Happy New Year!
Here we are at the start of a New Year and a new decade. Every year at W&P we support organisations to reach their full potential, which can only happen when employees are healthy, happy and fulfilled. As we enter 2020, there’s still much focus on health and wellbeing, so we’ve taken a look at what we can do to improve personal wellbeing, helping you to bring your best self to your workplace.
Traditionally, at the start of the year, many of us make New Year resolutions, setting expectations of ourselves to change. To rebalance the excesses enjoyed during the festive period, to address finances, eat healthily, exercise and partake in ‘Dry January’ are high on the list for many.
While some people are brilliant at being self-disciplined to achieve their resolutions, others find it more difficult, and according to research 80% have failed by February. Are we setting ourselves up to fail? While it’s great to set goals, putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure to achieve isn’t good for our mental wellbeing.
Ring in the new
Take the positives from 2019 and look forward to a year of possibilities. A good starting point is reflecting on what you’ve already achieved, and reminding yourself that even when times are difficult, you’ve managed to get through.
Changing mindsets is very topical, but the key to feeling more optimistic in the New Year really is in HOW we think about what we want to achieve going forwards.
When we ‘have to’ do something, it already feels like it’s not within our control. If we ‘choose to’ do it, because of a reason that has personal meaning to us, it feels more empowering and we’ll be more motivated to succeed. “I choose to keep active BECAUSE…” “I’m saving FOR…”
Set your values and reframe your goals
As organisations, we develop values to guide people on what we believe in, give them purpose and help them align their behaviour at work to the greater good. If we’re clear about our individual values, this can help us to stay focused on what’s important to us and to prioritise what we’d like to achieve, setting ourselves goals that are more attainable.
It’s quite simple really, set small goals, or break larger ones into chunks, so they’re easier to track and to manage. If you want to spend more time with loved ones, aim to eat together as a family or with friends a couple of times a week, or to spend half an hour with your kids at their bedtime. Going for a walk three times a week at lunchtime is good for your health and will encourage you to then make more healthy food choices. Setting a target to save for a holiday or a treat and opening another bank account and a direct debit to it on payday, will help you get there. These are great, achievable goal ideas.
Spend more time doing what you enjoy
Think about the things you CAN DO, WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU and WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO and do more of it, and a bit less time doing the things that you don’t enjoy. For example, allocate a set number of minutes to cleaning the bathroom and stick to it, saving time for the more enjoyable things in life.
Remember to be kind to yourself
With our busy lifestyles, we can often forget to make time to be kind to ourselves. Reward yourself and try to practise a little self-care daily.
Here are some resources for times when you need support, and some tips for practising positivity. Plan time to regularly connect with friends too or to do things that you enjoy, it’s good for your emotional wellbeing.
Try not to be hard on yourself if you can’t always stick to your targets. Remember you’re only hurting yourself, so give yourself a hug instead and accept that sometimes everything really isn’t possible! Be realistic about the amount of time you have. If you miss the gym, celebrate all of the times that you have gone and try to go for twice as long when life is less hectic, or take a step back and review whether that’s the most important use of your time – at the moment.
Reclaim your time and energy
With your personal values in mind, you may need to assert yourself a bit more with others to allow you the time and energy to achieve your goals. It’s OK to say ‘no’ sometimes. It’s also good to say ‘yes’ and challenge yourself to try new things, maybe take on a physical challenge which you can slowly build up to like a charity walk or run.
2020, we’re ready for you!
Remember that every new day is a chance to start fresh, and to change or adjust your goals if you like. No one’s judging. If there’s something you want to achieve, you don’t need to wait for a New Year or a new month to start.