Change is not easy. Here are my 4 habits for any new beginning:
When going gets tough, SMILE
I learned this one the hard way … when I had developed the “11” lines between my brows! When work takes a turn for the worse and unexpected events happen, we get engulfed in figuring out what happened and how we fix it. Those are the times when you need to force yourself to smile. This is the simplest way to get endorphin, the feel good hormone, flowing and to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Our brain doesn’t distinguish between a real smile and a fake smile. So go ahead try it out.
“Fake it, till you make it” has the best application here. Fake happiness until you are happy. People close to me know that when I smile the most I am stressed the most!
Interested in learning more? Check out this article in Fast Company.
Forgive (self and others)
“I wish I had” … Complete this sentence. You may come up with many different completions. These are your wishes that for whatever reasons you could not fulfill. That’s okay. It is what it is. You have no control over past. The best you can do is forgive yourself and move on. If there were others to blame for an unfulfilled wish, forgive them and move on. Forgiveness has many psychological and physical health benefits. Mayo Clinic has a good listing of those benefits.Bottom line “let it go”.
While you are it, forgive yourself for not staying on top of your resolutions thus far.
Now complete this sentence “I wish I could”. Think, what you could be doing now so these “I wish I could” statements do not turn into “I wish I had” statements. Take action now to translate the “I wish” statements to “I can and I do”.
Taking some philosophic liberty here … we will all die. If death is the ultimate reality, this lifetime is your opportunity to do what you really want to do. It is simple, if you want something bad enough, you will act. If you don’t, you probably don’t want it bad enough. In which case, it should not be a cause for future regret. So, decision time is now. Act or decide that it is not important enough and let it go. In any case, you are aiming for no regrets! “Just do it”
Once you decide to do something, break it down into really small tangible steps … baby steps. Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile found that the single most powerful workplace motivator is small, daily progress. Collecting wins, no matter how small, can chemically wire you to move forward through a repeated release of dopamine, the motivation hormone.
So, if your goal is to keep your office clean, make your baby step for today as small as you can – for example, today, I will clean up the top drawer or today, I will remove folders from the top right corner of my table. Try it out … give yourself the opportunity to overachieve.