Are you ready? - Michelle Gibbings

Are you ready

Out of curiosity and perhaps a secret desire for validation, I’ve been running a straw poll to check how rested, and ready people are for the year ahead.

Why might you ask? Well, I noticed that even though I had scheduled holidays over Christmas and summertime, I didn’t feel like I had a break. My diary was empty of appointments, and yet it felt different to holidays in the past. Was it because I was home, rather than being overseas? Was I still recovering from the weirdness of 2020, only to discover that 2021 would hold still more surprises? Or was it something else entirely?

I happily discovered that on this front, I wasn’t alone. My straw poll told me that other people were feeling the same too. Indeed, when listening to a recent episode of one of my favourite podcasts – ABC Radio National’s The Minefield – the hosts, Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens, talked about the very same phenomenon.

Despite the validation, I am, however, yet to discover precisely why this feeling prevailed. For fear of boring you, it’s time to dispense with my introspection. However, I would love to hear if you encountered the same (or different experience) over the holidays.

After a reflection period, I determined that the ‘why’ was perhaps less important than the ‘how’. That is, deciding what steps to take to shift this state, which wasn’t physical or mental tiredness. It was something I couldn’t quite explain. And so I embarked on research, and through this process discovered a range of ideas you can use to shift how you feel and to get your mojo back.

Firstly, accept how you feel without seeking the need to explain or label it in some way. On occasions, emotions arise, and the reason for their appearance becomes apparent later. Other times, we don’t need to know the reason why they are present. It is merely enough to notice and acknowledge them.

Secondly, give yourself the space to be. To notice what is around you and to connect with nature. The vital part of this process is to shift your environment and to go somewhere different. Many of us have spent large tracts of time in the same location (i.e. the home office). Changing your environment can change your mood, and spending time in nature will positively elevate how you feel.

Thirdly, do something new. This act may involve:

  • Changing your routine.
  • Engaging in an activity that’s novel.
  • Meeting someone for the first time.
  • Learning a new skill.

It is anything that requires you to be – physically and mentally – in a different place.

Lastly, set your targets wisely. It is effortless to create a very long list of what you need to get done this year. But have you given yourself space to explore and to wonder, or is everything scheduled? Have you spent time deciding on what you will say ‘No’ to?

In my situation, the most critical action to take was to shift my space. By spending time in nature and a different location, my outlook changed, and I finally felt like I had had a holiday; even though I was working.

What will it be for you?

All of this is a timely reminder of the quote from the American actress, Angela Bassett, who said: “It’s important to surround yourself with good people, interesting people, young people, young ideas. Go places, learn new stuff. Look at the world with wonder – don’t be tired about it.”

Getting you ready for tomorrow, today®

Michelle Gibbings is bringing back the happy to workplace culture. The author of three books, and a global keynote speaker, she’s on a mission to help leaders, teams and organisations create successful workplaces – where people thrive and progress is accelerated. 

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