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NEW YEAR, NEW ME

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Image courtesy of liveluvcreate.com

Written by Lauren Schultz, a BDSmktg Newme

The New Year brings with it a new slate for most of us. It is almost as though whatever hardships occurred in the previous year are now more manageable in the New Year. The obstacles we faced last year that seemed insurmountable at the time have only made us stronger this year. What is it about the New Year that makes people have this sense of optimism? Do our problems really fade once the clock strikes midnight on January 1st? Can a day truly make that big of a difference and if so, than why does this only happen once a year?

I am guilty of the idealistic “New Year, New Me” attitude. Every year I proclaim that this is it- this is the year that things are going to be different and better than ever before! The new Lauren is always so much cooler than the previous year’s Lauren. She is fitter, wealthier and overall happier; in fact 2014 Lauren seems pretty lame compared to the new and improved 2015 version. But then again that is what I said last January. It is hard to say for sure really how much has changed and in reality things may stay relatively the same from one year to the next. What I can say for sure has changed is that with both the good and bad experiences each year has brought it has challenged me to grow more as an individual.

We can also challenge ourselves. A few BDS employees have taken on a 30 day challenge. They have committed to themselves and their peers tasks they are going to go to do for the next 30 days. I have proclaimed that 2015 is going to be different and it will start with this challenge, making a little changes one day at a time.

Now, most of you may not need a 30 day challenge to incite change in yourselves, you know your goals for the year and you are fully committed to them. Some of you may be content and not interested in making any resolutions or challenges and would rather go with the flow of life to see what happens.

However you feel about the whole New Year’s resolution idea; I want to leave you with one question. I found this question after looking to my dear friend Google for articles on New Year’s resolutions.

The question that I want to end this article with is…

What can you do now that you couldn’t do a year ago?

P.S.  If you are interested in doing your own 30 Day Challenge, check out the Try Something New for 30 Days TedTalk by Matt Cutts, to help you get started!

THE SEASONS OF CHANGE

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If you have been in the corporate business world for some time, you know that change is the one constant. If you want to exercise your change muscles, the corporate business world is a place that will make you the super athlete of change, because ours is a marathon. The industry and competition have created an environment where change is survival, and refusing to change is no longer an option for a viable, successful business.

Some people embrace change and others are challenged by the very thought of it. Often we resist change because we are in a safe place of complacency. We begin a time of transition when we encounter change. Transition is where the hard work of change happens and where we are most challenged, but it can be a source of renewal if managed deliberately.

Whether you look forward to a change or fear it, it has a powerful impact on your emotions. However, you can increase your sense of control and steer your life into positive place when you know how to manage through the change.

So with that said, nix the go-with-the-flow attitude. That just sets you up for stress, anxiety and fear. Do not resist or fight change. Fueled by anger and frustration, you will sap your strength and find yourself detached and victimized.

Unless you can shift your perception on change- you will continue to resist and struggle with the unknown and experience more stress then needed. Although it is a cliché to say “when one door closes, another one opens”, it is in essence the positive view on change. Do not resist the change, make a conscious decision to choose your attitude about the change and remind yourself that change is a process. Negative thoughts block innovation and critical thinking abilities. Positive thoughts build bridges to possibilities. Reframing your viewpoint on change, and having patience with yourself through the process, is the most important component of being able to get through the transition.

As you are re-framing your view on change, consider meditation or walking, or some other way to breathe deeply and relax. Slowing down even for small moments helps you deal better with change. Prepare to move forward with the change because it will happen. Simply notice that you are in the midst of change and that change is a part of you. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it takes some practice to become aware of change instead of subconsciously denying it. In addition to meditation and walking, try being creative. If you like to write, consider writing about changes you notice. If you like art, consider painting, or other creative projects. No one’s life is free of change. And if it was, you would not feel like you were making progress in life. Relaxing and finding an outlet allows your brain to deliberately begin its re-framing of change.

Next, you must, face your feelings about the change, especially when the change is imposed and beyond your control. Get past the “Why me” and “It isn’t fair”. Figure out what your fears are, try writing about your feelings. You don’t have to be a victim, even when you are not in control of the change.

Adopt an attitude of anticipation. Try to open yourself up to seeing change as an opportunity. Find the benefits the change can offer. There is always an opportunity and if you are driven by negative emotions, you will miss it. Do not dwell on the past. When you focus on the past versus the future you will find yourself in a place of “spin”. “Spin” is constant complaining about what was, what could have been, what should have been. Talking through the transition you are going through is not the same as complaining. Especially when change is being imposed on you, “spin” is something that does not look good on most folks.

The last but certainly not the least advice I can give you so you can consciously guide the change, is to set smart goals. Smart goal setting helps you decide how to make the change happen and to recognize your successes; especially short terms goals which are critical to support feelings of progress. Write out your goals and your plans to meet your goals, and check in with them often.

I realize this advice is easier given then done. But when you consciously choose to think this way, you experience a positive difference in how you deal with change. If you are experience change and would like some tools or direction on getting support, please reach out to me directly.

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