Look for -- and Appreciate -- the Positive Stuff. The current financial turmoil and resultant effect on the job market continues to be a broadcast focus of the news media -- we just can't seem to escape it. Negative news seems to surround us -- striking fear and anxiety in many and paralyzing others. What we don't hear enough of is the GOOD stuff that is coming out of our current financial crisis -- the positive things that people are doing now that will ultimately make them better leaders, better parents, better friends and better people.
After talking to many coaching clients, friends, and business associates about their personal situation and circumstances, and reflecting upon my own experience as I navigate these unique times, I've assembled a list of some of the positive and constructive things that we can focus on as we work through this period together .... things that will ultimately help us emerge as better and stronger individuals:
Become More Financially Responsible. Tough economic times are a great time to tighten the reigns on our budget, establish fiscal responsibility, and develop sustainable cost-conscious behaviors -- trim the fat and focus on the necessities. Now's also the time to clean up and organize your financial records, set and follow a budget that forces you to live with your means, and set aside some cash reserves. Develop these habits now, and you'll reap incredible benefits later.
Reconnect With Your Friends and Family. When was the last time you spent real quality time with a close friend ... your spouse ... your kids ... your parents? In these tough times, rekindling personal relationships and building stronger bonds with your friends and family members is important. Support each other and do whatever you can to help your friends and family members deal better with their own situation. Spending quality time with your friends and family is very a healthy way to escape the stresses the economy is putting on you.
Take Advantage of Learning Opportunities -- Read More. Now is a great time to visit your local bookstore or library once a week or so to find an interesting and mind-expanding book to read, buy or check out. Think about the areas in which you'd like to improve or deepen your knowledge base and target books on those subjects. Keep a book next to your favorite chair at home, one in your car, one in your brief case, etc. Reading is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to learn. It's also a great habit to rekindle now and sustain going forward.
Focus on Your Health. Time for a tune-up and to take ownership of several things you CAN control -- your diet, health and fitness. Develop healthy eating habits now -- it is much easier to maintain an healthier diet by eating at home than by eating out. Establish routine and rhythm around a daily walk or run -- invite a friend or family member to join you. Make a personal commitment to yourself that regardless of where the current economy leads you, you WILL emerge with a healthier body. Do it for yourself AND your family. A healthy body is also much less expensive to maintain. You'll look better, feel better and save money!
Explore Your Creativity. We have two key choices we can make is these tough economic times -- (1) we can act as a victim and blame everything that's happening to us on the economy, OR (2) we can look for every means possible to improve our work-life and personal life -- tapping into our creative instincts and searching for new ideas, identifying new and better ways of doing things and aggressively looking for ways to improve ourselves and our own situation. Now's the time to generate those ideas. Your next new idea could be life-changing and transformational.