Join Dr Magdalena Bak-Maier at the Guardian Masterclass
We’re super excited to help you set meaningful goals in 2022 in association with the Guardian Masterclass. This Grid-based workshop will provide simple, yet effective, practical tips and advice, to help make the new year be the best year yet.
The right tools to help set meaningful goals
Would you like to improve your daily life? Boost your wellbeing? Or nurture stronger self-care habits?
Not everyone has the time to attend the Guardian Masterclass but we can all benefit from challenging ourselves with a goal or two.
All this and much and more can be easily achieved with the Grid framework. The Grid is an invaluable tool that many coaches are using to support their clients when it comes to life, wellbeing, and career coaching. Now you can tap into the same ideas by yourself.
We’re pleased to share this tool with those who want to be productive in a way that is personally meaningful. The Grid provides a unique framework for creating a deeply fulfilling personal and professional life.
Where you’ll find the Grid in practice
The Grid has been warmly received at a several high profile professional conferences and venues including:
- Columbia University Systemic Coaching Conference
- Positive Psychology Conference
- British Psychological Society
- Coaching at Work Conference
- Association for Coaching UK
It has also been presented at a number of keynotes in higher education, media, medicine, insurance, charities, and tech companies.
Making new year resolutions supports goal achievement
When it comes to new year resolutions, a popular belief is that they are a waste of time because they don’t last. Many of us often set them already thinking about how we will give them up in a week or two. Or we simply decide to not bother, giving credence to prevailing belief.
Yet research tells us that 46% of New Year’s resolvers are successful in sustaining their goals six months later, compared to just 4% of people who don’t make specific resolutions.
Have you ever tried this experiment for yourself? Chances are you could reach close to 50% of the goals you set.
New year resolutions and goal setting
When did you make your last resolution to either stop or start doing something or decide to focus on a specific goal? And, what made you do it?
For many of us, such resolutions become a set of specific goals; activities, or specific tasks that will help achieve the desired outcome. Others, may choose or prefer to focus on a general direction or a specific theme. For example, some people may make a conscious effort to be more positive or eat more vegetables or drink less.
The idea here is that all action that moves one closer to the desired direction is valid without having to set specific goals.
Timing is everything when setting meaningful goals
New Year’s resolutions are part of a tradition where people resolve to make a specific positive change in their life. This might be changing a specific habit or behavior, working towards a specific goal or taking up something new.
But change doesn’t have to take place once a year. We can also resolve to set meaningful goals at other fresh start points throughout the year, including:
- start of a new week or month
- day after our birthday
- following a major life event
- after returning from a holiday
- when we read or see something that inspires or awakes us to change
- when people in our close circle of family and friends change
- after a medical diagnosis
- and other more random times that, on reflection, turn out not to be so random, after all.
The bottom line, you can choose to make a change anytime you like! Just make sure it’s something you really want to change and are ready for it. The 5 tips below will help.
5 proven ways to increase your chances of goal-setting success
Here are 5 proven ways to optimize your chances of success.
- Set a doable goal that is meaningful to you. For example, I want to eat more vegetables to add healthy nutrients to my body.
- Keep your goals to a limited set. We recommend starting with 1-3 goals to avoid diluting your action and ensure you can see progress more quickly. Research suggests that we are far more likely to stick with things we are convinced are paying off.
- Build encouragement and/or support into your goal or resolution.
- Make a tangible plan of three specific actions that will move you forward. Our Goal Getter Bootcamp is based on the “little and often” method using what we have learned supporting our clients towards positive change.
- Keep track of your progress and achievement using visual aids. For example, our Grid method uses highlighting to keep track of what’s been completed. Our Goal Getter Bootcamp achieves the same result by giving people quarterly goal and action tracking maps.
Grid based ideas to inspire your goal-setting
When Dr. Magdalena Bak-Maier created the Grid approach, she wanted a framework and system that would support her being productive, healthy, and offer daily fulfilment.
Over the years, as more people discover this tool and method, we are finding many practical ideas that we believe will give others practical ideas to boost wellbeing and success. Here are some of our favorites. Do let us know of others by leaving a comment below.
10 positive changes to support your personal life
- Strengthen your interpersonal relationships by scheduling quality time with people you cherish: from a significant partner, children, family and relatives, to close friends.
- Take time to plan your major vacations and time off for the next 12 months, and make a couple of bookings so that you have definite rest points ahead. Your body and mind will thank you.
- Address your personal finances by creating a budget that strikes a good balance between short-term quality of life and your longer-term aspirations.
- Create a cleaning schedule that ensures your physical environment is tidy, clean and gives you comfort.
- Add more plants and comfort to your home surroundings. Research shows that plants calm the autonomic nervous system, lower cortisol levels and blood pressure.
- Do something to discover more of your family history. Understanding your roots and history helps you avoid being a victim to it.
- Join a local interest or hobby group or volunteer for a cause that you care about to connect with others with a shared interest.
- Discover music or some other activity that lifts your mood, helps you unwind or de-stresses you. For example, decide on your favorite radio/TV programme, comedy show or a feel-good podcast.
- Write to others and yourself in the form of letters, cards or a journal. Results from several studies show that memory and learning are boosted in children and adults when they write by hand. Handwriting also supports a healthy mind-body connection and supports the processing of emotions.
- Block out a couple of slots in your diary for time you will, no doubt, need to catch up with yourself and your life. You can always give them away if you feel like it but it’s good to find them.
10 positive changes to support your self-care
- Give yourself time to unwind and be undisturbed. Consider taking up gentle stretching or movement activity from taking more walks in fresh air to doing meditation or yoga. Research shows that mindfulness relaxes the mind and boosts resourcefulness.
- Exercise your brain and emotional health with creative pursuits and your body with a form of exercise that you find personally rewarding. Not sure what it may be, resolve to experiment by signing up for a trial class.
- Find a supportive pair of eyes, ears and hands. We all need a safe and supportive person in our lives to support our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Can you think of someone in your life that is a good listener?
- Learn to speak kindly to yourself. Too many people suffer from an inner critic that has grown into a self-sabotaging monster.
- Find a support group towards one area of your life that is turning out to be quite demanding. This could be parenthood, a specific health condition or a phase of life, a demanding relationship or job, etc.
- Create a daily, weekly and monthly self-care ritual. This can be anything from a unique way to chill, something that will help you release any frustration or pent-up anger safely to cooking a healthy meals or being creative.
- Find exciting alternatives to drinking alcohol. If you’re suffering from any form of addiction, resolve to get help! Most people think about addiction when it comes to sex, drugs and alcohol, but we recommend getting help if you tend to overdo thing such as food, work, sitting on the couch, or getting angry too often.
- Get into the habit of doing a 1-2 min daily body scan to check in with your physical body. Our clients find that doing this helps them arrange their daily schedules in ways that support effective energy management and prevent fatigue. Also, make time for important health screenings to stay on top of your physical health.
- Take an inventory of your wardrobe and ensure you only keep the clothes that make you feel good. If needed, update your wardrobe. You can get some help from a friendly stylist or a color consultant. Also, consider investing in cozy house shoes and/or experimenting with your hairstyle for a mini personal reinvention. We feel better when we look good.
- Discover your form of spirituality. In the meantime, drink more water.
10 positive changes to support your work or studies
- Create three specific work / study goals that will give you a personal sense of pride and satisfaction. One short-term, one medium-term and one longer-term.
- Schedule and tackle the hardest work task at your peak performance time and focus on getting it done.
- Make all your work tasks more joyful by exercising your creativity and you will tire less.
- Practice mindful attention by absorbing yourself in a single task no matter how long your to-do list is.
- Detox your work environment by improving your workplace relationships, especially with your boss and close colleagues. Alternatively, if your workplace is toxic, work to change your job.
- Complete outstanding work projects to make space for new assignments and learning.
- Upgrade your to-do list to a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly Grid chart so that you can celebrate all you do manage to get done and have a proven way to stay balanced and look after yourself.
- Learn to delegate work. Giving others a chance to help nurtures healthy teamwork and deepens trust.
- Resolve to give yourself proper work-free lunchtime.
- Aim for a healthy work-life boundaries by being clear when work ends and where work is simply off-limits. As a minimum, we recommend that you make sure to have one work-free day and an additional evening every week.
10 positive changes to support your career and purpose
- Do a career inventory to check what you want from your work and where you want your work to take you.
- Explore your purpose.
- Find other ways to enrich and widen your knowledge base by choosing something that interests you enough to want to find out more about it.
- Choose to teach or share one of your skills with someone else.
- Mentor someone and/or find a mentor or coach for you.
- Join a club or volunteer time towards something you care about.
- Read or listen to more books.
- Invest time in at least one activity that grows your skill-set.
- Consider whether you want to get a new professional degree or update your skills through specific experience(s) or projects.
- Complete a short course of therapy or a personal development workshop to deepen your understanding of yourself and strengthen how you connect and work with others.
Further resources to help you set meaningful goals
If you’re interested in setting and achieving goals you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Sign up to our free Goal Getting Bootcamp and feel supported in taking steps to reach your desired outcomes.
- Read or listen to Dr. Magdalena Bak-Maier’s Get Productive: Grid book.
- Book on a 90-minute Grid Clinic to get a feel for the method as well as personalised advice on life’s little and big niggles.
- Learn the Grid method with our systematic approach to designing your life with the Grid lens in mind on our flagship Grid Introduction Course.
- Read up on how other Grid adopters use the Grid to achieve results across life and work, studies or business.
- Reach out to book a workshop or keynote for your workplace.
Feedback from previous Grid Masterclass sessions
Magdalena ran a parallel workshop at the recent Staff Developers Conference on Tapping Hearts and Minds to Enable People to Thrive in a VUCA World. She introduced us to her…
I attended Magdalena’s workshop at the AICTP Conference and found it both infomative and practical. Her integrated model takes a very interesting approach, working holistically with the client. The experiential…
I attended a great workshop for doctors Magdalena delivered. It was on resilience and life-work balance and it was very inspirational and motivational. Magdalena delivered a phenomenally rich content with…
I attended an event on Working equilibrium in Liverpool recently where I had the pleasure of listening to Magdalena. She is incredibly knowledgeable and skilful at integrating neuroscience with leadership…
I attended one of Magdalena’s Irish workshops through the Association of Coaching. What an inspiring yet practical speaker! She used neuroscience to support her strategies on being productive and fully…
Lastly, we invite you to join our email community to stay up to date with our advice, get free resources and be the first to know about our upcoming offers. It’s our way of helping you Make Time Count, as we say!