source: http://www.drpam.co.uk/home.php 09/04/2010
Spring into Action! Springs arrived and it’s the perfect time to refresh and recharge. Kick-start A better life with these spring-into-action-strategies:
Your Career –
*Watch for future-dependent happiness –
At work people fall into what I call The Future-Dependent Happiness Trap. They say things like, “I’ll be happy when I get a rise,” or, “I’ll be happy when my boss notices my hard work,” or, “I’ll be happy when I find a new job.” Their happiness and job satisfaction’s bound up with some future date!
Identify ‘future-dependent happiness’ thinking – and decide how to build more happiness into your job today – even in small ways. Otherwise you stay in a negative cycle where you’re never satisfied, no matter how good a day you’ve had.
*Identify that magic ingredient you’re best at –
Many stumble into a job they never planned to be permanent. They’re unsatisfied but aren’t sure what to do about it. Begin at the beginning: identify what you’re best at and what’s most rewarding. If there are any of these rewarding things available in your job then build more of them into it.
Ask your manager about ways to include more of this magic ingredient. And if there’s none of that magic in your present job, look to retrain for a job that offers it.
*Get ahead with the boss –
We get so wrapped up in our work we forget what might help our boss. Of course, practically everything we do is related to our boss’s work. But it’s wise to invest some energy into helping your boss and easing their day. They’ll appreciate it so you score points and come across as a team-player because you’re not just focusing on yourself.
*Stop doubting your abilities –
Many talented/capable people doubt their abilities to do more rewarding things, or to get ahead at work often because their routine becomes dull and uninspiring. Take charge of something like a report , or meeting, and get stuck into planning it. Enjoy the challenge that’ll help reaffirm your abilities.
*Become a Yes person –
Say Yes when a colleague suggests a drink or a coffee rather than crying off because of your workload. Many find work more fulfilling when they develop more fulfilling relationships with colleagues.
Your Family Life –
*Identify your family script –
Increase family happiness by identifying your family ‘script’ and the ‘role’ you play in that. For instance, you’re the youngest and have always been identified as “the little one” or “the baby”. A host of expectations go along with that ‘role’ like family members seeing you as needing lots of attention, etc.
Your role sticks with you for life but hold us back from satisfying family relationships. Now’s the time to identify your ‘role’ in the family ‘script’ and start behaving in ways that surpasses people’s expectations of you.
*Start delegating –
Women confess to me how feeling overwhelmed means family life suffers. A big culprit for this is not delegating when they get home! They grit their teeth, get on with things when exhausted and should be delegating properly.
Make a list of chores (photocopy this) to delegate to your family. Discuss who does what and post the list on the fridge. Everyone ticks off their jobs when done. Each week put up a new copy of the list.
*Make sure everyone shines –
It’s easy for the quiet or well-behaved one to get overlooked in the hurly-burly of family life. This can lead to simmering sibling rivalries. Ensure everyone has a chance to shine and feel valued even in simple ways like blowing their horn when they’ve done something thoughtful or helpful.
*Instigate family mealtimes –
Families lead such frenetic lives they rarely sit down for a meal. Research shows this is destructive to family well-being. Make a point of regular family dinners – at least weekly. Everyone joins in and TV, mobiles and iPods are banned, encouraging people to listen to each other.
*Identify their positives –
Make it what I call a ‘happy habit’ to tell every family member why you appreciate and love them. It’ll make all the difference to the way they feel about themselves – and you!
Your Relationships –
*Recognise your ‘fallback mode’ –
All of us have a ‘fallback mode’ when stressed. So when you and your partner disagree you go into ‘fallback mode’ – the way you traditionally react. This means we lack flexibility in handling relationship hurdles.
Think through your fallback mode. For instance, when your partner’s angry do you avoid conflict, leaving the room? Or do you go into bully-mode and scream them down? Because your partner has their ‘fallback mode’ too, it’s easy to get stuck in relating to each other. The next time you disagree, resist your ‘fallback mode’, showing them a new you.
*Learn to say ‘sorry’ –
People repeatedly tell me they ‘wish’ they’d the courage to say sorry when wrong. Plus they wish their partner could apologise when they’re wrong. It’s difficult to say sorry – even when we’re wrong – because it makes us vulnerable. People don’t want to feel this but part of real intimacy is making yourself vulnerable.
Apologise when wrong and you’ll be amazed the difference this makes to putting a row behind you two.
*Learn active listening techniques –
We’re so rushed we hardly look at our partner when speaking, let alone listen properly. Practice ‘active listening’, giving them eye contact when they’re speaking as well as reflecting back what they say. Let’s say they complain about the lack of time you have together. Simply reflect back, “I know what you mean by our lack of time,” so they know you’ve understood them.
*Set your boundaries –
I repeatedly hear complaints of a partner’s ‘bad’ behaviour. The only way to solve such behaviour on their part is to set your boundaries. Make clear what behaviour you won’t tolerate. If they, say, are late again for meeting up, then go on without them. They’ll soon learn your boundaries can’t be pushed.
*Rekindle romance –
A little romance makes a big difference to your relationship. Make things sparkle with the classics: candlelit dinners, love notes and flirty e-mails, fun little gifts and loads of affection.
Your General Well-being –
*Discover what makes you happy –
When interviewing people for my new book I asked: what’s your most recent happy memory? Literally 99.9% answered things like: my husband surprising me with a candlelit dinner or my daughter ringing me for an unexpected chat, etc. It’s never: buying a new hand bag! Start creating more of the things that’ll give you happy memories, today!
*Free yourself from worry –
Learn to identify the little devil on your shoulder saying negative things. It says you’re not good enough, you could’ve done better, and that others are better than you, etc.
Challenge this little devil: does it help you, soothe stresses away, or make you feel better? The answer’s a resounding No! Instead develop a little angel on your shoulder. Each time you think negatively, seek guidance from that little angel that’s soothing and positive.
*Forget the big diet –
Research shows you’re far more successful in shedding unwanted pounds, toning up, or getting fit if you do so step-by-step. That big new ‘celebrity’ diet, or even worse, a big ‘crash’ diet, won’t give lasting results!
Fill your cupboard with healthy foods and dump the junk foods. Walk, take stairs, and be active where ever possible, and you’ll find the weight falls off slowly but surely. Definitely make getting fitter fun by taking up a dance class, swimming, or even bowling.
*Try a new look –
Studies repeatedly show that a new look can give you a real lift. Something as simple as changing your hairstyle or shade, getting a new make-up look from the make-up counter at a department store, or wearing a new shade of clothing can make you feel different. Throw away your ‘colour and style habits’ and have the courage to experiment a little!
*Get an anthem –
Choose a song that fills you with happiness, strength, and a “I can face the world” feeling. Make this your personal anthem and play it when you need a lift.
A similar article was published in the Express Newspaper