074 – How to take control of your life in 2018

Its not as hard as it sounds

Its February and that means many of you have already failed to live up to your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry you’re not alone. Statistics show that 40% of people will have failed to maintain our resolutions after four weeks. By six months that number rises to 60%. Maybe you wanted to lose weight or spend more time with family or just to put the damn phone down. Let’s be honest resolutions are hard! Setting goals and trying achieving more in our personal and work lives is laudable. But without the right structure in place you’re bound to fail. I’ve discussed how to create that structure many times on the Team Guru Podcast. Today, I want to share some of the best lessons I’ve learned over the last two years.

Lessons Learned

You have to unplug

Before you can begin to better organize your life you have to organize your mind. That’s a lot harder today than in the past. The deluge of information we encounter on a daily basis is constantly threatening to overtake us. And that is taking a huge mental toll. The evidence is everywhere. A recent study revealed that students spend one fifth of their class time on their phones – paying attention to their Instagram feeds instead of the teacher. Another found that workers are spending 60 hours a month distracted by digital technology. Everyone talks about switching off these days but it’s a lot harder than it sounds.

That’s why I invited Angela Lockwood to join me back in episode 54. She literally wrote the book on how to disconnect from social media. But Switch Off isn’t just about how to reduce our time on the internet. It’s also about how to switch off our brain. To stop the constant mental churn that is stressing us out and making us sick. 

Get up earlier

In his book The Perfect Day Formula author Craig Ballantyne outlines a set of simple, practical steps to help you imagine, design and live the life that is perfect for you. Craig worked for many years as a personal trainer but found even more success as a transformation coach. He bases his philosophy on the Five Pillars of Success but he told me that real change can start by simply getting up just a little earlier in the morning.

Find meaning

Just as people can feel listless and uninspired so too can organizations. We have all worked for companies that care very little about their workforce. That pervading sense of exploitation creates a cadre of demoralized workers who eventually stop caring. Companies have personalities too – but they’re not set in stone. My guests in episode 66 explained how organizations can change for the better.

Nicholas Barnett and Rodney Howard have spent decades helping companies to better understand their corporate cultures and how to instill a real sense of purpose. They joined me for a chat shortly after the publication of their book Why Purpose Matters. In it they argue that companies are very good at telling you what they do. But almost none of them know why they do it. In fact, if you ask their management team they will be shocked at being asked the question. Making money for shareholders isn’t a good enough reason. Companies, they argue, need to find a distinctive and unique philosophy.

If there is one thing I took away from my conversation with Nick and Rodney it’s this – You can’t lie to yourself. You have to be honest about the state of your company and the quality of your work. Only then will you be able to develop a real sense of purpose. That lesson extends beyond the workplace. People want more than just their basic needs taken care of. But if you can bring meaning and purpose into your everyday life you’re going to become far more productive, creative and healthy.


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