How to make positive change in the final months of 2020.
By Sid Madge, author of the ‘Meee in a minute’ series of books
So far 2020 has brought parents and children many challenges. Families have had to make significant adjustments to daily life since the lockdown started in March. However, with the kids back at school and many adults now back in the workplace it is time to look ahead and see how we can make the most of the remaining three months of 2020.
This will require us to embrace uncertainty and adapt. In my view we don’t often need to make big sweeping changes. Subtle little shifts can accumulate to bring about positive change.
Let me share some ideas and suggestions that you can introduce in your family:
Access your innate growth mindset
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck became obsessed with understanding how people cope with failures and setbacks. Initially her research looked at kids and how they reacted to puzzles they couldn’t solve. She found was that children, especially young children didn’t even consider not being able to solve the puzzle as a failure in the first place. It was just a game – a fun challenge. The outcome of Dweck’s research is now world famous and she proposes that our success and happiness in life comes down to one thing – mindset – there are only two mindsets – fixed and growth.
Individuals with a fixed mindset, have a fixed idea of what they are capable of, believing that what they are born with is the finish line. They tend to be more defeatist. Those with a growth mindset believe that what we are born with is just the beginning. What we are capable of is not determined by anything other than our own aspirations, effort and determination.
Interestingly, Dweck believes we are all born with a growth mindset. We’re taught that failure is unacceptable – even though all great success comes through failure not by avoiding it. If ever we needed to re-assess that growth mindset it’s now.
Take a minute to consider whether you have a fixed or growth mindset? Has Covid-19 made it more fixed as you sink into a gloom? If you imagine you had a growth mindset instead – what would you do? Looking at your life and the rest of 2020 – what could you try? What have you always thought of doing but never got around to it? Lean into the uncertainty and adapt. Use it as a springboard to try things you’ve been putting off. Stay curious, flexible, and open.
A change to today can positively impact tomorrow
What have you done today? Is that getting you closer to your life/family/work goals or further away? If you want a different tomorrow so you find a successful way through the pandemic, you need to take steps to change what you do today.
Stop for a moment and reflect on how you spend your time. How much TV do you watch? How much time do you spend on social media? How much time do you spend learning something new? How much time do you spend with your family members? Do you spend time with friends? Are those exchanges enjoyable or stressful? How much time do you spend on your health?
Take a minute to draw a circle and divide it up into slices that represent how you spend your time during a typical day. Now draw another circle and divide it up to represent how you would like to spend your day. If you spend a lot of time at work but don’t enjoy it, what could you do today to find a something that you might enjoy more? Or what could you change at in your life today to improve your day? Identify the things you like or can live with and the things that you don’t like and can’t live with. How can you change the aspects of your day that bring you down?
Learning from difficulty
In 1967 psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a list of 47 stressful events that could impact health and happiness. The assumption is logical – we get more stressed when bad stuff happens to us, start accumulating stressful experiences such as a job loss, illness or divorce and you are more susceptible to physical illness and depression.
However, the fly in their theoretical ointment was that not everyone who experienced really tough life events were negatively impacted by them. On the contrary, some of those people actively flourished. This field of study is called post traumatic growth and studies have shown that great suffering can actually lead to huge positive change. For example, after the Madrid bombings of 2004 psychologists found that many of those affected experienced positive psychological growth.
Take a minute to think about exactly what you are worried about most in your life and identify one thing you can do about it right now. Set that in motion. What positives could you pull from the turmoil? Get creative – think of at least three positives that Covid-19 could give you. If you can find the silver linings you can often move on quicker.
Relish the Simple Things
And finally spend time doing more of what makes you happy! As we’ve discovered in 2020 life is not one long party with dancing unicorns and rainbows. Happiness is found in so much more than grand experiences or amazing achievements. Happiness is actually easier to find in the little moments: spending time with family, meeting friends (socially distanced of course), reading, listening to music, enjoying nice food or a good coffee. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s to relish in the simple things.
Take a minute to write down a list of 10 things that make you happy. The do more of them!
These suggestions above are pulled from my Meee in a Minute books, each offering 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our perception in life, family and at work.
I hope that you and your family take up the challenge and make positive adjustments in all your lives in the coming weeks.
Disclosure: Contributed Guest Post
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.
Web: www.meee.global Web: www.meeebooks.com Twitter twitter.com/Meee_HQ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MeeeHQ/ Instagram www.instagram.com/meeehq YouTube https://youtu.be/fISupZWZMQc TEDx https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR3Cyjs62c8