If you’re like me you’ll have noticed that sometimes you really like new things, and at other times, because ‘new’ means change, they can be less appealing because navigating change can be ‘inconvenient’ to say the least.
It’s early January as I write this so you may well have received some new items or gifts recently during the Christmas period. We look forward to receiving gifts, (if we’ve dropped enough hints, or maybe even purchased them ourselves on behalf of others!), if we think they’re a good addition to our lives, either long term, or if they’re edible these are often short-term!
Everything new brings about some level of change
This can be a desired change, but not always. When ‘new’ elements appear in our lives that are less appealing, circumstances, scenarios & events we hadn’t, (and would not have), planned, how well do you navigate these new things?
We usually embrace change when it arrives on our terms, but what’s your perspective when changes are out of your control?
The key to remember when navigating unwanted, or uncontrolled change is that YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR ATTITUDE in the process! This is empowering because it stops us from acting like victims. There are many stories and accounts where good things can be found IN THE MIDST of bad things, IF we have eyes to see them.
You may also have recently thought about, and even committed to, a New Year resolution or two. Now this isn't to remind you of any you've recently made and just failed to keep, or you’re struggling to maintain. If you’re in that place, remind yourself of the driver behind wanting to make the resolution as this can help motivate you to persevere. You may also need some external support from friends or a coach/mentor as setting goals and failing to keep them usually points to some self-sabotaging behaviour that we may not be aware of, or we may be aware of it but optimistically believe that if we keep setting goals and trying, EVENTUALLY we’ll succeed.
In that scenario the odds are stacked against you, not because you’re not able to set & achieve goals, you are, but because there may be underlying beliefs and habits that need to be dealt with first. But be encouraged, there is always hope. Freedom from behaviours that do not serve us IS possible. (If you want to explore this further, schedule a complimentary chat to explore options...head to the Contact page, when you've finished reading this!).
Self-leadership: If you’re proactive with your personal growth then you’re likely on an intentional growth journey that doesn’t have to fit nicely within a calendar year but the dawn of a new year can be a good point to use as a ‘book end’ for what you want to achieve in the next 12 months or so. Over the last few years in one form or another I’ve been developing the habit of using the last week of the year to reflect and look back over key points of the passing year, asking myself questions like:
It’s the practice of looking back to reflect and learn, AND THEN look forward, with some action points to implement to make the coming year even better, for myself, and others. John Maxwell points out that experience is NOT the best teacher, evaluated experience is!
If you haven't adopted this approach yet I would recommend using the start of the year to begin recording some key events and learning that happens over the coming months. So that you can then review where you are and think about what changes you'd like to make going forwards. And as we’re in January, no reason why you can’t take a few moments to look back and let some of the events, emotions, outcomes of last year inform some new things for this year…then start to make a plan!
Leading others: How can you extend this practice with those you lead? There would be huge benefit gathering your team(s) and investing some time in reflection AND THEN discussion on how the future can be informed by previous activities & outcomes.
Encouraging each individual to also embrace the benefits of reflection to inform future plans in their personal lives can also pay dividends within the organisation because it contributes to a higher level of productivity all round.
What if this New Year became the start of a NEW approach, NEW direction, NEW outlook on life?
What NEW elements can you embrace as an organisation to reach new heights?
How can you help yourself succeed with this?
Let’s make ‘new’ and the change it brings work for us whether it’s intentional change or less so.
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