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By Ian Davies, Dec 30 2016 08:02AM

It's almost 2017! Another year has flown by and you may be thinking about the resolutions that you promised yourself this time last year. How did they go? Did you follow through with them?

The New Year is a time when many people make resolutions, in their personal and business lives. To achieve the results that you want is very easy, as long as you follow a simple and effective process that we call an 'Ecology Check'. This is simply a check to consider how the change you are going to make fits into the wider system. You make sure that the new change in one part of your life, does not cause problems in others.

Let me give you an example: Imagine a person who wants to increase their fitness and decides to join the new gym. "That will get me fit" they think. But after a long drive to work and a stressful day in the office, all they want to do is relax in a chair for a while, then eat dinner, followed by some precious time spent with their family or friends. They soon realise that there just isn't time to go to the gym and if they did go every night, when would they have time to have a life?

A simple ecology check by our imaginary friend would have shown that without other changes to their lifestyle, simply joining the gym would not get them fit. People spend huge amounts of money on gym memberships, that they never use! Good news for the gym, but not so good for the person wanting to get fit and healthy! Now I'm not saying don't join a gym, (they are great places to help increase fitness and have fun) but just look at the wider picture first, otherwise you may dissapoint yourself.

Having no 'Ecology Check' can cause problems in the workplace too. Unsuccessful organisational changes, are often due to a lack of thought of the side effects of the change and this can lead to major problems. Imagine if your doctor prescribed you some medicine, without paying any attention to the side effects!

This time of year is great for starting to make changes in your life, but before you do, ask yourself the following questions:

"What do I want to achieve and what are the side effects of this outcome, both positive and negative?

"What will I gain from this change and what will I lose?"

If you do this, you will set yourself achievable goals that will have a positive effect on your life.

Happy New Year from us and we wish you a fantastic 2017 full of growth.

By Ian Davies, Dec 16 2016 05:06AM

I've been thinking about life recently, a big subject I know, but an important one! I hear many people complain that they are not happy in what they do, inside and outside of work, so I thought I would share my thoughts and a simple technique to help you to explore ways of increasing your happiness.

All you need is about 1 hour of time, some relaxing space to think, a pen and some paper. Simple....so let's begin.

The key to having a happier and more fulfiled life is something called 'Personal Values'. These are those little things in life that make you feel happy and fulfiled. We all have different values and many of our lifestyle decisions are based upon these.

Think of your current job, the restaurant that you enjoy most, your ideal holiday destination or even your favourite type of film. The choices you make are probably reflecting your personal values in some way. By spending some time thinking about these, you’ll start to discover more opportunities in your day to day life for fulfiling them and making you feel great!

I’ll give you an example. I love to explore other countries, to climb mountains, to spend time in the outdoors and to get lost in interesting cities! Unfortunately, this only happens on the odd weekend or during holidays and in the past, I’d often feel frustrated when I couldn’t do them things. Then I spent some time thinking about my Personal Values. I began by thinking exactly what I got out of these experiences. What does climbing mountains get me? What does getting lost in an interesting city get me?

Ultimately, they all seemed to get me a sense of excitement and challenge. These are possibly two of my values. When I wasn’t experiencing these values, I often felt frustrated. Now all I need is some way of having exciting, challenging experiences more often!

The next step was to look at what else in my day to day life would help me to get the same feelings. I started to realise that if I looked at some aspects of my life from a different angle, they too could be quite exciting and challenging. Although I still dream of my next holiday or weekend away, the waiting isn’t so bad, as I am helping to fulfil my values in other ways.

The simplest method for beginning to discover your values is through some questions. Give yourself 1 hour and spend this time thinking about the following two questions. Write down any thoughts that you have. That's right, everything that comes into your head, however strange the answers may be!

Question 1) If you had all the money, all the resources and all the freedom in the world, what would you be doing?

Go on...write down your answers!

Question 2) What have been your three greatest experiences in your life?

Keep writing!

Once you have a list of answers, simply ask yourself - “What does ‘that’ get for me?” or “Why is that important to me?” For example, what does climbing mountains get for me? Answer...excitement and challenge.

You may get an answer that needs to be unwrapped further and it’s always worth asking the same questions again, to see if there is deeper reason behind the activity or behaviour. You’ll eventually get to an underlying value. If you do this for each answer, you may start to see some patterns emerging and begin to get a short group of possible values.

Having this knowledge will allow you to start looking for opportunities to fulfil these value, which will help your feel happier.

So, start exploring, who knows how fulfiled you will become?

Have a great day

Ian Davies - Director of Team Thinking Asia and NLP Master Practitioner

By Ian Davies, Dec 15 2016 03:20AM

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