This is my goal for 2018. I want to make you think.
If you’re on holiday right now you might resist this. Who wants to think when they’re taking time off? But you don’t have to think right now. Take your time and when you’re ready, I’m here. We've got all year.
What do I want you to think about?
I want you to think about:
I want you to think about:
I want you to think about how you live your life. Are you living as you want to be?
There’s a structure in the human brain about the size of a brussels sprout. It’s called the lateral frontal pole and it’s uniquely human*. It gives us a super power that no other creature has. It allows us to plan into the future, be flexible in our decision making and to learn from our past experience.
The New Year is the perfect time to put your lateral frontal pole to use. Many of us start the year with a sense of something new that we want to achieve. Get fit. Find a new job. Save money.
I love summer reading. It's one of the few periods of the year that slows down enough for me to pick up a book. These holidays I have an array of novels stacked by my bed but I also have some inspiring and insightful non-fiction to devour in readiness for a big, productive and satisfying 2018!
I've tried digital detoxes (they don't last long) and I bear and share guilt about my mobile phone use. I know it interferes with relationships. I know it's a productivity killer. I know the signs of addiction... oops.
I also know that smartphones and digital tech are not going away - nor do I want them to. So rather than labour beneath the guilt of 'I should' or 'I shouldn't' when it comes to my smartphone, I've put together the ultimate list of apps for mental health, happiness and well being. If I'm going to be glued to my phone I may as well use the tech for good.
I have a rule when it comes to Christmas: My birthday comes first!
In mid November I celebrate another trip around the sun and until that day Christmas gets short shrift. Once the birthday is done however, it's on like Donkey Kong: the fun, the festivities, the fretting and the financial collapse.
This week I was thrilled to break my 'no Christmas pre-birthday' rule to contribute to the Woman's Day 'Keep You Cool at Christmas' guide. It's a week-by-week guide to staying Zen during the pre-Christmas chaos.
We’re often entreated to ‘Look on the bright side’ and ‘Think positively’ when life is treating us poorly. ‘It could be worse…’ we're told. Well yes it could, but that doesn’t make me feel better.
Humans are wired to focus on difficulties and challenges. We see the bad before we see the good. We give more weight to negative experiences than to positive ones. In fact some researchers suggest that we pay up to three times more attention to our ‘negative’ feelings than we do to our positive emotions.
Worry will not change the outcome. Yet we do it anyway. It makes no sense.
This is your crazy brain at work.
Worry is a natural response to thinking about the future and anticipating events. Some of us are wired up to do it more than others. When we worry excessively and uncontrollably we're heading into anxiety territory and that needs professional support.
Every problem has a solution. I firmly believe that. But not every solution is easy to find. Here's a productivity tip I learned last week that helps us to uncover the answers to some of life's peskier productivity questions. Questions close to my heart like, 'Why can't I get the kids to school on time? Ever?'
I have been working online for 22 years. When I started Mark Zuckerberg was 12 years old. There was no social media. There were no smart phones. ‘Email’ as we know it now was pretty new. (How old do I feel?)
I’ve watched the Internet become our information go-to. I work online, I socialise online and I learn online. I tell my kids that we’ll ‘Google’ answers to vexing questions. They can’t imagine a life without YouTube and wonder why wifi stops at our front gate.
Want to know where to get the best advice on well being, happiness, health, parenting, and relationships? I might be biased (okay I am) but psychology is where it's at when it comes to real, workable tips and strategies for making life better.
You see psychologists are experts in human behaviour. That's what we do.
It's tempting at the beginning of a new year and a blank page to plot our big, big goals. We imagine the enormous things we will achieve. We get excited and set forth. Each day brings new activities, a fresh mindset and a determination to achieve.
We're very busy doing things differently for a week or two, maybe three. By February life has taken over. The New Year plans have been forgotten....