Use the Festive Season to Change Your Life and Work

Created: Friday, December 18, 2020, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am



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By Sid Madge, Meee

The Christmas holidays will be very different this year. For many of us, Covid restrictions will still be in place. And given the tough time we’ve had, it may be tempting to shake off the negativity and enjoy a few days of fun with loved ones. However, considering the potential consequences it might be better to take a different approach. Why not use the Christmas holidays to change your life, both at home and at work?

Isn’t it funny how so many of us are desperate to celebrate Christmas together even though it is a notoriously stressful time of year, even in ‘normal’ times? Family niggles around the dinner table, eating too much, drinking too much, and spending far too much money!

Use the Festive Season to Change Your Life and Work
Image: Pexels

Things are already shaken up…

So, let’s shake them up even further! Let’s make sure we kick off 2021 with a plan to make the changes we’ve been thinking about in our personal lives and at work but doing nothing about for years.

I believe that micro-moments and tiny interventions are the best approaches to change of any type. Forget about the bold proclamations and focus instead on lots of little shifts. To make 2021 your best year ever I’ve pulled together some micro-moment ideas that might help. Some come from my ‘Meee in a Minute’ books. Each book offers 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our mindset in our life, work, and family. They are great little stocking fillers too.

1. Reassessing the year

Instead of watching TV after Christmas dinner and quietly falling asleep, why not assess 2020 with your family? Have you learned anything or discovered anything that was unexpected? Did you discover that actually, you didn’t need to spend a lot of money to be OK? Did you miss your work or did you discover that you would like to do something else?

Sure, it’s been a terrible year. And finding something useful or something you are grateful for may be hard, especially if you have lost loved ones or lost your job but see if you can find a silver lining somewhere.

Use those insights to map out a better 2021 and start a weekly gratitude practice. Just taking a few minutes each day or even every week to bring to mind what we are grateful for, can lift our mood and improve our health.

2. Appreciating what makes you happy

Take a minute to consider where you found happiness this year?  Before Covid, we often thought that we would be happier with a better job, better health, more money, a bigger house, different relationships. What about now? Perhaps you’ve discovered that happiness is in the little moments – spending time with family, meeting friends (socially distanced of course), reading, listening to music, enjoying nice food or a good coffee.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, surely, it’s to appreciate the simple things. Take a minute to write down a list of 10 things that make you happy. Make sure those are woven into your weekly life for 2021.

3. Making 2021 a year of learning

We live in weird times where lies and nonsense mix with genuine information which is making truth harder to access. And the uncertainty is playing havoc with our mental health. How many of us know someone who has fallen down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole on social media?  Take a few minutes each week to turn off social media and instead dive into TED.

TED talks believe in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately the world. Use their ‘Surprise me’ feature where TED will randomly select a presentation for you to watch. Watch a different TED Talk every week. Read more books or enroll in an online course and broaden your horizons.

We can never truly know what we are passionate about or gifted in unless we experiment with new skills. FutureLearn.com or Udemy.com are great places to start and some of the courses are of great value.

4. Putting together an anti-bucket list

We waste so much time musing over what we could or should do, even when we know in our hearts that we probably never will. It’s time to lean into those energy drains and work out if they are important to you or not.

Instead of lamenting that you should walk for an hour a day or go to the gym three times a week, what will you do? Can you commit to a 20-minute walk? If you have no intention of doing either, then be honest with yourself. Use the energy you waste beating yourself up about the things you are not doing, to focus on what you will do.

Instead of getting weighed down with what you might do or should do purge yourself of all the things you definitely won’t do or don’t even want to do. Liberate yourself from the shoulds and coulds and focus on what you want and what you will do to make that happen.

5. Planning and get going

How do you want 2021 to be?  We may not be able to travel as freely as we want physically but our mind is always open. We can travel anywhere with our mind. Use it to formulate a plan and begin. Begin a course, begin a job application, begin mapping out your business idea. Begin your exercise practice. Begin your meditation. Whatever you want for 2021 – begin it now.

Think about what help you need. People are receptive to helping out at this time of year, so ask for help if you need it, or contact people who may be able to lend a hand in the new year. Begin it. Take a minute to consider what you are putting off. Take one positive step toward that today and keep going.

If Christmas is going to be different anyway, make it really different and use it to map out a changed you in 2021. Then begin with little shifts – small manageable changes. As the cumulative effect builds you will be surprised and delighted by where they can take you both at work and in your personal life.


Sid Madge
      
Sid Madge is the founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education, and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.

To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.

Sid Madge is also author of the Meee in Minute series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.


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