I’m sitting here, it’s already December and well on the way to 2020. I’m thinking that 2019 has been a very strange year. 2019 personally has presented many challenges, although name a year that doesn’t?! And there have been achievements as well as many reasons to be grateful, so, why is it that it just feels so different?
I have heard many people in my personal and professional life admit that 2019 has also been a challenge with no specific reason for it, leaving them unsettled and searching for why. Well this twitching feeling has got a lot to do with the fact that 2019 is a temporal landmark. This means that 2019 is a meaningful event. For those that have read the book ‘When by Daniel H. Pink’ you will remember that he talks about this in the chapters ‘Beginnings’ and ‘Endings’. For example a temporal landmark is the start of a new week, the start of a new month, a new birthday, the day something significant happened in history as well as many others. It’s why many people say ‘I’ll the start the diet on Monday’ or ‘I’ll quit smoking after Friday’. The only thing is that there are many ‘Mondays’ that the thing is people don’t always stay motivated and commit to their goal. The start of something at a temporal landmark, that has more significance, has a greater impact on our motivation to make it happen. Statistically people are more likely to run a marathon before they have a birthday that takes them in to a new decade. The exact figure on this by researchers found that a whopping 49% of marathon runners that signed up had the number 9 in their age ie. 29, 39, 49. So if you take the year 2019, it is not only a new year ahead, it’s a new decade! So this has incredible significance to our life goals that affects our state of mind. This isn’t just the run of the mill New Year’s resolutions we are talking about. Hence I’m calling it ‘Twitchy 2019’
There are a few levels of twitch:
Level 1 – It’s a new year plus it’s a new decade (We are all at least at Level 1)
Level 2 – It’s a new year, new decade and a significant milestone birthday (some friend’s family or colleagues will reach 20, 30, 40, 50 etc.)
Level 3 - It’s a new year, it’s a new decade, significant milestone birthday and another significant milestone such as length of service, anniversary of marriage etc.
The higher the level the more likely we are to make the biggest changes to our lives.
Using myself as an example, I have been with my husband 10 years this year, 5 years with the company I’m with next year, along with it being the start of a new decade and New Year. I’m totally on Level 3 twitch! So it’s natural and instinctive that when feeling the twitch, we ask big questions of ourselves and evaluate, are we happy? What do I want to achieve? Are we where we want to be? What’s next for us? And what a great time to be asking these questions.
Here’s 4 key area’s you can assess to improve and remove the twitch, becoming settled by finding new life goals for achievement;
You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. Spiritual development is about understanding yourself and your values. Know what drives and motivates you, what you stand for and what you are passionate about. There are a few ways to do this and many great websites where you can find this out. For example https://www.16personalities.com will give you a free personality test and start to shed some light on your traits, style and values. This will help you have a greater connection to you.
Another great way is to speak with a business coach or lifestyle coach to get some outside perspective on where you’re currently at and what opportunities you have to improve. Many great coaches will use Johari’s Window to talk about your blind spots through adjectives.
I can highly recommend a book called ‘Story Driven by Bernadette Jiwa’ It asks many great self-reflection questions so that you can find out your why and purpose.
This comes in two parts. The first is the mind as the learning center. Finding out what area you crave knowledge in will lead to books, podcast’s, courses. Never stop learning. There’s a great quote by Brian Herbert “The capacity to learn is a gift. The ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice” Whatever you choose ensure that it has a purpose behind it and you will be extremely motivated to succeed. The second is the emotional development of the mind or emotional intelligence. Understanding your reactions and how they affect others can really help shape goals. A great goal to improve emotional intelligence is to keep a daily journal and write down how you feel. Having a coach or counsellor to discuss this with and a journal to refer to will empower you.
My last piece of advice on mental development is to move out of your comfort zone by doing something you have never done before. What’s holding you back?
How you communicate, who you communicate with and what impact it has is all to do with social development. With so many channels such as Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Email, text, phone calls, public speaking and so on, start to understand which of these channels could do with a boost. A great way to expand social development is to start talking to someone new or that you don’t usually. Join a new club or team by finding a local hobby with people who share similar passions to make new friends. It’s statistically proven that we start to edit the number of friends we have as we grow older which is why there is more loneliness in older age groups. Some people may want to overcome a fear of public speaking or start to use dating apps. Learning a new language is also a fantastic goal. There are so many ways you can improve your social development and communication skills.
This area allows you to assess what is your current health status by looking at body and diet. What are you physically capable of? What types of foods do you consume on a weekly basis? (Maybe there have been far too many orders on ‘Just Eat’ and other food apps that make it so convenient to binge) Are you a smoker? When was the last time you got your heart racing? How does it feel to climb a flight of stairs, run after the children or do the gardening?
So many people make changes to their lifestyle and set goals around physical development around temporal landmarks. It’s why many people set a goal to run a marathon or have a transformational body change. I can assure you getting a personal trainer is almost guaranteeing your results. The accountability of having to show up week after week and being reminded of your goals is incredibly motivating.
Whichever of the four areas of development speak loudest to you, dig a little deeper ask a few more questions of yourself and set a big fat phenomenal goal (All those on level 3 Twitch I am with you). We are only here once and as long as you set a goal for the right reasons, you can achieve anything! As we leave twitchy 2019 behind us, what will you commit to and when?