Making 2017 count!

Christmas is over, the decorations are packed away for another year and 2017 is here. If you are anything like me, the holiday season will feel like a distant memory already. Most people will have had that feeling of dread on January 3rd, it is time to go back to work… sound familiar!

I’ve always felt lucky when I have got up to go to work, so many people are not lucky enough to have careers, or jobs for that matter, and while it is hard to go back after a holiday, feel lucky that you have something to go back to. If you are struggling however, below are a few strategies that if you implement, can lead to a happier, more fulfilled 2017.

1. Find meaning in the work that you do.

I have a friend who cares for the elderly. When I saw her last week she had a beaming smile on her face. “what are you so happy about?” I asked. Her reply “I get to look after some amazing people today, people who bring so much to my life while also being a positive role model for my son”. What am amazing way of looking at life, talk about finding meaning in what you do! A job is only just a job if you chose to see it as a job, but there’s so much more to it. All work is a chance to change the world. It’s up to you to find meaning in your work. You must find meaning so that every day you feel like you’re on a purposeful mission. This is the way we find happiness.

2. Embrace discomfort and use it in a positive way.

Living in your comfort zone is easy, it is nice, comfortable and you can live there quite happily, however in the comfort zone nothing ever changes. Happy people generally have at least one skill, something they are really good at, something they enjoy doing. While they are skillful now, to get that skill they will have needed to step out of their comfort zone. This process will have been somewhat uncomfortable at first, that does not mean that this discomfort is not positive, it is!

Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress. The more time you spend doing something, the faster you learn. The rewards of becoming great in the long run far outweigh the short-term discomfort that’s felt in the process.

3. Be productive, but don’t rush.

Having nothing to do can take its toll, but on the flip-side being rushed puts you on the fast track to being miserable. The balance is just right when you’re living a productive life at a comfortable pace. Expand your comfort zone but not so much that you feel rushed and completely out of control.

Plan your day well, say yes to the right things, set clear boundaries and have some parts of the day where you go at full force and other parts of the day where you slow down, take stock and recharge. It is simply a matter of clever planning. You should never be so busy that you can’t afford a few minutes of sanity!

I hope this helps, Happy new year!