Welcome to your monthly dose of expertise from The Performance Club. Now that summer is in full swing, our days feel elongated, and we may find that we have a little more time, energy and willingness to stop, think and reflect. That’s why the brighter months can provide the perfect opportunity for you to plan for your future, and invest some time into deciding both what you’d like to achieve, and who you would like to become. Part of this process is to take responsibility of the smaller decisions that we make, as these will often help to shape our future – whether we like it or not! July also brings us International Friendship Day, so we’ll take a closer look at the importance of celebrating those who enrich our lives, the connection between emotional health and our friendships, and how to promote and maintain healthy relationships. Wishing you a bright and productive month ahead! If you would like help with ensuring your employees can focus on wellbeing this summer by introducing a workplace wellbeing programme tailored to your needs, then please contact us today to discuss how The Performance Club can become part of that journey.
The Psychology of Planning It’s often said that if you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else and it’s true: most big, deeply satisfying accomplishments in life take a long time to achieve, so it can really help to choose a timeline to guide you along the way. When we think of future goals, it can be easy to presume that we’re talking about material or physical achievements: journeys or experiences, career and finance, relationships and fitness – but how about creating a five year plan for our mental health and wellbeing? You could plan to put a new routine into place that nurtures you emotionally – such as meditation, practicing gratitude; reading, learning a new skill or listening to uplifting podcasts – any new habits that you feel will have a positive impact on your mental health. Plan for who you want to become, as well as what you’d like to achieve. You are also likely to see the benefits in your attitude to life once you have created a plan for the future. A renewed sense of purpose can really put a spring into your step, and boost levels of productivity and performance overall. You see, when you realise that you are in fact making progress towards your goals and start to reap the benefits, you will build all-important momentum, and will feel inspired to make continued progress. One thing to note: Do give yourself some grace. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that we should expect a perfect life in five years and will be able to follow the plan precisely – that’s unachievable in many circumstances. What a plan can always do is get us to think about where we want to go, and what your very best life looks like for you. You can read more about more about the benefits of creating a plan, and how setting targets can lead you to more fulfilling life in this guide from Goalcast. Good luck, everyone!
The Wellbeing Benefits of Friendship Saturday July 30th marks International Friendship Day. Friendships offer so much more than just having a good time – they also play a significant role in promoting our overall health. In fact, research proves that adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy BMI. If you've ever had a friend that you could laugh, cry, and share your most intimate secrets with, then you know how powerful friendship can be. It's having someone in your life that can lift you up when you're low and celebrate your victories with you. Maintaining long term friendships can enrich your life in many ways: good friends teach you about yourself and challenge you to be better, encourage you to keep going when times get tough and celebrate your successes with you. And let’s not forget about our emotional wellbeing. Friends don’t only help to prevent loneliness, but they also increase your sense of belonging, boost your confidence, self-worth and happiness (which in turn helps to reduce your stress levels) while helping you to cope with life’s challenges and traumas. More often than not, friends support our mental health by putting problems into perspective to develop a stronger sense of meaning, and ease the emotional impact of difficulties by offering new ideas about how to overcome them. This July, let’s take a moment to celebrate the friendships that have helped to shape us, and reconnect with those people who have enriched our lives in so many different ways. Advances in technology allow us to connect with anyone in the world with a click of a button. But having hundreds of friends online isn't quite the same as a few close friends you can really connect with on a deep level. This doesn't mean you can't have buddies online - just try to remember to prioritise face-to-face interaction too. Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, featuring best-selling author Eric Barker, shares why friendship contributes to your overall well-being and how to build strong friendships. You can also learn the 6 Benefits of Friendship and How to Get Them from Healthline.com. Play
Taking Care of Our Future Self Our five year plan leads us on nicely to our 'future self'. You may be familiar with the quote ‘Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now’. Indeed, there is a constant battle in all of us, between our today-self and our tomorrow, or ‘future’-self. Our today-self is much like our inner child; it only wants to focus on the things that offer an immediate payoff, whether that’s kicking back with a few too many glasses of wine, spending money on status symbols, or procrastinating on tasks that could be done later. Our future-self, however, is like our inner-adult. This version of yourself cares about things that take time to get results – like building a business, working on a relationship, saving money, losing weight or consistently moving forwards on a project. So when faced with a decision (no matter how small), always ask: What Would My ‘Future Self’ Want Me to Do? This also provides us with a timely opportunity to remember that who you are today is not necessarily who you will always be. If you reflect upon how your life was ten years ago, the chances are that you were a very different person to the one you are now: your experiences will have shaped you, and your aspirations and achievements may now look very different. Each decision that you made in your past will have either helped or hindered you on your journey, and of course, some things that are out of our control will have had a positive or negative impact, too! The key is to try to think beyond today and embrace your adult self – remember that each small building block will eventually lead to something magnificent if you commit to making progress today. Your future self will thank you! Want to find out more? We recommend this TED Talk ‘The Psychology of Your Future Self’, where Harvard psychologist Dr. Daniel Gilbert explains a bias that almost all of us have: We tend to think that the person we are today is the person we will always be.
Our Book of the Month is Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behaviour by Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg ‘Get Out of Your Own Way’ shows you how to stop being your own worst enemy - and become your own best friend. We’ve spoken about planning your best-possible life, and looking out for your future self – but often our existing behaviours are the very things that can halt our progress. In fact, self-defeating behaviour is the single most common reason that people seek psychotherapy. It can prevent us from achieving the love, success and happiness that we want in our lives. And what really drives us crazy is feeling we have to change and not knowing how - or knowing how but being unable to stick with change. This fascinating book explains why we sabotage ourselves, going back to the childhood origins of various behaviours. More important, it offers proven steps of action to transform these limiting behaviours. By encouraging you to reflect upon your actions and take responsibility, the authors provide practical steps towards change that you can work into your everyday life. We hope that you enjoy it – happy reading!
We often associate summertime with vacations, time in the sunny outdoors, and less stress. While all of these things are true, the general lack of structure that often comes with the summer can lead to anxiety. For those who are working, being cooped up indoors can lead to restlessness or feeling low after returning from a holiday. Regardless of whether the summer makes it more difficult for you to maintain your mental health or if it makes you feel relaxed, good weather and some much needed time to breathe after a busy spring season can help you focus on prioritising your mental health. So I urge you to do just that: slow down and take a breather if you need to. The summer doesn’t last forever and of course, you’re going to want to get the most out of it, but remember to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing while doing so. If you'd like to find our how The Performance Club can work with you and tailor training packages to meet your individual needs - with a unique emphasis on performance - then please get in touch with our friendly team. Wishing you a wonderful month ahead! Stacy Thomson Founder of The Performance Club sent on behalf of all of the team email@example.com