New Year? New start?

Coach Janice Haddon on what to consider if you want to change your life in 2015.

The New Year brings a time when many of us look to make changes in our lives. It is a great time for reflection on what has gone by, to learn from our experiences and consider our goals and achievements for the coming year.

If you are looking for a change make sure you fully consider the reasons why you want the change and that you are doing it for the right reasons. Sometimes we can think it will fix a level of dissatisfaction, but we can be focusing on the wrong area of our life. So take time to consider your change and the implications on the other areas of your life and the other people in your life!

Remember other people often have a vested interest in keeping us the same, so don’t let other peoples’ opinions put you off if it is the right thing for you to be going for! Sometimes all it takes is a great conversation to ensure all involved understand the implications of the change and how you can work through things together. If all parties understand the impact, a conversation can ensure you all have clarity and support each other in the change rather than resisting it.

If your focus is on work and how you balance that with other areas of your life, consider the impact of your working hours on your personal and family life. Let go of the guilt of working or going back to full time work. Life is all about getting the right balance and that means what works for you personally – not what necessarily suits someone else. It might mean you need to ensure you have a few key things in place, like extra support for childcare, so you have contingency plans in place if you get delayed in a meeting or traffic.

Finding the right role with the flexibility that you need, can be tricky. Being truly happy in the work place comes when we work in an organisation that has the right culture to match our personal values. Consider your values – the things that are important to you. Make a list of your top five or six. These will give you the foundation for the type of place you want to work. For example if you have a value of respect and find yourself in an organisation that pays no attention to its communications or employee development or turns a blind eye to bullying behavior, then that clearly is not a place where you will flourish.

Be clear on what you want. Get clarity on a few key areas. Ask yourself the following questions:

– What are the minimum and maximum hours that I want to spend in work?

– What is the minimum salary I want to go for?

– What type of work will stimulate me and provide for my mental stretch and personal growth?

– What values and culture must the organisation have for me to feel happy working there?

– How can I accommodate any remote working?

– What changes to other aspects of my life will I need to put in place to ensure there is no work-life tension or conflict?

– What conversations do I need to have to ensure I get full support from others?

If you do go for an option of working from home or doing certain activities remotely, make sure you have other ways of connecting with people. We are not designed to exist in isolation and having a connection and good communication with others is one of our Essential Needs© and helps provide for our psychological happiness.

And finally, just as a reminder – make sure you make time for exercise to keep your endorphins up – your bodies natural happy hormone; have personal down time and space so you can find time for relaxation and hobbies, and ensure you get a healthy balanced diet to give you the right fuel in your system to ensure you have the energy and motivation to be successful and happy in all areas of your life.

*Janice Haddon has over 25 years’ experience in strategic and operational human resources and management consultancy. Working across a range of sectors and with start-ups to top 20 companies, Janice is a qualified coach and has a passion for integrating strong leadership and high performance with personal positivity and wellbeing. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MA in Psychotherapy and an MBA from Henley Management College, Janice is also a Master Practitioner in NLP, a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapy Counsellor. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Organisational Health and Wellbeing and is Managing Director of both Morgan Redwood and Thrive in Life 360.

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