by Kenden

As we approach February,  most of us are knee-deep in resolve (and positive thinking) to create a better life for ourselves during this year:

  • Professional fulfillment!
  • Fewer disappointments!
  • More exercise and healthy food!
  • Toxic relationships and communication out,  healthy communication in!
  • Fewer frustrations!
  • ....

  --We’ve all been there, done that!

What if, instead of all the tough love, feelings of being stuck, and regrets at the end of the year, we could have a lighter touch and just set a few positive intentions to get the ball rolling in a positive way this year and make 2015 a better year?

Sounds good?

--->  Here are 5 thoughts:

1. Explore new opportunities

Many people really feel  stuck in their current job/routine.  This causes frustration, is exhausting and probably feels boring. 

What about shifting your thoughts to new opportunities that interest you?


2. Learn something that really interests you

If your current job is not fulfilling enough, this is completely normal.  What about honoring one of your true interests and taking it one step further by taking a class, reading a book about it, or talking openly about it with others.

Often times, what really interests us gets placed on the backburner until … we have “time”.  Unfortunately, “time” is not something that arrives magically.

Focusing on something that you really love will give you new energy and most likely will give you new ideas that others will find refreshing too.


3. Trust your intuition

There are so many ways that you probably convince yourself away from your best instincts.  Here are 3 examples:

●     Against your better judgment, you did not use your 2014 annual leave;

●     You are considering working for an organization / supervisor even though your previous experience showed you that it was not a good fit for you;

●     You keep telling yourself that it is no big deal that you seem to be less physically resilient than you used to be.


Bottom line:   trust yourself and don’t second guess your intuition.  Most of the time, this second guessing comes out of a fear; trusting yourself opens doors that you actually want to go through!


4.  Praise

The international workplace mentality is one based on “problems” to be solved, fixed, and improved.  This focus on problems does not exactly lend itself to “praise” - the expression of gratitude, approval, appreciation - for ourselves or our colleagues.

Practicing “praise” towards your own efforts and that of others is nourishing.

Many people report to me that international aid work has made them “harder” and this hardness does not exactly help them to take care of themselves better or to be a better person towards others.  Quite the opposite really.  Praise is an action you can take to re-connect to the real you and to those around you.


5.  Commit to yourself

Just as you signed a contract for your current job, what about signing a contract this year to take care of yourself?

I am not talking about the glass of wine you might drink at night to relax or the chocolate you stash in your desk for your afternoon pleasure “break”.

I am talking about the real kind of taking care - helping yourself to find emotional well-being and  professional possibility right now.


What tips do you have to start 2015 on a positive note?