The New Normal - Start, Stop, Less, More

I’ve been thinking a lot about the new normal.  For everyone life is about to change…again.  For myself particularly my new normal is going to shift entirely from before Corona.  I am embarking on a new career, a new way of life being self employed and also relatively soon a new home!  

I think at times like this it’s important to take a second to think about what you want to take forward with you into the new normal.  And as importantly, what you are going to leave behind.  For me the leaving behind is harder, there’s elements that are very sad, the end of a chapter of my life that has been rewarding and all consuming.  How do you know it is the right decision to leave something behind?  Sometimes it is easy, you might have clearly outgrown a job or a relationship and you feel certain in your decision.  Other times it’s a little more tricky.  At these times I like to focus on all the things I will gain by letting something go.

In coaching we try to focus on positives, this is not to say we ignore negative things as often it is a negative incident or feeling that has brought someone to coaching.  It is more that we focus on the solutions, not the problems.  Having this mindset has helped me make some life changing choices with confidence.

I’d like to encourage you to take a moment now to think about the things that you are taking forward and the things that you will leave behind.

How will these decisions benefit you?

Who else will be impacted by your choices?

What do you need to do to make these things happen?

A brilliant simple exercise I use with clients is START/STOP LESS/MORE.  It gets you to begin thinking about everything you want to start doing, everything you want to stop doing, everything you want to do less of and everything you want to do more of.

I revisited this exercise recently when I knew I was returning to my full time role and would not have the same amount of hours to dedicate to my coaching.  I needed to find more time in my day - the only way to do that is to stop or reduce some of things I am currently doing.  The first thing in the firing line was TV.  I love TV.  I remember at some kind of group interview or similar about a decade ago, when asked what my favourite invention was, I said Sky TV.  So yes, I’m a big fan!  TV for me is one of the ways I switch off and relax, it quietens my brain and calms me.   I knew that this was not the only reason I was managing to find a good few hours a night to watch something.  I knew that I could get more benefits from one hour a day than I would from two or three.  I’d have more benefits because those other hours I could spend working on my business, or with my partner or catching up with family and friends.

Take a couple of minutes now and think of one thing that you could either stop or reduce and then think of what you might replace that with, those things you want to start or do more of.

This is a good way to visit this exercise as you can immediately understand the rewards you will have from reducing certain behaviour by thinking about the positives you will gain.

This is just one exercise I do with clients before embarking on our journey together so they have a clear idea of what they wish to focus on.  It allows you to look at your life and see where you might be expending a lot of unnecessary energy and help you restore some balance.

Here’s a sneak peak into some of mine:

START - working with a business coach - allows me to make better decisions for how to use the time that I have efficiently to positiviely impact my business.

MORE - taking the bus over the tube - allow me to save money and use the time above ground to call friends and family

LESS - TV, 1 hour a night and films at the weekend - allows me to use the time for my business

STOP - agreeing to calls/meetings that do not serve me - allows me to claim that time for myself.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

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