24th Jan 2021
To your happiness! Miriam.
19th Jan 2021
Back at work yet? We are. We’ve been slooowly easing our way into it, which works well for me juggling a couple of teenagers still on school holidays.
As per usual, with a new year we usually set goals for what we want to achieve and you may have a long list of ‘to-dos’. There's a chance you are feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information coming at you from all directions of try this, do this, you can’t be without this.
We don’t know what 2021 will bring and in times of uncertainty we are inclined to stick with what we know, which is understandable. But to make sure we do achieve something new start with something little that’s easily achievable so your brain can recognise success (because you would’ve rewarded yourself with every new success) then each new goal will be easier and easier to achieve.
This is probably going against every piece of advice you’ve heard about achieving goals, but if your list is quite long, take some things off it. A few years ago, I had a goal achieving diary in which I had to set 10 goals and every month, week, day there were actions to take to achieve those goals. It drove me crazy. So much so I ended up hating that diary and it got to the point I was saying to that stupid diary ‘don’t tell me what to do’. Talking to myself! Literally crazy lady. I’ve never bought another one like it since. Plus, I don’t think I achieved any of those goals set, which is a horrible feeling and I got quite depressed about the whole thing really.
I did quite a lot of research around why I wasn’t achieving set goals, which was the best thing I have done in a long time. Highly recommend it! The main reason was because 10 goals were way too many and those goals were big, most of them (in hindsight) were not achievable – I didn’t follow that SMART goal setting thing – Also, the complete regimentation of achieving those goals does not suit my personality. I like things to be a little more flexible. I change my mind frequently and I suffer quite a lot from shiny object syndrome, which I since learned is a type of procrastination.
One podcast series I’ve listened to (best time to listen to a podcast for me is when I’m in the car for longer than 20 minutes) was a rather annoying American, Hal Elrod. Lots of hey there, brother, I love you, man but once you get past that, he has an amazing story himself and he hosts people with interesting stories too. Ruth Soukup was one such person. Her podcast and website ‘Do It Scared’ has a free test you complete to see what your main archetype of fear is which will help to explain why you procrastinate.
This led me to Susan Jeffers’ book “Feel the fear and do it anyway”, written in 1984. This excellent book helps you move through your fears to achieve your goals with easy-to-understand explanations. Now that I’ve learned a lot about how I learn and work plus the parts of my personality that actually holds me back, this year I have set one goal and the rest just gets filed into my new filing system.
If you’ve had conquering your fear of public speaking, presenting, pitching on your to do list, or if you have any difficulty achieving your goals, I may be able to help. book a time, don’t procrastinate.
*If you want to discover your fear archetype here’s the link to Ruth Soukup’s website https://doitscared.com/dis-assessment/. Please note this test is free and I’m not an affiliate of Ruth Soukup either.
11th Jan 2021
Do you watch The Block, Australia? Sometimes I do but it’s not something I really, really, really must see (like Brigerton, ahem). But during the last week one team lost because they didn’t have a dining table in their dining room. The reasons why they left it out were astounding. Not on a designer, interior design or anything like that level but when they said
"We knew that out of us and all of our friends, hardly any of the people that we knew actually sat down and used a dining table. A lot of them, they ate at different times to their kids."
They went on to say …
"Dining tables become a space where you put your laundry," said Tam.
"I don't know about you, but I pile all the stuff on the dining table, then I fold it up and put it away. We wanted to use that space for something different that would be utilised a bit more."
What? I haven’t actually stopped thinking about this because these reasons are wrong on so many levels. “What levels, Miriam ??” I hear you calling through hands made into the shape of a loud hailer. Well. Let me count the ways.
I don’t know where Australian children’s literacy levels are at but NZs are lower than they have been in over 20 years. This is on us, parents! Us! Just talk to your kids, it’s actually that simple. Easy? No.
It is vital not only for our kids to learn and grow but to develop a high level of self worth, to help keep their anxiety levels at ‘normal’ Don’t worry about flash cards and apps and You Tube to teach your kids, absolutely nothing beats you talking to them.
Of course, I’m meaning positive conversation, conversation around them and how they are doing. Remember ‘Remove criticism and blame from your dialogue and you will build you integrity’ Integrity as a person and a parent. Take this into your team at work as well.
Dr Leah Woodward’s book “The Strength Switch” is a fabulous book to help you build up your child’s sense of self worth by focussing on their innate strengths as opposed to criticising what they can’t do or what they’ve done wrong. Another resource you can take into your work place.
Back to why conversational turns is important, it has been found that children who only hear instructions and not engage in conversational turns before they are 5, will not have the vocab to hold a conversation by the time they are 14.
The reason why you should eat dinner without technology? 700 words a minute are lost if any sort of tech distracts you. Turn off the television, put your phone away, turn off all devices and focus on your kids.
As a mum of two teenage boys, this has been vital in finding out who my kids are, what frightens them and what or who they turn to if they want to find something out. Some conversations have been extremely worrying and sometimes my boys haven’t made the right choices about some things but we are continually talking and re-directing to positive pathways.
The saying about taking a village is so so true, make sure you reach out to family, friends and professionals if you have any concerns about your children. In the meantime, set that table for dinner, sit down and TALK.