Archive for new year

This Year, Retrain Your Brain! Give Yourself the Happiness Advantage.

Why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen—as they happen? Then on New Year’s Eve, empty the jar and recall the year’s best moments.

This is an idea that has been floating around in one form or another for some time, and I love this idea for a specific reason. When you relive a positive event, your brain experiences the same good emotions as when the event actually occurred. And starting a habit of taking note of good things that happen retrains your brain over time to start noticing the good things when they are happening. While most of us are laser-focused on the negatives, we can refocus and start seeing the positives. And when you are seeing the positives, what more is possible for you? (Answer: A lot!)

As a family activity, encourage every member of the family to contribute at least one note per week. More if you like!

At work, do it companywide or by department, office or work group.

This new awareness will increase your happiness both at home and at work, and it will give you the happiness advantage.

The happiness advantage is what you get when you are happy. So instead of a mindset that tells you, “I’ll be happy when I lose weight, get a new job, get better at golf … ,” science has proven that it is when you are happy that you will lose weight, get a new job, get better at golf …

As an added bonus, when New Year’s comes in 2014, you can celebrate the year’s positives—with specific memories.


What’s Your Theme for 2013?

With Christmas here today, I wonder how many of us have recently hummed a verse of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” reflecting on whether we’ve been naughty or nice. This led me to my own reflections on the past year. Here are some of the questions that came to my mind that you may enjoy exploring for yourself.

• What were the highlights both personally and professionally in 2012?

• What were the lowlights?

• What am I most proud of?

• What am I least proud of?

• What are my key learnings from this past year?

As you look back on 2012, what are you grateful for and what are you appreciating? What is there for you to acknowledge about yourself in 2012? Overall, what do you see as you reflect on 2012? Overall how would you rate 2012 on a scale of 1 to 10? What would have made 2012 a 10 out of 10?

Of course this is the time of year that we also look ahead. Here are a few more questions for your consideration.

• As you look ahead to 2013, what excites you?

• What are your key goals and objectives for 2013?

• What state of being will most serve you in 2013?

• Where and how do you want to stretch yourself in 2013?

• What will make 2013 a 10 out of 10 year for you, both personally and professionally?

Finally, what is a possible theme for the year that could serve as a structure and anchor to lock in a “RESONANT 2013?” Think about a song, a movie or a book. Even a TV show.

Today I asked a couple of family members what their theme will be. My 17-year-old nephew picked “Think for Yourself” by The Beatles. (I’m so proud of him.)

My 48-year-old brother picked George Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness.” (I was such a good influence on his musical taste — wink wink.)

I’m still thinking about what I will pick for the year. What’s your theme?

Want some help focusing in on your theme for 2013? Call me for a complimentary 20-minute coaching session. Now’s the time to get clear for a great new year. Cheers!


PS: Thanks to my coach, Lorry Schneider, for the inspiration for this post.