Anxiety. That’s what tends to drive our professional and personal plans for the coming new year when we are under pressure or stress. The turkey and cookie comas we put ourselves into at the end of the year drive us to goals of starving ourselves and working out daily in the coming months. (HERE’s the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2015).
The number on our W2 may not be what we want it to be, perhaps. So, we tend to make long-term spending decisions based on that number. Anxiety about our lack of resources drive us, many times, to expand or contract our energy towards things in order to feel better quickly.
Making decisions from a place of our highest-level of thinking can be tricky. You may not always know when you are being driven by an orientation that is focusing on a problem. Anxiety thinking sounds something like this:
“I don’t want to be fat OR do this job anymore OR feel as stressed OR owe so much money.”
With these types of statements of what you don’t want, you are about to make decisions based on a problem orientation. Whenever you are are in a fight, flight, freeze or appease mode be aware that anxiety is driving your decision making process. NOTE: This is good if you are actually in a dangerous situation and need to be safe. Not so good if you need to make a long-term, complex decision. Focusing on what you do want and the small, disciplined steps you need to get there will net you the best returns on your time and energy. Here’s some things to give thought to as you plan for 2015.
Ask yourself what you want?
When you figure it out, ask your closest family members what they want. Are they in alignment with one another? For instance, if I want to run a successful company in 2015 it will probably take a great deal of my time, energy, and thought processes to achieve that desired outcome. If what my husband wants is for me to make dinner every night, be home at 5p every day, and take a month of vacation hiking parts of the Appalachian trail, we might have an issue to look at and create compromises around.
Ask your team members what they want.
If your team members want something different than you do, or are motivated by different things than you are, discussing and developing desired outcomes together is crucial for everyone achieving deeply satisfying accomplishments.
Perfect alignment of what 2 or more people want is rarely possible. Plan to discuss and compromise to reach agreements on how everyone in your inner circle wants to spend their time and energy on in 2015. You will probably need to compromise. This will take time, thought, and empathy for the other people in your life and what they truly want.
Lay in time for the big stuff first.
If you want to be fit and healthy, it takes time. It doesn’t have to take 2 hours a day and you don’t have to be “cut”. As little as 12 minutes a day can make a big difference in your brain and overall health over time. Eating right takes time to plan. You will probably have to pack your snacks and probably your lunch at first. Yes, gasp! Pack like you are in elementary school again. The rebel inside of you will probably scream foul, but let it squeal all it wants. Packing your food for the day is the easiest way to be sure you consume the right type of calories.
Lay in time for your important relationships.
The best way to do this is to have a conversation with each member of your inner circle to determine what it is that you provide them that they value the most. It might surprise you how much you are doing to please yourself and the person inside you that is constantly judging you about whether you are a good business person, leader, mother, father, wife, etc. Most of the time, those we actually want to please who are right in front of us have specific things we do that make them feel loved and cared about by us. By finding out what those are, you will free up lots of time for taking care of yourself and going for the big hairy audacious goals that will lead to your desired outcomes.
Mark on your calendar for 2015, now, which days you will take for vacation, fun, and relaxation. Burn out isn’t pretty. I earned several “burned out” badges in my career – not pretty.
Know that you are enough.
Brene Brown gave us a gift with her research and TED Talk. As you run around frantically trying to live up to your expectations and those you imagine from those around you, know that you are enough. You don’t have to be thinner, prettier, more handsome, richer, poorer, more well-spoken, have more friends, or vacation in more exotic places to be perfectly enough to have others love and care about you.
If you are reading this I know you. I know who reads the articles I write and when I sit down to write them I think about you. Not the person that isn’t reading them. Only you. Thank you. Because you read these articles it inspires me to write them and learn from the research I do for them each week. You helped me be more successful in 2014 and I appreciate you.
Some books and articles that I referred to in writing this article were:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
Flight Plan by Brian Tracy
TED” The Empowerment Dynamic by David Emerald
Brain Rules by Dan Medina
Brene Brown TED Talk