michelle bakjac

5 Ways To Achieve What You Really Want For The New Year

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Do you know how long the average New Year’s Resolution lasts?

Well the research shows that on average when someone makes a promise to themselves at 12:01am on New Years day it lasts somewhere between 3 hours and 3 weeks.

It seems that we do not have much stickability to our goals at this time.

It is even worse when we return to the daily grind of life and work after a much treasured period of respite over the Christmas period. All these good intentions seem to just fly out the window.

So how do we avoid getting sucked back into this daily grind and enhance the stickability to the goals we want to achieve for our work and life?

1)   Write it down

“A goal is just a dream until we write it down”. If you keep all your good ideas and your thoughts about what you want to achieve up in your head – that is exactly where they will stay. If you have a goal, write it down. We are 3x more likely to achieve a goal when we write it down, 5 x more likely to achieve a goal if we put action steps with it and 7x more likely to achieve a goal if we tell someone else about our goal to ensure accountability.

2)   Habit over motivation

I tend to have a few disagreements with people I work with about what comes first – motivation or habit. Most people say to themselves, “I’ll do that when I feel motivated”. The problem is that motivation never comes and the goal never gets achieved. If we want to achieve something new or different from what we traditionally do everyday then we have to create a habit. If you want to exercise – you can’t wait until you feel motivated. You have to create a routine or habit including exercise in what you do every day and do it whether you feel motivated or not. Habit first and then motivation comes.

3)   Find Your Word

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions!! What I do is pick a word every year which represents what I want to achieve. Last year my word was “Spirit”. I wanted to engage in my work and life with “spirit” and every time I engaged in an activity or set a goal for myself, I checked it against my word and all this represented for me.

This year, my word is Monkey. This is actually my Chinese Zodiac sign and I wanted to live and breathe what this represented in 2019. I want to be curious, adaptable, flexible and perseverant.  So, when I set goals for myself into 2019, I will be checking them against my word.

What word will you set for yourself in 2019?

4)   Balance

I think we have a somewhat distorted view of what resilience and mental toughness is all about. We have this view that the more we surge ahead and strive to achieve the more resilient we are. But resilience is not just about how we endure, but also about how we recharge. The very lack of a recovery period (which we often deny ourselves) is dramatically holding back our collective ability to be resilient and successful. 

As Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz have written, if you have too much time in the performance zone, you need more time in the recovery zone, otherwise you risk burnout. Mustering your resources to “try hard” requires burning energy in order to overcome your currently low arousal level. This is called upregulation. It also exacerbates exhaustion. Thus, the more imbalanced we become due to overworking, the more value there is in activities that allow us to return to a state of balance. The value of a recovery period rises in proportion to the amount of work required of us.

5)   What Can You Control

There is an old Chinese proverb that say:

“If you have a problem that you can control, then you don’t have a problem. And if you have a problem that you can’t control, then you also don’t have a problem”

We all have limited reserves of energy. If we are to achieve our goals, we need to worry less about the things we can’t control and consider focusing our energy on the things that ARE within our circle of influence.

 

Want some help setting some personal or professional goals for 2019. Contact Michelle on 0412047590 or via michelle@bakjacconsulting, or check here to review Bakjac Consulting’s website for more information.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.

 

 

 

30 Questions To Ask Yourself

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It’s the beginning of a brand new year and as usual in January, we are hoping that this fresh and shiny year will provide us new opportunities and often a bit of a fresh start and to shake off the dust from the year before.

I recently came across this great article in INC which posed 30 questions that will help you gain the clarity you will need to make 2019 the best year yet!

Have a look at these questions.

See if you can go through and answer them systematically to get a picture of where you have come from and where you want to be.

1.      What was the best part of 2018?

2.      What was the worst part?

3.      What areas of your life are working well?

4.      What areas of your life are suffering?

5.      What did you learn this past year?

6.      How did this shift your perspective about life in general?

7.      What is your definition of success?

8.      Have you achieved this thus far?

9.      If not, what needs to change in your life in order for you to create your own version of success?

10.  Are you happy at work?

11.  Do you feel challenged by the thinking and problem solving that you're most often doing at work?

12.  Do you feel that you're making an impact on others at work that is meaningful to you?

13.  Do you feel confident about yourself and your contribution at work?

14.  Do you believe in your ability to grow and learn at all times?

15.  Do you face failures with curiosity?

16.  Do you think you're resilient?

17.  What have been your biggest failures in 2018 and what have you learned from them?

18.  Based on your answers from numbers 10-17, what behaviours do you think you need to build in order to improve your performance at work for next year?

19.  Which relationships deepened this past year?

20.  Which relationships shifted or ended?

21.  What was the reason for the deepening or the erosion of some of your closest relationships?

22.  What changes in yourself can you make to be a better friend to those that matter most?

23.  How would you describe your marriage or long-term relationship?

24.  How could you improve in how you engage with your partner?

25.  If you're single and dating, how have you been showing up to potential partners?

26.  If you're single and not dating, how would you describe your relationship to yourself?

27.  What would you want to change when it comes to how you engage with your partner and yourself?

28.  What is the most important area of focus for 2019?

29.  What is a theme or word that you could choose that would keep you focused and excited about the year ahead?

30.  Create a vision statement about what the year ahead could look like for you in order to feel like you're moving forward in life in a way that is meaningful for you.

 

Want some help setting some personal or professional goals for 2019. Contact Michelle on 0412047590 or via michelle@bakjacconsulting, or check here to review Bakjac Consulting’s website for more information.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.

 

 

Can Simple Job Design Changes Improve Wellbeing?

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I have just completed some training for a team who had been really floundering with recent changes and we spent a lot of time developing strategies for the team to build their resilience to manage these challenges. But soon after commencing the 2 day programme, it became obvious that there was some issues around the team’s job design and how their tasks were distributed and organised. Pivoting, the team was able to put some fantastic strategies together to feed back to their leadership team as to how their jobs could be better structured to allow for not only higher levels of productivity, but also improved staff engagement and wellbeing.

I found a great article exploring the fact that good job design can be very beneficial for employees’ mental health and wellbeing. It can also contribute to an organisation’s overall effectiveness by empowering employees and encouraging them to be creative and to develop more efficient work methods.

Good job design includes the way an employee’s tasks are organised, their access to adequate resources, the amount of autonomy they have over their work schedules, and the procedures they use to complete their job. It also ensures employees use a variety of skills within their job and encourages them to take on higher levels of responsibility.

Job crafting is also an important part of job design and involves employees individually customising their job by changing elements of their role that they don’t enjoy, improving their interactions with others or viewing their job – and their organisational contribution – in a more positive way.

An organisation can adopt a positive psychology framework to consider two levels – job design and job crafting. Job design is how an organisation determines the roles and who works best in each role. Job crafting is the physical and cognitive changes an individual can make to their task.

When job crafting occurs it allows employees to reshape their job so it’s more aligned to their skills and motivation.

Organisations and leaders need to recognise and understand what motivates people, and their individual interests and strengths.

Many characteristics found in positive work environments are linked to good job design, such as managers making sure employees have adequate resource access or holding regular reviews to ensure people are in the right roles for their capabilities and motivation.

By providing employees with autonomy, challenging, meaningful tasks and adequate support and access to resources, employers can ensure good job design leading to a positive and a productive workplace.

So how can an organisation consider job design and light a fire under your staff?

·         Look at the way your employees’ tasks are organised. Are they working to an effective schedule or do they have periods of being really busy and then times when they are looking for things to do? Can you implement a workflow that better suits individual employees? For example, consider that everyone has a different biological clock. If one employee is a morning person, help them prioritise their more complicated tasks first thing and leave easier jobs to later in the day. If another has more get up and go in the afternoon, suggest they save their harder work until after lunch.

·         Do they have access to the resources they need to do their job properly? It could be as simple as providing stationery, a software program, access to websites or suitable equipment.

·         Do your employees have some say over their role? Having some autonomy over their work environment can help make someone feel valued and involved. They can have input through either individual sessions with their leader and/or team meetings where everyone is encouraged to have their say about their workload and work tasks – both good and bad.

·         Look at the methods your employees use to complete their tasks. Is there any way they can be streamlined or done in a more effective way? For example, just using simple email folders can help someone be more organised.

·         Increasing the skills and capability of employees and people leaders is an easy and effective way to improve the mental health and wellbeing of your workforce.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.

8 Ways You Can Develop A Growth Mindset

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I have just commenced working with a team who are going through a tremendous amount of change. Based on initial conversations with the team and each individual, it is obvious that some are stuck in the mud. They see the change as a threat to the way they have done things for many years and are worried that all the skills and abilities they have developed and demonstrated in the work place up to now will be for nothing. They see the change as scary and are either in denial or active resistance about the imminent changes and are worried about how they will manage to learn all the new requirements of their roles. However other team members are somewhat excited about the opportunity the change will offer to them. They are hoping they might be able to learn new things, work with new clients and be challenged in new ways. They seem much more open to exploring the change and what it has to offer.

When embracing the challenges that life often throws our way, we need to consider what mindset we are firmly entrenched in. Do we believe in our ability to grow and change or do we believe we have fixed characteristics and intelligence? Do we have a fixed or a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is “the understanding that abilities and understanding can be developed” Those with a growth mindset believe that they can get smarter, more intelligent, and more talented through putting in time and effort.

On the flipside, a fixed mindset is one that assumes abilities and understanding are relatively fixed. Those with a fixed mindset may not believe that intelligence can be enhanced, or typically believe that you either “have it or you don’t” when it comes to abilities and talents.

 

What’s the Main Difference?

The main difference between the two mindsets is the belief in the permanence of intelligence and ability; one views it as very permanent, with little to no room for change in either direction, while the other views it as more changeable, with opportunities for improvement (or, for that matter, regression).

This difference in mindset may lead to marked differences in behaviour as well. If someone believes intelligence and abilities are immutable traits, they are not likely to put in much effort to change their inherent intelligence and abilities. On the other hand, those who believe they can change these traits may be much more willing to put in extra time and effort to achieve more ambitious goals. With a growth mindset, individuals may achieve more than others because they are worrying less about seeming smart or talented and putting more of their energy into learning (Dweck, 2016).

 

We can see examples of a fixed and a growth mindset every day in our workplaces. Consider going into a meeting with your boss and you receive negative feedback. Your boss thinks you aren’t putting in enough effort, or you’re making too many mistakes, or that you’re simply not competent enough to handle your current project. Someone with a fixed mindset may decide that their boss has no idea what she’s talking about and completely ignore the feedback. Alternatively, they might agree with their boss and think “I just can’t do anything right. I don’t have what it takes to be successful.”

A growth mindset response would be to seriously consider this feedback, evaluate it as objectively as possible, and seek out more information and/or another opinion to compare. If your boss has a point, you would come up with possible solutions to improve your performance and do your best to implement them.

Or what about if you are assigned a daunting new task at work it can be tempting to think “I’m not good at this kind of stuff. It’s just not my strong suit!” You might be right that it’s not one of your strengths, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. A fixed mindset will take this self-defeating thought and run with it, concluding that there’s no point in putting all that much effort into something that just isn’t your cup of tea. On the other hand, a growth mindset will see this new challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn new things. Someone with this mindset might think, “I can figure this out. What do I need to do to get my skills at the right level? Are there classes I can take? People I can ask for help? Any other resources that might help?”

The growth mindset will lead you to new skills, new knowledge, and new areas of expertise, while the fixed mindset will leave you about where you started—with little skill in the task at hand and little confidence in your abilities.

But How Do You Change Your Mindset

I was reading a recent article by Courtney Akerman and she suggests there are eight general approaches for developing the foundation of a growth mindset:

1.    Create a new compelling belief: a belief in yourself, in your own skills and abilities, and in your capacity for positive change.

2.    View failure in a different light: see failure as an opportunity to learn from your experiences and apply what you have learned next time around.

3.    Cultivate your self-awareness: work on becoming more aware of your talents, strengths, and weaknesses; gather feedback from those who know you best and put it together for a comprehensive view of yourself.

4.    Be curious and commit to lifelong learning: try to adopt the attitude of a child, looking at the world around you with awe and wonderment; ask questions and truly listen to the answers.

5.    Get friendly with challenges: know that if you mean to accomplish anything worthwhile, you will face many challenges on your journey; prepare yourself for facing these challenges, and for failing sometimes.

6.    Do what you love and love what you do: it’s much easier to succeed when you are passionate about what you’re doing; whether you cultivate love for what you already do or focus on doing what you already love, developing passion is important.

7.    Be tenacious: it takes a lot of hard work to succeed, but it takes even more than working hard—you must be tenacious, weathering obstacles and getting back up after each time you fall.

8.    Inspire and be inspired by others: it can be tempting to envy others when they succeed, especially if they go farther than you, but it will not help you to succeed; commit to being an inspiration to others and use the success of others to get inspiration as well (Zimmerman, 2016).

Follow these 8 principles and you will find it hard to have anything but a growth mindset! You can see Courtney’s full article here.

For more specific techniques you can use to start building a growth mindset now, try these 25 suggestions from Saga Briggs (2015):

·         Acknowledge and embrace your imperfections; don’t hide from your weaknesses.

·         View challenges as opportunities for self-improvement.

·         Try different learning tactics and strategies; don’t consider any strategies one-size-fits-all.

·         Keep up on the research on brain plasticity to continually encourage the growth mindset.

·         Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning” in your vocabulary.

·         Stop seeking approval for others, and prioritize learning over approval.

·         Value the learning process over the end result.

·         Cultivate a sense of purpose, and keep things in perspective.

·         Celebrate your growth with others, and celebrate their growth as well.

·         Emphasize learning well over learning quickly.

·         Reward actions instead of traits.

·         Redefine “genius” as hard work plus talent, rather than talent alone.

·         Give constructive criticism, and accept criticism of your own work as constructive.

·         Disassociate improvement from failure; “room for improvement” does not mean “failure.”

·         Reflect on your learning regularly.

·         Reward hard work before talent or inherent ability.

·         Emphasize the relationship between learning and “brain training;” like any other muscle, the brain can be trained.

·         Cultivate your grit (determination and perseverance).

·         Abandon the idea of succeeding on talent alone; recognize that it will always take some work as well.

·         Use the phrase “not yet” more often, as in, “I haven’t mastered it yet.”

·         Learn from the mistakes that others make.

·         Make a new goal for every goal you accomplish; never stop striving towards your goals.

·         Take risks and be vulnerable with others.

·         Think realistically about how much time and effort your goal will take.

·         Take ownership of your own attitude and take pride in your developing growth mindset.

Want to know more about developing a growth mindset? Contact me to discuss coaching to assist you on this journey at michelle@bakjacconsulting.com

 

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness and mindset to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.