7 January 2018

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We’re a week into the new year, the Christmas decorations are down and the January sales are in full swing. So, are you feeling motivated for the year ahead or are you struggling to get motivated? 

It’s a long month, it’s a long time until payday and whilst the festivities are all over, that doesn’t mean you have to give in to the blues. 

Over the years I have stuck to a really simple plan. This year is no different. Here are my tips to kickstart 2018 and get yourself, your business and your team on track at the start of the year…

Set your goals 

First and foremost the new year brings an opportunity to set your goals and get excited about what the year ahead can bring. I learned many years just how valuable goal setting is both personally and professionally. Writing down your goals gives you a map, a route to what you want to achieve. It’s an incredible tool and motivator.

There are some specific tips for goal setting in one of my Thoughts for the Day from last week. 

Get motivated 

If you’re feeling down or tired or demotivated in any way, stop and take a moment. Establish why you may be feeling that way – is it the weather, the anticlimax at the end of the holiday period, or just a post-Christmas lull? What can you do to change the way you feel? Often a switch in mindset and perspective is all that is needed to give you a boost. Goal setting and exercise are a huge part of that. 

I chat with one of motivation guru Tony Robbins’ top trainers Michael Savage in this podcast about doings things differently in business. I learned an extraordinary amount from Mike and his Tony Robbins team when they came to hold three days of workshops at UKFast late last year. Listen in to pick up some tips. 

Check in with your team

However motivated you may be feeling, you can bet your bottom dollar that some of your team are struggling. Overindulging at Christmas may be great fun at the time but when you return to normal, you’re out of your routine, your body is in need of some healthy food, well earned sleep and TLC. It’s very easy to run yourself into the ground without realising it. 

UKFast in Snowdon

Half way through our run through the forest!

With that in mind, how can you help motivate your team? At UKFast, we have our Monday Morning “Town Hall Meeting” to start off each week. It’s something I learned from Dan Cobley at Google, and we’ve held these weekly whole-team meetings every week for many years now. There around 300 of us in the room and the collective energy is infectious. JB, one of our managing directors (and resident gameshow host), gets up on stage to talk about the highs of the week before and share some funny stories or videos.  

I’d also highly recommend quick regular one-on-one meetings just to check in to see how everyone is doing on a personal level. Knowing how your team are feeling is imperative. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Find out early if your teammates have challenges and help them solve them. 

Last week I took a few of our team over to the Welsh mountains to climb Snowdon and run through the Beddgelert forest together. It’s a huge sacrifice for a business to take people out of the office for a couple if days at a time, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s the ultimate way to develop lasting relationships with people. Like any investment, it takes time to realise the benefits but, in time, they pay off. You learn about them and they learn about you. 

Spending time together outside of the office and overcoming challenges together is a perfect way to set your team up for a new year. If you’ve climbed a mountain in the first week, what else are you capable of achieving?!

Exercise

There is a lot of pressure at this time of year to exercise and eat well. ‘New year, new me’ is a phrase we hear all too often in January. In reality, don’t set unrealistic and impossible health goals. Whilst you may feel the need to transform yourself, it’s important to remember that real, lasting change happens slowly and steadily. Simple 1% changes are the best way to make a significant difference; just take your time, be patient and stick to your plan. 

Upping your exercise routine can have a massive impact on your overall energy levels and motivation. Exercise can also help with your mental strength and mental health too as I discussed in this video in 2017.

Whilst there are thousands of articles, hints and tips around ‘how to get fit fast’, I have found that simply taking part in regular activity is enough to have an impact on my overall life and business. Getting started can be as simple as signing up to a charity run or scheduling in a couple of sessions of exercise a week, even if that’s going for a 30 minute walk or a hike at the weekend. If you can rope in a friend to keep you company, it’s all the more fun.  

Whatever challenges you have, always remember a problem shared is a problem halved. 2018 is a huge opportunity to take your life to the next level, be that your career, health, mind and body, or all of the above. Whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve. Fact. 

Write it down and believe and you are halfway there. 

Let me know how you get on and if you need some extra motivation! 

Have a great week ahead. 

Best LJ  

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