1. Assess your year. What were your resolutions for 2014? How far along are you?
2. Acknowledge your accomplishments, so far, in 2014.
3. Identify your biggest learnings in 2014.
4. Determine what you must get done by the end of the year in order to feel good about 2014.
5. Focus yourself, now, on getting these things done.
6. Identify what you can let go of, that no longer serves you, and let it go.
7. Tell someone what you plan to do, or find another means of staying accountable.
8. Do something to bring more balance and fun into your life, between now and the end of the year.
9. Pick one thing you can do that will create a fabulous end to 2014 and do it.
10. See yourself at the end of 2014 celebrating what a great year it has been.
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Sometimes, in the course of your day, you receive requests from others that have no basis in reality. Your first response may be incredulity, but then you realize they are serious. What do you do in the face of this?
Here are a few ideas:
• Ask them to repeat the request, just to ground it
• Ask them if they think the request can be done in the time they want or if there is a compelling reason why it must be done
• Ask them what help they can give you and tell them what you think is needed
• Tell them whether you think it can be done or not
• Tell them the extent to which you think you can be held accountable for getting it done, considering the circumstances
The purpose of these suggestions is to ask the question “Really?” in a thoughtful way and bring the conversation to a place of reality, rather than fantasy.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are times in life when situations you have avoided, or been unable to focus on, come to front and center. Perhaps you have an interpersonal challenge with someone at work, you have not been up front about something when you should have been, you have hidden something about yourself or you have not prepared for something, you should have prepared for.
What do you do when the walls close in? A first suggestion is to breathe. Acknowledge what is happening and that you will deal with it. Accept the choices you have made that got you to this place. Then, get fully in the present moment. To do this, you may have to release some anxiety, fear or other emotions. Often your emotions make a situation appear to be much worse than it isYou need a clear head to decide what your next steps will be. Then, once you have cleared your emotions, focus and determine where to go from here.
If the walls close in (and I hope they never do) you can handle it best by being fully present, acknowledging your emotions and using your brains and hearts to determine what’s next.
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There’s a lot involved in work place communication. When you have something significant to communicate, you do well to consider what you will say, how you will say it and what the impact of your communication may be. Expressing yourself in an intelligent and considered manner serves you well.
Gushing forth, without giving thought to your communications, may provide temporary satisfaction, but is bound to trip you up at some time. Holding back on communicating is warranted at times; however holding something in is not. By doing so, those around you are not aware of your thoughts and ideas and you could experience stress from not communicating.
Expressing yourself is important to your performance and well being at work. How and when do you express yourself?
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There’s a difference between movement and activity. You can keep your day active, but how do you make sure you are moving forward? One way is to identify your goals for the week, with a deadline for each one. This is a simple and well-known approach, but goals are not always front and center during a busy day. Use your deadlines as markers of your progress during the week. Another way is to set daily priorities and order them according to their importance. At the end of each day, review how you did and set your priorities accordingly for the next day.
A day’s distractions and interruptions, as well as frustrations and energy drains, take your focus away from your goals and priorities. Identify “911” signs that you are losing focus, so that you don’t stray too far. If your day becomes unfocused, develop a ritual to refuel and regain your focus.
Keeping things going requires that you maintain your focus and attention on your priorities. Not always an easy thing to do, but a sure-fire way to keep things moving.
photo: Tom Curtis, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When it comes to managing, whom do you listen to? Answering this question may provide insights regarding the current state of your managing skills. Who do you consider to be your “advisors” on the art of managing? What aspect of management do they focus on – teamwork, getting ahead, strategy, tools, emotional intelligence, expertise in subject matter, communication, leadership or something else? What does your answer tell you about your priorities when it comes to managing? Is your listening getting you where you want to be?
photo: Jeroen van Oostrom, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
judgment: an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought; the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought; the act of judging something or someone; the ability to make good decisions about what should be done
All of us spend time and effort developing our ability to judge people and situations in a manner that serves us. Sometimes, however, judgment can impede us. It is important to have the discernment to identify the nature of our judgment. Is it fair or biased? Different situations call for different types of judgment. Some require fair and impartial judgment and some require judgment that serves our best interests.
We are emotional creatures and will always have our own ways of looking at things. Too often, however, when there is a need for stepping out of our biases, we do not. We let our emotional, and not always rational, thoughts influence our judgment. Time and effort are well spent in developing the ability to discern what forms the basis of our judgment. There are cases when our personal biases may serve us well. For example, when we are trying to strategize within the maze of office politics or to decide what is best for us. There are cases when impartial and fair judgment is called for. For example, when disciplining a team member or making a decision that will impact our team’s well being.
Take a look at your use of judgment. Are you discerning what is called for in each situation where you exercise it? Do you use your judgment effectively and exercise its power well?
photo: ddpavumba, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The agendas people have in the work world can undo the best of your intentions. Uncovering an underlying agenda of a colleague is not an easy task. However, one thing you can do is to take off the rose-color glasses and develop your ability to “read” a situation accurately.
In my early career, I had the best of intentions and often gave people the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to get along and be a good team member. After several disappointing wake-up calls, when underlying agendas caused me harm, I worked at getting smart about agendas. I did not want to swing the pendulum to suspicion or cynicism. I wanted to balance the pendulum, by getting wiser about people and being able to spot their agendas.
I started a practice that helped me quite a bit. I first found my neutral gear in assessing people. Instead of seeing what I wanted to see in people and letting that skew my judgment, I let people show me who they were. I reserved judgment until they did. I also, when I encountered a problem with someone, would write a “What I Know” list about him or her. That list had only facts regarding a person’s actions, not opinions or suppositions. I was surprised how much this helped and how much, in actuality, people would reveal their agendas. By taking off my rose color glasses, I was much more able to see a situation clearly and determine my next steps.
photo; holohololand, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
1. When you do not have the facts of a situation
2. When your emotions are running high
3. When you have nothing to say
4. When a situation is volatile and you haven’t thought through the risks of speaking up
5. When you are tired and there’s no request that you speak up
6. When the person you would speak to is highly emotional and you see a way to avoid or delay speaking with them until things calm down
7. When someone is making a fool of themselves
8. When you have nothing good to say
9. When what you’d like to say will needlessly cause harm
10. When the person won’t hear you, even if you do speak up
photo: stock images, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The first hour of your morning can set the tone for your whole day. How do you get started in the morning?
When you wake up, you have the opportunity to establish your outlook for the day. A wide range of emotions is yours to choose from: optimism, expectation, happiness, confidence, worry, anxiety, overwhelm.
It really is a mind game. Will you let your mind run away into negative emotions or guide it into the day in a positive manner? Practices help – you can set aside some quiet time, find ways to release negative emotions (journal writing, physical exercise, being in nature) or do things you love to start your day.
Give it a try tomorrow – start your morning well and make the day a fantastic one!
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