There is no shortage of articles and blogs and videos on setting goals for the New Year to get the results you want from your life and business. Well, here’s one more. No complicated handouts or formulas or 30- 60- or 90-day plans to fill out. Just three ridiculously simple things that anyone can do every day that will make a dramatic difference in your life, relationships, business and future.
#1 Ridiculously Simple Thing — LOOK UP
I went to our busy local mall on a Saturday and was shocked at how many people were navigating the mall corridors, eating in the food court, shopping with friends, or just taking a break in the many seating areas, all with their heads down, thumbs flying, transfixed to their phones. Their closest friends, family, or an interesting stranger who may be their next great love were right beside them, and they didn’t get any attention.
Phubbing, or using your phone to snub people (Study in Computers in Human Behavior)) is becoming the new norm. But all the time you’re looking down you’re not looking up to see who and what is around you. In the moment. In the flesh. Real people that matter to you in life, your business, your world. Phubbing, or using your phone to snub people (admit it, you’ve done it, too) is a new tool for rude behavior.
Look Up! When you look up, you make eye contact, and eye contact is an invitation to engage. You might see an employee you haven’t met yet. A customer with a question that you can answer. A person who seems down or annoyed or just needs a kind word or a helping hand. Or that cute guy (or girl) who is looking up at you, hoping to catch a glance and a smile. Looking up puts you in the present moment, in a state of mindfulness, that you can’t get from the little plastic screen.
Once you look up, you’ll see all kinds of interesting people and things to explore even further. And face-to-face encounters are 3-D. You know how exciting it is when the dinosaur in the 3-D movie seems to jump off the screen and land in your lap? That’s what a face-to-face encounter can do, and some might think it’s just as exciting as the T-Rex roaring in your face.
Looking up is also good for your health and future. You’re less likely to fall into the fountain at the mall or walk into a post or another person and end up in the hospital if you’re looking up.
#2 Ridiculously Simple Thing — GET UP
Who would have thought that too much sitting would be considered a health hazard equal to smoking or cancer? The Washington Post article, “The Health Hazards of Sitting,” has enough health hazards listed to make you want to spend your days on your feet. Varicose Veins, muscle wasting, heart disease, foggy brain, colon cancer, and the biggie –mushy abs– are just a few of the hazards of sitting too much.
Those are pretty compelling reasons to get up off your butt and on your feet. But here’s another. If you’re stuck behind a computer all day, or holed up in your office, or sitting in front of the TV, you’re missing out on what’s going on in your world. You’re missing out on one of the best ways to build relationships and form connections with the people you live and work with, or those who you would want to know.
When I was a secretary at Marriott many years ago, our Senior VP of the Division would walk around the office once a week, stopping at every desk, just for a brief chat. Now this was a busy guy, and he traveled a lot, but when he was in the office, he took the time to Get Up and get out of his office to come to where his staff was in order to engage.
Get Up. Try MBWA – managing by walking around. Get up and out. Experience what is going on. Making the effort makes people feel valued and important. Get up off the couch or out of that lounge chair and try PBWA – parenting by walking around. Don’t wait for people to come to you. Be available and curious. Make the first move. Don’t wait for the other person to make the effort.
#3 Ridiculouly Simple Thing — SPEAK UP
My latest book, SAY IT NOW! SAY IT RIGHT! I covers the many ways that finding your voice and speaking up can clear the air, relieve stress, finally solve problems, start a difficult conversation, or just express a new idea. Let this be the year of speaking up, not stuffing your feelings or fears or needs so far down that they turn into those dreaded health problems from sitting too much. Speaking up has risks and rewards. But the cost of NOT speaking up can wreck your health, marriage, relationship, business or organization. It can destroy your confidence, self-esteem and happiness.
Now is the time to Speak up. And if you’re a leader or manager, encourage – no expect – your staff to speak up. No more “yes” people agreeing with everything.
These three ridiculously simple actions are even more powerful when combined.
· The boss just asked for ideas for a new product line, and you’ve got one that will revolutionize your company and make millions. Look up, stand up and speak up. Don’t someone else get the glory or bonus for your great idea.
· The guy from Marketing lets his hand fall against your leg AGAIN in the break room. Don’t join the #metoo sisterhood. Look up, stand up and speak up.
· Your team leader piles on yet another project that belongs to a slacker co-worker. Look up, stand up and speak up. Stop the cycle and the stress by taking control of your time.
· Your spouse (or partner, child, friend, sister, co-worker, etc.) is bummed out, wants to talk or share a happy moment. Look up, stand up and speak up. Everyone needs positive attention and appreciation. These are the “tender” moments that often go unnoticed.
If you’re one of those people struggling with seizing the moment in these situations, try Mel Robbins’ 5-Second Rule. Take a risk, count backwards, just like a NASA rocket launch – 5-4-3-2-1 — and at 1, look up, stand up and speak up. These three simple actions will launch you right out of your old habits and into a confident, powerful, and mindful 2018.
Mary J. Nestor, The Courageous Communicator, is the author of Say It Now, Say It Right! Tips to Handle the Tough (and Tender) Conversations in Any Business and Life Situation (Motivational Press 2016). She transforms individuals into courageous communicators resulting in dramatic growth, creativity and enthusiastic collaboration at all levels of an organization. Contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.maryjnestor,com.