Setting Yourself Up for a Year of Success – Advice from an Organisational Psychologist

Setting Yourself Up for a Year of Success – Advice from an Organisational Psychologist

Author: Amy Bands

The urge to take advantage of this time of year to come up with new goals, identify your purpose, set resolutions and start fresh with the clean slate of a new year is real. However, the reality is that just because the calendar has ticked over into a new year does not automatically mean we will feel refreshed and rejuvenated. In fact, you may even feel disappointed that this refreshed feeling does not automatically happen. 

More than that, we often dive into unhealthy ways of behaving and acting over the December period and overnight wish to change our habits in favour of strict and healthy alternatives come January 1st. We have high hopes that we will be our best selves in the new year – often referred to as “new year, new you”. However, it’s important to remember we are coming out of an end of year slump, a challenging 2022 characterised by readjusting after a pandemic, unemployment, economic woes, load shedding and readjustment to the office after working from home. In December we are making our money stretch further as we spend on gifts, feasts, holidays and sales. We renege on our boundaries as we spend time with family and friends, feel pressure and some may even feel lonely or disconnected.

What has the era of Covid-19 taught us?

One thing we have learned from the pandemic we faced and are still coming out of is that life is more uncertain than we ever thought it could be. For some of us the new year period could coincide with some misfortune, grief, hardship and despondency. We may have a rule of thumb that the new year is a time to refresh, reset and build for a year ahead. And so when the reality of our lives does not mirror that expectation, we can feel bad, disappointed or confused. Having self-compassion in these moments will assist us in managing and coping with the disconnect we may be feeling. Speak to yourself like you would to a friend or loved one to combat these feelings.

Rejuvenating for 2023, like most things in life, is not a quick fix. It is worthwhile to prioritise rejuvenation as a form of well-being that will set you up for success in 2023, and through intentional practices of rejuvenation, it will be possible to cope better with the challenges you inevitably will face. 

Success-focused habits to take with you into 2023 and beyond

1. Reflect often

We can engage in this activity where we look inward to learn about ourselves and build our self-awareness. It is important to look back at the year that was and see what worked (and what didn’t) so that we can take these learnings with us into the new year.

2. Examine your strengths

Wisdom from positive psychology encourages us to focus on and build on our strengths as opposed to agonising on and rectifying our weaknesses. Where do your strengths and talents lie and how can you enhance them?

3. Journal more

When we put pen to paper real transformation happens. We can look back on our writing and get a deeper sense of ourselves, our struggles and our hopes for the future. These writings act as a catharsis – where we can let go of what has been on our minds or as a record where we find messages from ourselves, written to ourselves.

4.   Clarify your values

Shining the light on our values regularly assists us in streamlining and sharply defining what matters to us and provides a clear compass with which we can make our decisions. Take time to zoom in on 3 to 5 values that will guide your actions, decisions and plans for the year ahead.

5. Consider a theme for the year 

Maybe it’s growth, to be a role model, or adventure. Consider how this theme will guide you in multiple aspects of your life – relationships, work, hobbies and health as some examples.

6. Create a vision board 

Making your purpose, vision and goals visual to consistently remind you of what you are setting your intention towards will provide you with regular reminders of why you are putting in effort and what you are striving towards. Choose a visual, a song, a passage, a poem, a photograph or a quote to capture the entirety of your vision that you can constantly hang onto – even when your energy wanes.

7. Take breaks 

Be intentional with scheduling your breaks, whether these will be during your work day where you regularly get up from your desk or requesting leave. Look at your calendar to ensure you are intentional with your time this year and look at the public holidays that you can take advantage of to schedule your time off – this way you will have more time without using as many leave days.

8. Dive into something today that your future self will thank you for 

Plan something that is just for you, that scares you or that meets your deepest desires. When we do something today that our future self will thank us for we are sure to shape our lives in ways that wow us! Write a journal entry imagining you are reflecting in January 2024 – what is that thing you did in 2023 that you are grateful for – add this to your intention for 2023. The year will pass by regardless of whether you have the experience, enrol in the course or make a move or not. If you choose to engage you will be left with more than just another year crossed off on a calendar.

 How can you apply this in the workplace?

Now, more than ever employees are prioritizing their mental well-being and considering what they want to do with their lives. Organisations need to prioritise the holistic well-being of their employees if they wish to remain competitive and relevant in the war for talent. Organisations can ensure ongoing rejuvenation and mental health for the employees by:

  1.   Empowering employees with mental health tools – training, practice and investing in these tools are crucial. P.S. Contact to see how Wellbe and our mental health team can support you and your organisation.
  2.   Take action towards improving the work-life balance of their employees – many organisations are experimenting with the 4-day work week and we could take the lead from European countries who are legislated against contacting employees outside of strict working hours.
  3.   Carefully consider hybrid working policies – consulting employees is crucial as employees no longer see the relevance of working in the office meaning that organisations need to lead the charge in redefining what it means to work in-office.
  4.   Employers would do well to recognize that it is no longer hours worked and input into work  that needs to be monitored, rewarded, and micro-managed but rather the impact and output of work that needs to be recognised and encouraged.

 Partner with Wellbe today to empower you and to shape a healthy organisation.

7 Refreshing tips to keep you rejuvenated this year

7 Refreshing tips to keep you rejuvenated this year

Author: Words We Write

The start of the new year is the promise of new beginnings. Thinking of the things you want to achieve, getting back into a routine and going back to work can be a little intimidating though. There is a lot of pressure to hit the ground running and make this your best year yet and by the end of January, you’re exhausted all over again. 

It doesn’t have to feel like that though. We’ve done a little digging and found some pretty nifty ways for you to achieve everything you set out to while still feeling rejuvenated throughout the year. 

Don’t get us wrong, there will be days when you’re tired and need a rest, that’s normal. Our goal is for you to use these tips to create a sustainable lifestyle that will keep you going all year round.

Why is a sustainable lifestyle so important? 

Burnout is real and pretty common. Building healthy habits that you follow and implement into your daily life will assist in avoiding high-stress levels and feelings of total exhaustion. 

By maintaining a healthy and sustainable lifestyle you won’t be trying to crawl through the last months of the year with your holiday just out of reach. You’ll continue to feel fresh and rejuvenated to take the year on and finish strong while achieving your goals.

How to stay rejuvenated this year

1. Set boundaries

This has been a tough one, even for us but we can’t express how important your boundaries are. Your boundaries are unique to you, and you can have specific boundaries for work, friends, family, and even yourself.

The important thing is to make sure that you stick to your boundaries once you’ve decided on them. They won’t be helpful to you if you keep trying to enforce a boundary and then give up soon after. 

Explore: How to beat cognitive fatigue to re-energise

Examples of boundaries you could implement:
  • Sticking to the working hours stipulated in your contract
  • Only watching TV for an hour a day or going on social media for a certain amount of time in a day
  • Saying no to people (especially if you’re a people pleaser)
  • Choosing not to be around friends or family that constantly put you down

2. Start the year slowly

As we mentioned, there is this unspoken pressure of getting into the new year and being the most productive, smashing goals left right and centre and letting nothing get in your way. 

While we commend people for wanting to start the year strong, it can lead to fizzling out pretty early. Think about a marathon for example, if you come out guns blazing and sprint as fast as you can for the first few laps, the longer the race goes on, you don’t have the energy to keep the same momentum going. 

A year is a marathon, never a sprint. Take your time to reflect on the past year, sit and figure out what you want to achieve this year and game plan for how you’re going to do it. Most importantly, remember that you don’t need to achieve everything in the first 3 months. 

3. Prioritise your sleep routine

You have probably heard this a billion times in your life but we can’t stress how important sleep is. Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it. If you need to wake up early, go to bed early. 

Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night so that you are performing at your best.

4. Take care of your gut

Choose foods that will nourish your mind and your body. Life can get busy and it might be easy to quickly stop at a drive-through on your way home rather than cook but we advise against doing this regularly. 

Make this the year where you plan your meals ahead of time and make conscious decisions about what you put in your body. Foods high in added sugars and processed foods can make you feel sluggish.

5. Practice being still

Whether it’s sitting outside for 20 minutes, meditating or laying on your bed, being still can improve your brain function, reduce stress and anxiety and aid in productivity. 

A few minutes a day where you sit with no distractions and let your mind and body completely relax. 

6. Set new goals 

Goals and intentions are important. We’re not calling them New Year’s Resolutions because there’s a connotation around resolutions that no one ever sticks to them. 

We prefer goals and intentions. As we mentioned above, figure out what you would like to achieve this year. But most importantly, indicate HOW and WHEN you’re going to achieve these goals. Being specific and having an action plan is vital to achieving your goals. 

7. Practice gratitude

Lastly, be thankful. 

Yes, life is difficult, work can suck and we would all rather be on a beach somewhere. BUT you have a job, you have friends and family, you have a home and food. There is so much you have in your life that someone out there wishes they had. Life isn’t going to be perfect and there are going to be days when things seem impossible but we encourage you to find something to be grateful for every single day, no matter how small it may seem.

Before you know it, you’ll be reminded of all the positive and amazing things surrounding you.

To feel rejuvenated throughout the year is to practise small things daily that remove you from the hustle and bustle and remind you to take each day as it comes.