Welcome back! I took extended leave this year because I really needed to recharge after the feverish pace of 2021 and wanted to spend as much time with my son as I could. He went back to London last night and I am back at work and back with you today. It’s good to be back and to kick off this year with some Key Steps we can take to make 2022 great and…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’
 

Before we get to it, I must just mention that I am not one for NY resolutions and I don’t see 1 January as this “new” year but rather a continuum along which I can make choices about how I want to live and where I want my focus and energy to be. So, this is not about kicking off “new” as much as it is about thinking about your life at home and work and the path you choose to walk. Here’s some Key Steps that I hope will support you…
 

  1. K = Knowledge. What would you like to learn and/or unlearn in 2022? What sources of knowledge do you have at your fingertips that you can take advantage of? It might be an association you can join? For example, Toastmasters is great for improving your speaking skills. Maybe a mastermind group? I am never without a mastermind group and am currently part of two. Maybe, you just want to use your organisations learning platforms (or LinkedIn Learning) better this year? For example, I am committed to scrolling less through my Instagram and using this time to invest in myself better. Maybe you want to work with a coach to support your unlearning process. For example, I want to learn to improve my posture this year and increase my core strength, and I know I need some help doing this.
     
  2. E = Energy. What activities, people, places, work drain your energy? What gives you energy? Once you can answer this question – and I’d recommend taking time with it – it would make sense to do your best to remove or minimise the former and increase the latter. Where it isn’t possible to remove or decrease energy drains, what can you do to mitigate the effects? For example, I have a visualisation I do before engaging with certain people and certain work. I imagine myself in a clear bubble and picture my energy remaining intact and the negative impact staying outside the bubble. I thought this strategy seemed a bit “weird” when a mentor suggested it almost 20 years ago. My scepticism soon faded when I tried it and found that it worked. I could give you endless examples, like refuelling my body properly because I run a fair amount per week. Or giving myself longer work breaks when doing very mentally and emotionally strenuous work. Find what works for you and…
     
  3. Y = Yes. Say YES and NO with greater awareness of what you are really creating. And remember that when you say YES to something, you are saying NO to something else. For example, when I say YES to work, I am saying NO to Mila. And that’s okay, provided I maintain healthy boundaries and say YES to rest, fun and play as much as I do to work, success and helping others. When my husband (Costa) and I read our Christmas cards to each other, it was uncanny that we had both written virtually the same words that went something like this… While 2021 was a fantastic year for us is so many ways, we wanted to make sure that 2022 saw us saying YES to each other more and YES to more downtime together.When I started writing this article, I had intended to use KEY STEPS as an acronym and give you all eight steps in one go. But reflecting on the above, I am going to give you one more step and then leave the remainder for next time, which will be in two weeks. In December, I included a survey and asked how often I should write. I must say, I was pleased that the majority said two week intervals work well. When I started Key Steps 14 years ago, I introduced weekly intended to provide you with ongoing support and tools. There were only a few lines and took about an hour to write each week. Over time, they’ve turned into full blown coaching articles, which I am glad you enjoy and benefit from… this just naturally takes me a lot more time and give you a lot more to think about and implement. As a result…I am changing my email communication with you to every two weeks, but you can still hear from me more regularly…

    Please CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM or LINKEDIN, I post short snippets and words of wisdom there almost daily and it’s a great way to stay  connected. Now, let’s get on with our last step we can implement of the course of the next two weeks…

  4. S = Surrender. Starting a new year with the vision that it is going to be a better year, a more successful year, an easier year… and… and… and… can set us up for serious disappointment. We might find ourselves facing another Covid type curveball. We have no idea what is around the corner. One of the best things we can do is to expect the unexpected and take the ups with the downs. Last year was a great year for me and it was also hard and very emotionally taxing. There’s been a meme going around about expecting flowers because you planted seeds and I am in support of that notion. Prepare for greatness by planting the right seeds. Focus on controlling what you can control. But if a swarm of locusts comes and destroys your flowers (something out of your control), don’t let it make 2022 a bad year. It just makes it a terrible event and one that one that you will likely deal with better when you can surrender.

 
I’ll chat to you again in two weeks and share the remaining steps. In the meantime, enjoy reflecting, answering these questions and taking active Key Steps to create a life in 2002 that you are happy with and not one you wish you could escape from. It’s up to you to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

Namaste,

NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.


Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.

Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’