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Forget Resolutions, Make Yourself a "Worry Alleviation Kit"
I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions, so this year I made something a little more functional for driven professionals: a "Worry Alleviation Kit." I thought about what worried me most in the last year, put them into categories, and wrote out responses to alleviate those worries. Think of it as an emergency response kit to keep you in tip top mental shape. A coach in a notebook.
Here's how it works: once you've made the kit, whenever you have a debilitating worry that stops you in your tracks, you can quickly put it in a category, look it up in your "Worry Alleviation Kit" and your wise self from Christmas past will talk sense into you in second person. Write it in second person. It's been shown to be more effective (it's directive, objective, and reminds us of the positive coaching experience we've had, etc).
So what does my worry alleviation kit look like? Here's a sneak peek:
1) I made a mistake
- Use 10/10/10 - will it matter in 10 hours, 10 days, or 10 weeks? Most likely not. So don't worry about it.
- For better or for worse, you're not in the business of saving lives. If nobody died, don't worry about it.
2) I made somebody mad
- If you're kind, you shouldn't be making anybody mad.
- If they're still mad, they're probably having a rough day.
3) I didn't get through my to-do list
- Your output per capita is actually very high.
- The fact that you can have an infinite to-do list of tasks that could all bear fruit means you have a tremendous number of opportunities. That's a good thing.
4) Person I trust and admire is telling me I should do things differently, but I disagree.
- This is part of your growing up process, coming into your own and understanding why you do things the way you do and the kind of personal footprint you want to make. It's okay to disagree and it doesn't mean they are no longer in your circle of trust.
- Only you can see the full picture in your life and your business. So, take in the advice, contextualize to your world, and make an independent decision you can take 100% responsibility for.
There are 8 categories in all.
Stress in the right doses can be your friend. But there are times in our lives when being on point and capable of quickly getting past mental dips matter more than ever. Are you going to be on the partner track. Are you going to ace the GMAT while working a full time job. For me, are you going to build a world class brand. The "women on the rise" that I built Citizen's Mark around are often in these make-or-break phases in our lives, and the ability to treat what we do like an endeavor worthy of our focus matters tremendously.
This is what I get to see from Citizen's Mark women regularly, be it a coffee talk with Sandra about her healthy lifestyle or a confident text from Rebeca about hitting a long term career milestone - that they are on point. In that spirit, this will be the first of an installation of such perspectives penned by the women on the rise themselves. Stay tuned.
This article was originally posted on citizensmark.com.
Cynthia Salim is an impact entrepreneur and the founder of Citizen’s Mark, a lifestyle brand for a generation of socially conscious and empowered women on the rise. You can connect with her at @CynthiaSalimNYC.