As I headed towards the office on the first morning after the Christmas break, I noticed a few different and interesting things going on. These can come up after leave or transition – annual leave, maternity leave, a new role, a new job.
Trepidation at the thoughts of the year ahead and all that I want to achieve.
Excitement at the thoughts of the year ahead and all that I want to achieve.
Overwhelm at the thoughts of the year ahead and all that I want to achieve.
Regret (just a little) that Christmas is over, that the build up is over.
Satisfaction that even though I lost the plot a couple of times, everyone had a great Christmas. There was Santa and family time and down time and fun time and mum’s 80th birthday celebrations. It was worth focusing on and holding that just for a moment.
Finally, joy to be back in my office, in my zone and getting back into the headspace that I love to be in.
With a new year vigour and focus, there’s one big thing that I learnt in 2017 and that is the benefit of slowing down. While we’re busy and running and juggling, it’s worth taking a few minutes to just sit and recognise what’s going on, how you’re feeling and where you are right now. At this time of year, it’s good practice to spend some time reflecting on the year that has passed before looking forward. Celebrate the successes, learn what needs to be learnt – the good, the bad and the ugly. And then be ready to let go of all that.
Then many of us dive straight into spending time thinking about the year ahead. I love to take the time to reset. Rather than resolutions, I tend to focus on intentions and plans (with a few specific targets and objectives). I think about the business, personal development, wellness (physical, mental and emotional) as well as travel, fun, family and all of the other planning and logistics to bring myself, my business and the family through the year. No wonder I overwhelm myself!
I’m pleased to say that my husband knows me well and picked up The Bullet Book which I love and is helping kick off the year. I’m sure I’ll pull on it through the year, but having a good reflective journal or planner by your bedside is a good idea. It can be used for setting objectives, tracking tasks, reflecting around the many areas of your life. It’s kind of like a life coach in a book!
Something that we spend less time on is focusing on where we are right now and being with that, sitting with that. Name it, recognise it, be aware of it and sit with it. As well as looking back and having a forward focus, tuning in to the right now is powerful.
So having paid attention to what is going on for me in that moment, all that was going on in my head and thinking about all that I wanted to achieve, I’m now thinking about what I need to do to not get in my own way and three things spring to mind immediately:
- Practice mindfulness. In September, after five years of saying that I didn’t have enough time to learn how to be mindful (ironic but true during that time), I finally signed up for an eight-week course. It was finally the right time to make time to slow time and create space. Ellen Shilling of Xhale.ie has been just brilliant as a teacher about mindfulness and how to practice it daily. My intention had been to sit quietly every morning for 20 minutes and practice but that just isn’t a realistic objective for my life phase. What’s working really well is taking 5, 10, 15 minutes when I can throughout the day. If there’s a bit of overwhelm, guilt, racing, juggling or whatever else is going on, I catch it, become aware of it and take as many minutes as I can to breathe and follow a guided meditation on Insight Timer, my new go-to space for sanity.
- Outsource. Pull in the resources that mean that I can focus my time, energy and headspace on what I do well and what I love to do. As Clearbird grows and expands into new directions, a few people have asked whether I will start hiring coaches or pull in associates. But for now, that’s not the route for me. I love partnering with some fabulous people that bring the collaboration, the stretch, and diverse work but what I love is coaching, speaking, facilitating, training. What I don’t love is admin, book-keeping, marketing and social media (well I would if I had more time which I don’t, so it gets in my way or I get in it’s way). So this year, I’ll be bringing in more resources to help run the back-end of the business, so that I can fully focus on my clients and partnerships and continue to grow the business and bring the impact and value to more people in new ways. My hope is that this will release headspace, guilt, time and the important but not urgent things will get done properly.
- Lean on my tribe. My tribe. This is core. This is where much joy is. This is knowing who has my back, who brings the positive energy, the challenge, the encouragement, the laughs, the tears. These are the people who are there to celebrate the successes and are there to help me learn the lesson and pick me up when I fall or stumble. And I’m there for them too I hope – it’s a mutual support club. In the early days of setting up Clearbird, when I knew that I was in my own head too much (and there was only so much my husband could take!), I set up my first fabulous masterminds group. We meet (mostly) monthly, we all have our own businesses, similar level of ambition, energy and although completely different businesses, we have the same challenges. We hold each other accountable, we support each other, we challenge each other and we revive and refresh each other. I have another coaching tribe that includes my supervisor and my group supervision members and serves a similar purpose. I wonder how many people know – really know – who their tribe is? My wider tribe is made up of family and friends, my husband and my kids who all help keep the sanity intact.
So when you’re starting or starting back, take a moment to ground and centre. Throw a glance backwards to recognise where you’ve come from and hold that mindful presence in the now, before you jump in with two feet to the next phase, the next adventure, the next challenge.
And if that feels daunting, maybe some coaching can help you navigate so feel free to get in touch.
Helping you to find your mojo.