Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Winter 2019 - Page 13

A HAPPINESS QUESTION when it's self-serve, we can serve ourselves a lot! Remind yourself, "I learned this lesson the hard way. Next time, I'll make a different choice." 4. DON'T LET THE PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD When we're making resolutions, it's easy to set big ambitious goals, and sometimes it's tough to meet them. We plan to train for a 5K, or get the basement cleared out, or write a rough draft of a novel by the end of the year. Then, we fail to make progress, it's easy to get discouraged and accuse ourselves of laziness. Remember, any progress is better than no progress! You may not have finished a full draft, but you have an outline of your novel. You haven't switched careers yet, but you've started thinking about next steps. Some people find it helpful to keep a ta-da list. A to-do list reminds you of what you need to get done; a ta-da list reminds you of all you've accomplished already. A ta-da list can be a tremendous source of energy and reassurance. 5. CONSIDER YOUR TENDENCY Often, when we fail to make progress, it's because we haven't taken our Tendency into account. For instance, if you're an Obliger, you must have outer accountability. You must! That's what works for Obligers! If you see that a particular form of outer accountability isn't working, trying a different form. If paying for a trainer doesn't get you to go to the gym, try working out with a friend who's very annoyed when you don't show up. If that doesn't work, teach a class. If that doesn't work, think of your duty to be a role model for someone else. If that doesn't work, join a group on the Better app where you tell each other, "I'm counting on you to count on me. If none of us hold each other accountable, none of us will succeed." If you're a Rebel, don't try to lock yourself into a to-do list or a schedule. That often doesn't work for a Rebel. Think about what you want, and how you want to live up to your identity. Questioners struggle, it's usually because they're fundamentally unconvinced by whatever they're trying to do. If you don't know your Tendency—whether you're an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or Rebel—you can take the free, quick quiz at quiz.gretchenrubin.com. 6. ARE YOU GIVING YOURSELF HEALTHY TREATS? When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves. If you're asking a lot of yourself these days, make sure you're helping yourself feel energized and cared for by giving yourself healthy treats, whatever that might be for you. For me, it's reading children's literature. But make sure these are healthy treats. You don't want to try to make yourself feel better by indulging in something (wine, impulse purchases, sweets, messiness) that will make you feel worse in the end. 7. REMEMBER, IT'S EASIER TO KEEP UP THAN TO CATCH UP Sometimes, when we're creating a healthy habit or practice, we need to catch up. We need to clear out a lot of clutter before we can maintain good order. We need to adjust to life without the morning doughnut. This is hard, but remember that once we're caught up or accustomed to a new way, it gets easier. It may take a few tries to get over the initial hurdle, but remember that the situation will get easier once it's more ingrained. Stay the course! Don't give up! My book Better Than Before examines the twenty one strategies that we can use to make or break our habits, and one of the most helpful strategies is the Strategy of Safeguards. It's all about how to anticipate challenges, and how to deal with it when we run into trouble. Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the block- buster New York Times best-sellers, Outer Order, Inner Calm, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and The Four Tendencies. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than 30 languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is in much demand as a speaker. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. GRETCHENRUBIN.COM It's a very common frustration. Have you found any great ways to stay on course, even when you feel as if you're falling behind? + *Originally posted on Gretchenrubin.com. Reprinted with permission If you're a Questioner, really examine your reasons. Why are you doing this, in this way? Is it the best, most efficient way, and is it tailored to suit you specifically? When 13