It is January. Always a strange month. What to make of it? Is it
mid-winter or early spring? Do the birds, the animals and the gardens know what
season it is? We survived the rain of November and the cold and snow of
December what will January bring? As we conserve heat and turn down the
thermostats have you become re-acquainted with all your sweaters? Is the thrift
making you feel good?
This year January is a bit strange as the children go back to school so early. And we all go back to work so soon and before we are ready. Then as usual it will take us a week to get back into top gear.
And what do we make of it?
Lots of us see it as a fresh start. A new year and with it we make lots of resolutions. The problem is that we do it because we do it. We make resolutions because everyone else is. We are not really committed to making change and the hard work it demands but a new year seems to require it. Those of you who know me understand that I am not a fan of new year resolutions. Make change at the time when you really want to and do not wait is my motto!
So, what am I thinking about?
I am thinking about how I talk to myself.
Now I work for myself, with myself and by myself. I have regular board meetings with myself and develop my business strategy which is fine. Sometimes I argue with myself and occasionally if it gets really serious I take it to the wisdom of my supervisor, who is wonderful. If I am unhappy with the person management I enjoy then I have no one to blame but myself. This year the business is going well. My plans and objectives are developed. The 2023 budget is done and my cashflow is in place so from a business viewpoint I am raring to go.
However, I am not so good at dealing with my personal life. I work with NLP. I understand self-talk. I know about thinking about what you want to achieve – if you can think it you can make it happen. Visualisation and affirmations are important as they turn thoughts into reality. However, I realise that I am not doing it. My self-talk is appalling. Not only is it appalling I do not mean it and so am not committed as I need to be.
I did realise this around about September and decided to review my work/life balance. I knew it was out of whack. I reviewed what I was doing and resolved to thin my life out. I even convinced myself that I did not to have to fill every gap that I saw. I resigned from several things. I am still over committed and am spending a little time at the start of the year convincing myself of this and deciding what to lay down. I am reminded of my Dad’s philosophy – “when someone asks for a volunteer always take one step back”.
However more serious is that over the last few months I have been doing some serious eating and either ignoring it or pretending I will do something about it later. The reality is that I had given up both eating sensibly and in moderation. The consequence is spreading hips and an increased dress size. At last, my subconscious has attracted my attention. I am getting fat; clothes do not fit; I feel sluggish. I do not like it and do not intend to tolerate it. The self-talk is changing.
Fortuitously this was helped by needing to work with a client about measurable objectives. So out came the SMART model as one of the pillars. You all know it.
Make your objective:
Losing weight is always the easiest example to use of this. So, I am working on my self-talk. No excuses this time. I have done it before, and I will do it again – provided I listen!!!!
Now this got me thinking about other people’s self-talk. I have just started reading Scotty Mills Never Give In: The Twelve Commando Rules for Life. I expect you know Scotty. He was a marine major, now retired, who is using his expertise to coach others including The Three Lions. He is a good coach as is Garth Southgate and I am always interested in how other coaches work. It is said that when Gareth was asked why he had brought the England team to Scotty this is what he said: ‘Look Scotty, it’s no secret that we’ve been paralysed through fear of failure. Tournament after tournament, big game after big game. Something’s got to change. Looking back, we can’t keep making the same mistakes because we’re going to have the same outcomes’.”
I think that is great – change the self-talk to a positive outcome. Visualise what you want to achieve and delete all thoughts of failure.
The first of Scotty’s twelve Commando rules is about respect and I think this is one of the keys to success. He defines respect as the deep admiration someone feels for you, or you have for someone else because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Or that you have for yourself. In my view it all starts from that last sentence. We each need to have respect for ourselves. We need to have the relationship with ourselves that means when we talk we listen. If we do not like something we change it. We focus on saying the things to ourselves we could say to our teams or children. We need to use the language and strategies that encourage and inspire us. We take care to think before we speak!
So how is your relationship with yourself? Do you like, love and respect yourself? Because if you don’t you won’t listen to what you have to say. If you don’t listen then like the Lions you will do the same and get the same.
2023 may be about you wanting something different. If so, then you have to change something. It means defining what you want and then your conversation has to change.
All of this stuff is important in my role as a mentor. How you feel about life and yourself, will determine how you approach each day; how you work; how you interact with others. If you like yourself others will like you. People will be drawn to you. If you want to explore this and how it would affect you and your business why not give me a call and we can talk about your challenges and what you want in your life. I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help them explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. I hope you will be one of them.
Happy New Year everyone. Enjoy the clean sheet that it brings and the many possibilities it offers,