Welcome to 2020 – a new year and a new decade. As we begin a new decade it is important to acknowledge and talk about the extreme conditions we are experiencing in Australia, intense heat, drought, bushfires which have resulted in devastating losses of life and homes. As I write this the fires are continuing to burn into January. Whether directly or indirectly impacted it is natural to feel sad and apprehensive about the situation. During this time, it is important to acknowledge and allow yourself to feel these feelings and to know that support is available at any time.
I would like to express my gratitude to the emergency personnel and all the volunteers who have fought and supported us through this bushfire crisis. I would also like to acknowledge the people who are not directly involved in fighting the fires but who provide the support and assistance to those fighting fires, protecting animals and offering shelter.
We are here to provide immediate phone support to any employees or managers who have questions or need support. For more information and support for individuals and managers see our downloadable support documents here.
It is important to look out for others but I really encourage you to make sure you look after yourself as well. Self care is extremely important in times of sadness and stress and so if you can, I urge you to take a moment for yourself and reflect on the past year. Whether you call it, a new year’s resolution or your 2020 goals, planning out the year and setting positive, achievable goals can help provide focus for the year ahead.
It seems, for many of us, our new year resolutions, made with enthusiasm and determination, soon fall to the wayside. We often get carried away with excitement, setting our resolutions without a plan of action on how we will achieve those goals. If you wavered on the promises you made to yourself - or even if you didn't make any - January is a great month to reflect on the past twelve months and set objectives for the year ahead.
Every year I have a tradition, I grab my journal, find a quiet space and give myself time to think about what I really want to achieve. I usually think about it both in the context of work and personal and what will help me learn and grow in the coming year.
Here are some questions I ask myself:
- What's the most important thing to you?
- What were your highlights for 2019?
- What would you like this year to look like?
- If you could only make one change, what would it be?
- What do you want to do more of?
- What would you like to change?
- What obstacles do you need to overcome?
These questions help me to define and decide on the top two or three things that are important to me. The second part is to build and develop a plan of how I will work towards and achieve my items. Your plan should include milestones and dates that you want to achieve them. This makes it more real and concrete. If you do this and put your plan somewhere that you can refer to it regularly, you are more likely to achieve your aims e.g. on your fridge for personal and or for work, somewhere visible on your desk (I write mine in my journal and identify it as a reference page). If you cannot see it then it is easy to forget or become distracted.
Don't forget to celebrate each milestone that you achieve. Make time each week (put it in your calendar) to look at your plan and get on track or feel good about what you have achieved. Remember, every small step gets us closer to our destination. And if you haven't achieved that milestone? Think about why that may be so and if there was anything you could do differently. It is also so important to remember to be kind to yourself during this process especially if you experience a setback, don’t dwell on it, reset and move forward.
If you are reading this a little later in January, it’s not too late to do this exercise. Do it this weekend. So when New Year’s Eve rolls around once again, and it always does so quickly, you will be able to reflect upon the year that was and hopefully tick off a few more goals than the year before.
Finally here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2020
1. I will be grateful to those who teach me important lessons by, for instance, letting me know when I am not interacting with curiosity and grace.
2. I will stop, take a breathe and be thankful for all that I have
3. I will, through mindfulness and practising, achieve a new lower golf handicap
4. I will remember we are all in this together
Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP
The most amazing miracle of every New Year is this: In the New Year, great things will always happen to us! Here, the New Year makes us taste this wonderful feeling, and this feeling gives us power!― Mehmet Murat ildan
As a trusted partner your EAP is here to help: Remind your employees about their confidential EAP service and let us help you support your people. For further guidance call our Manager Support Hotline on 1800 818 728.