Behaviour expert Dr Pam Spurr helps you change your life
We've now entered the new year, and you're probably resolving to create the 'new you'. Think again resolutions normally fail despite good intentions.
Instead, get cracking with the following top tricks and techniques to get more of the life you want in 2012.
Grab those goals
You can become a decision maker who stops procrastination in its tracks. Many men confide in me that they dream their life away. But procrastination kills off the fighting spirit.
Definitely begin to grab opportunities with both hands. When you spot an opportunity don't hold back because you're worried "it might not work out" or you're "not up to the challenge". Talk yourself up and devise your own motto like "no guts, no glory" that one works for me.
Seize the moment
A big part of having the right mindset to reach your goals is to start seizing the smaller moments. When a new colleague suggests going for a beer say "Yes". When an attractive woman smiles at you in a lift, then smile right back.
Missing such moments leads in one direction: to regret and regret's demoralising. Much better to become a 'Yes man' then to let moments pass you by. Stop and think for a moment before you turn down any invitation, moment, or opportunity.
Become your own confidence coach
The key to developing the right mindset depends to a large extent on building your confidence generally. Use these tips:
1. Change your attitude to becoming a 'cup-half-full' rather than a 'cup-half-empty' person. Listen to the things you say and think reshape them to a more positive attitude.
2. Change the 'daily grind'. Make a point of doing something new every week or fortnight. Join an evening class, take up something as random like rock climbing, join a gym whatever stimulates your brain with new, small challenges.
3. Definitely free yourself from worry that can become chronic dragging your confidence down.
4. Learn to identify the 'little devil' sitting on your shoulder saying negative things. It says things like you're not good enough, you could've done better and that others are better than you, etc. Always challenge this little devil. Develop a 'little friend' on your shoulder each time you think negatively, seek guidance from this kinder, soothing voice.
5. Always be aware of the good things you've got and say a daily 'thank-you' for what you're blessed with. Include the good things about yourself sense of humour, loyalty, etc as well as the good people you've got in your life.
Manage your goals
Now you're developing the mindset of a go-getter with the confidence to attain your goals whether for work or your personal life. 'Think in ink' and write goals down as a list. Next rank them in order running from the smallest to the biggest.
Take each goal, one at a time, and work out the steps to reach it. Let's say you want to learn a foreign language because you'd love to be moved to one of your company's overseas offices. It seems daunting until you break it into small steps. Set aside an evening for researching local colleges that offer the language you'd like to learn. Visit the selected colleges. Sort out enrolment and then clearly 'diarise' weekly study time.
Or maybe you daydream at your desk and your goals aren't that clear-cut. Discard the complete fantasy daydreams (that you'll be the next Johnny Depp) and think through the most realistic ones, say, moving up the ladder at work.
Thinking in ink again, clarify how you'll reach this goal do you need more job-skills training before applying for promotion? Would such skills training be offered in-house at your work or do you need to look for local adult education classes? Can you discuss in-house training with your supervisor? Answer these questions one-by-one and again plan your step-by-step action.
Applying your new outlook
As your confidence grows, you learn to seize opportunities and moments, and you become good at goal-setting, it's easier to apply these to the rest of your life.
Higher confidence has been shown to improve relationships you feel good and you spread that to her. It also means you have the courage to break bad relationship habits for a fresh start. Couples research has found relationships need shaking up occasionally to prevent boredom, and that's not just in the bedroom.
If you're in a relationship you can enhance it immediately by becoming more spontaneous. You can do this by seizing those moments to do new/different things with your girlfriend.
Then daily emphasise the good you two share. Plan regular dates together and ban talking about romance killers like the mortgage and the boss you hate. And when the bad times hit and she's angry about something, take time to listen calmly to her side. It'll make a world of difference.
If things are really getting bad try quirky but useful techniques like using an egg timer to allow each other two to three full minutes to speak without interruption.
For a real wake-up call, if you always argue over the same issue, try recording yourselves and listen back. It might shock you both into learning to 'argue' in a more positive way. Finally, apologise when wrong you'd be amazed at the results.
So, get ready to conquer 2012: you've activated change in your life, so take this new attitude into everything you do.
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