If there’s one thing that January is known for, it is New Year’s Resolutions. Every year, most of us plan to improve our lives in some way – and yet by the end of the month, never mind the year, we’ve often gone back to our bad habits.
With this in mind, we invited management and life coach Zoe Whitby to join us for the first meeting of the year and help us to make sensible, sustainable changes which really can help us to make our lives better.
We began with an analysis exercise. By examining each area of our lives, from diet to finances, relationships to career, we could work out where we had the least satisfaction and therefore what we ought to address. Zoe advised us to imagine what we would view as the ideal scenario, then compare our current situation to that, to help us visualise where we were aiming to be.
Equally important was choosing the right language: many people choose to ‘give up’ something or ‘stop’ something in the new year, such as smoking or junk food. Mentally, we feel we are being deprived. Instead, if we phrase it as making a positive choice to improve our lives, we are far more likely to succeed. Doing things in small steps is also key. There is no point in trying to go from doing no exercise at all to running 10km every day. Instead, aim to introduce simple changes to your existing regime until they become routine, and build on them as you improve.
After the opening exercise, we moved on to creating vision boards. By choosing words and images from newspapers and magazines which we find striking or appealing, we were able to create a visual representation of what we want in our lives. For some of us, there was a definite theme to the overall result (cake, in my case), while for others the effect was a kind of summary of all aspects of our lives.
Thanks to Zoe for leading the exercise and then allowing us to make the most of some time out to focus on our own lives. It was an interesting and inspiring evening which should stay with us throughout 2015 – and perhaps beyond.
To find out more about Zoe’s work, visit her website – Z W Coaching.