Don’t just sit there, stand for something in 2016!

If you were one of the exhausted many working ‘wounded’ at the end of 2015, what’s that telling you about what is working and what is not?

Towards the end of the year there is a collective sigh of relief which goes through the business world as we give ourselves and if you are a boss, our employees permission to refresh ourselves en masse. In droves, we reconnect with family, friends and fun. Unspoken in all of this is how we start up with more grace next year, what we leave out and what we add to make a cleaner go of it.  

Just omitting 2015’s failures might not bring you the best result. You did those things for a reason! Shaking up your 2015 choices with 2016 ones might be the wiser move. Usually the thing you need or want to lose has to be integrated in some clever way, not just ignored or discarded. That means we need to know more about why we are not doing something than we would normally feel comfortable about. If this step is ignored, the same issue will just come up in another form and create as much noise, just different noise, in the New Year.

So how do we avoid being too comfortable about our choices for this year’s work? A simple approach to getting ready for this is to start shaking up 2015 habits with possible 2016 ones sooner than you think. Be playful here, after all, it’s still the holidays. Don’t try to be serious or clever. Choose some simple activities that are not work, but could be useful at work to carry you through 2016 in better shape. Why not choose something you’ll be doing anyway but do it in a way which is fun or a bit of a challenge?

Here are two things you can do

  1. Get on your feet more. Yes, it’s pretty likely you did sit rather too much in 2015! A large multi-country study on sitting time shows that if you lived in the USA or Sweden you sat for 6.3 and 8.5 hours day. If you are between 18 and 39 and more educated, you are likely to be sitting more than we ‘oldies’. At work, Australian research published in 2011 showed 27 sitting events at work resulting in an average of 5.3 hours sitting. Why not stand up while using your tablet to surf the internet? Walk while you are on the phone? Stand in the waiting room or on an empty bus? Make it a game to find out how many ways you can ‘quit the sit’. Then think about what it means now to do the opposite. Do you appreciate when you simply must sit and why? Can that change? What stops your?

  2. Use your non-preferred hand. This could be prep for learning to use the mouse in your left hand next year. (Carefully) cut up the salad vegetables for your next meal. Hold your drink in the hand that feels less natural. Doodle with your left hand if you are right handed during that long car trip. No, not if you are the driver. Please. See - nothing broke and it became easier over time. (OK, the salad was a little ugly but no fingers were lost!)

Making little non-serious shifts in and around what you did in 2015 helps you re-set your thinking about more important things. How your last year self failed as well as succeeded becomes easier if there is some simpler background change going on. 

What would a new set of quite do-able habits, part of a much better 2016, look for you? Do share!