to plan to climb Yosemite’s Mount Capitan, cross the Atlantic in a sailboat or traverse the Sahara when you’re 50 and no longer in good shape? More doable and motivating (for most of us) would be working to achieve clearly defined health/ fitness goals, perhaps planning treks into a local wilderness area. And, instead of that linguistics degree, consider earning a new, professionally valuable certification.
One last thing–before letting go of now-outdated objectives, reflect on how each may have contributed to your serendipitous life journey of discovery, leading you to unexpected new interests and goals that now serve you brilliantly. By doing so, you can unburden yourself from irrational, unconscious gilt about outdated dreams that can otherwise easily sabotage your potential for future happiness.