Isn’t it funny how we start off the year in a bit of a goal setting frenzy. Even those of us who are simply continuing with our carefully laid out plans can’t escape the craziness of New Year resolutions.
January is a funny month. The picture of January people madly trying to get traction on the goals that they have set themselves.
This frenetic energy creates a feeling of urgent nothingness.
This week I am taking a moment to breathe. Just be. In the moment. Observe but not be part off. Taking time to dream.
Do you get caught up in the goal-setting frenzy? Do you feel the urgency which permeates lives but seems to go nowhere? What does January mean to you?
If you are in a support role you need to be supportive.
People come to you who need you. People rely on you. People will stumble without you. You make a difference.
I had an experience a couple of weeks ago which I simply cannot understand. I am working on one of my own personal change projects and I employed the services of two people to provide me with a level of support that I needed. Yet they did not provide any support – they gave me information and walked away.
Now people…that is not support! Support is the willingness to help you with what you need. Support is getting down in the trenches with you.
Support is not just a cheer squad, or the occasional phone call.
Here are some ways people can be supportive:
- Help put together an action plan
- Help establish workable ways to achieve goals
- Listening, providing feedback and keeping people accountable
- Providing information in the context of the situation
I truly believe that if people are not willing to give their all to be supportive then they should not enter support based positions/careers.
How do you interpret support? What is important to you?
I read an interesting blog post recently which presented the idea of modelling the behaviour and actions of success.
This is something that I have started to do and map out for myself. I started by analysing something that I do well and breaking it down into steps that I naturally do well. What you end up with is a model which can be replicated. It creates success steps. You have something written down which you can refine and improve over time.
We all have role models – someone who is successful that we would like to emulate. To create a success model for yourself to emulate, look at the behaviours and actions that they display and do to be successful.
Another important step to take if you don’t know what those behaviours and actions are is to ask! People are often all to happy to share – try asking, you will be amazed at what you can discover. Bryan at ElevationLife wrote a great post on asking if you are looking for inspiration.
So seek out those who you want to emulate, analyse, ask and then model that behaviour.
Have you got any role models who you try to emulate? Have you modelled their behaviour and actions? What success have you had?
When you first think of networking you think of people simply swapping business cards or adding each other to your LinkedIn contacts.
I was nervous about the concept of networking let alone the getting out and actually meeting up with people who I don’t know.
I now network and I actually enjoy it. I enjoy forming relationships with others – sometimes the meet-ups don’t go great but I have had absolutely awesome meetings as well.
One I had just recently lead me to totally change the perception of the way that I look at the work that I am doing. It was exciting and I am still buzzed about it 6 weeks later.
Networking can make a difference and can, without a doubt, add value to what you do. You also have the value to make the difference to another persons life by discussing their issues and concerns – I like to treat them like a joint mentoring type of meeting…they add value and you add value.
How has networking worked for you? How often do you network? Do you like networking or do you see it as a necessary evil?
I am not talking about university exams or medical tests.
In this self-improvement journey it is valuable to take some strength and weakness tests.
Myers Briggs and other personality based tests are a good start. You can find these and others that are free on the net.
The other type of test that I found most worthwhile was the Realise2 test. My coach (Kate) put me onto this one. The results blew me away. The test shows you your Realised Strengths, Unrealised Strengths, Weaknesses, and Learned Behaviours. There is a small fee for the test but, in my opinion, it is worth every cent.
After doing these tests, and feeling like the resonated with who I am, I was more at peace with myself – I felt like I could be my authentic self…I am who I am and I recognised that I have both strengths and weaknesses.
I highly recommend doing tests – the downside is that they can cost, but I think it is worth it to actually peel back the layers and see ourselves for our real selves.
Have you taken any tests? What tests did you like or not like? Do you think that they have made a difference?
Hiring Kate was one of the best career moves I could have made.
I wanted a coach who was gentle but firm and could help provide direction. She was my advisor.
I am a pretty driven person and I am focused on achieving my goals, and it was nice to speak to someone on a fortnightly basis about my successes, progress and also some sad things as well – without judgement. At the end of each session I had a clear picture of what needed to happen in the following fortnight…and I set to it.
One of the great things about Kate is that she empowered me to take off on my own and feel strong, confident and sure of the direction that I was taking.
I feel that I have achieved so much more in the last six months by having a coach than I have before. I recommend a coach to anyone who is serious about getting traction in the career, life and goals.
I understand that it is a luxury to have a coach and they can be expensive. I interviewed another coach (before I came across Kate) and we would not have been a good match. You need to dig around to find a good one, and Kate was a good one.
Can you make progress without a coach – sure! You just need to be structured in your approach. Find someone to share with.
Would I have a coach again – absolutely!
Why don’t I have a coach now? I feel very clear about what I need to do and the actions I need to take to achieve my vision and goals. A good coach should not make you dependent on them – they should equip you to move forward on own.
Have you had a coach? Would you think of employing a coach?
I started writing by doing morning pages.
I was surprised by the power of writing. Don’t get me wrong, I have been creating training material and business documents for a long time, but morning pages were something else.
They drew out of me the answers to questions that I had been thinking about. So I started this blog with a focus on work related topics. I found that the same thing happens. Now, if I don’t write I do not feel balanced – it is like meditation.
Writing will help you solve issues you are facing. Writing is idea generating. I would go as far as to say that continuous improvement in my career has been generated by writing.
It really is as simple as picking up a pen or pencil (I love writing in pencil) and simple writing what comes into your head with no editing. Your writing will evolve, change and make a difference in your life.
I have solved many work related issues with writing about them. Often I am right in the thick of the issue and don’t have a solution until I get writing.
You don’t have to start a blog, you don’t have to write a novel – you just have to write.
Do you write? How has writing impacted your life?
My mum tells me I was not really into books when I was a kid. I am definitely making up for lost time now.
I often have 3 books on the go at any given time. I am in love with my kindle – it is always with me. While I hope that I have 5, 10, or maybe even 15 minutes spare to bury my nose in the next paragraph.
I have a plethora of blogs that I read daily. I spend an hour every day reading them.
I have audio books which I listen to on the 1 hour drive to work and then another hour on the way home from work.
Reading is the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. Reading lights my fire.
I cannot explain the impact that reading has had on my outlook, my confidence and my knowledge. I have used the information in books to:
- change my career focus
- change my methodology
- change the way I work
- challenge myself.
A simple paragraph or phrase can change your course dramatically. Reading can be exciting, challenging and thought-provoking. What I love most about reading is taking a great idea and using it – applying it to areas of your life, improving your life.
I highly recommend reading. Read widely and passionately – the rewards are incredible.
Read anything good lately? How has reading changed your life?
Self-improvement. People say that you should do it often. But how? Do you goal set and hope for the best, or maybe read a few books?
Self-improvement should be an ongoing and focused process that generates results. There are so many things you can do and tools you can use to develop yourself. Some of them are:
- Identifying your values
- hire a coach
- Take some strength and weakness tests
- create a model
All of these I have done in the last 6 months and they have all had an impact on the person I am now, on this very day – and that is a different person to who I was 6 months ago.
I will post about each of the items in the above list over the next few days. I will let you know what worked and what didn’t work. Let’s kick it off with…
Identifying your Values
I have written about the importance of values before. This is very worthwhile doing and I don’t mean just thinking about what your values are – I mean writing them down and seeing them on paper.
Remember, no one needs to see this list. Don’t feel pressured to write down the ‘right’ thing – write down what truly swells your heart.
What I liked about identifying my values was it helped me focus on goals which actually mean something to me and also remove goals that I had because they were the ‘right thing to do’.
Identifying my values also helped me to say no and pull back on things which were not on my important values list – it felt very strange at first but I am a ‘old hand’ at it now
There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about the process or the outcome of identifying my values. I don’t think about that list on a daily basis but when I need to make decisions the list comes to my rescue.
Have you identified your values? How have they made a difference to your life?
Today I am bursting – it is the most delightful feeling! I am bursting with new ideas, excitement and possibilities.
All it took was to read a blog post which had meaning to me and ignited my passion: it doesn’t matter that I write about the blog post here…what matters is what it ignites.
I love the feeling – it swells within and you literally feel like you want to burst!
Although I would struggle having this kind of feeling everyday – I am afraid that it would make me very distracted, but it is important to ‘get fired up’ in the most positive sense regularly.
Generally reading is what really ignites passion, ideas and drive for me – it might be a phrase or a chapter that I read. I am a bit of a crazy reader – I have about 3 books I am reading at the moment and I generally chop and change daily between the three of them. I also have a huge amount of blogs that I read and bookmark every day. Reading is my fuel.
How do you get fired up?