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How would you like to shape your 2012? Were there things last year about your lifestyle, your day to day routine or your health that you would like to have tweaked? The New Year is a great opportunity to hit a Reset Button and shape things the way you’d like them to be. It might be re-jigging how you manage your week or your work day, making new meal plans for family dinners, or simply rearranging the furniture or rooms in your house for a refresh.



What if it was designing your holidays and breaks for the year? Have you ever made a plan for a whole year of holidays in January?! And what about redefining your boundaries around availability for emails, texts and calls? Phone off anyone?! Last year I worked with a lot of people in business and I noticed many of us still struggle to keep balance in our day. We underestimate the value of giving ourselves a regular brain break – whether it’s having enough work-free evenings or weekends, or a decent week or two off during the year. So what are you going to do about it?


Whatever your goals for 2012 are, here are some tips for helping you keep balance at work and in life. Get ready to hit your Reset button!



Rationalise your availability


Over the holidays I read Kate Coughlan’s Editor’s letter in the lovely NZ Life & Leisure magazine. She said “today’s tenacious technology enslaves us to a 24 hour locked and loaded state of connection and preparedness. Reject it. Be unready, unavailable – and feel no guilt.” Don’t you agree?! She was talking about when we’re on holiday and I say, why not take that approach into the rest of your summer, perhaps even the rest of the year? Perhaps in the weekends anyway!  


It turns out that mobile phones, iPads, laptops, Blackberry’s, etc have OFF switches. Have you used yours lately? On a more serious note, do you feel in charge of when you are available to respond to emails, texts, calls, or do they feel like a bombardment at times? While we often use our phones and iPads for recreation, they do keep our brain in beta brain waves. This means our mind and nervous system are being stimulated. Be sure to balance that with time outside, connecting with nature and letting your mind rest from processing the large amounts of information these devices put in front of us.

Obviously we use technology to work and communicate with one another, and who would be without it, but how would you like to have it work for you, this year?


Take Mental Breaks; the Key to Performance and Happiness  


Our brain is an extraordinarily clever system, but it’s organic, which is very different to a machine or computer. You can leave a computer on all night and it will usually still work well in the morning and for the rest of the day. However, the human body requires rest; to process the experiences and information of the day, to replenish our energy, to allow our nervous system to refresh, and to clear the way for more thinking and processing. When we are not giving ourselves time to do this we get foggy, slow and uncreative. We also lose the joy in what we’re doing. What can you do to get a brain break?


·        Be sure to refresh your mind and body during the day at work. If you’re glued to your computer screen for several hours at a time you may not be being as productive as you think. Take regular breaks. Get away from your computer screen.

Moving your body can make a big difference. Ensure energy is flowing through your whole system - talk a walk, stretch. Sagging over your keyboard feeling stiff and stuck does not help your nervous system run at its best!  


·        Fuel your system.  Use this New Year and fresh start to get in charge of your day. Eat a good breakfast, and eat regularly throughout the day. You will get more sustained energy from a small meal containing protein than you will from a cup of coffee or a chocolate bar. Anyone who knows me can testify I always have a bag of toasted almonds handy!

Make sure you are hydrated too. If you are drinking less than 2-3 litres of water a day your brain is probably not getting enough moisture. 85% of your brain is water so being hydrated helps neurons fire optimally.


·        Know how your brain works best. If there are certain times of the day that you know you operate best – perhaps the morning or the afternoon - make the most of that time. Do important and attention-rich tasks then. Don’t be tempted to get little tasks out of the way just to clear your desk. Satisfaction comes from completing your most important to-do’s. Getting important tasks completed also lowers stress.



Plan your holidays now


Be sure to plan regular blocks of time off. Did you break up the winter with a holiday last year? If not, did you regret it? How can you make sure you get some regular breaks through the year? A delightful woman I met at a Rotary event last year, told me how her family spends time over the summer holidays planning their mid-winter break for the year ahead. They at least make sure they settle on a date, so that as they go into the New Year they know they have a plan in place for the year’s holiday. What a brilliant idea!



Hit your Reset Button and see what a little fine tuning can do to enhance your everyday life.




Karen Ross

Fresh Ways Forward – Transformational Coaching


helping you get the life you want


© Copyright aVara Consulting Ltd 2012. Fresh Ways Forward is a brand of aVara Consulting Ltd.



Submitted At: 12 January 2012 12:11pm | Last Modified At: 1 March 2012 5:20pm
Article Views: 3415

Karen Ross is a respected coach working with individuals to make sustained meaningful change. Discover fascinating new ways to achieve your goals and create the kind of life you want with transformational coaching. Learn practical strategies and skills that empower you to take control. Don't you owe it to yourself?!

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