Welcome to the new year and my new blog – Mindset Musings. Each week, I’ll be sharing ideas I have come across, ways to manage your mindset for greater achievement and hints to help you maximise your results.

This time of year is usually focused on a couple of diverse things – recovering from the festive season festivities; enjoying time-out with family & friends and setting things up for the year ahead.

It’s the third one where your mindset is critical, both for your individual plans for the year ahead and for your team, if you are a business owner, manager or team leader.

One of the challenges is all the noise that people make at this time of year about New Year’s Resolutions. The research is clear that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t last much beyond the hangover.

I recommend a slightly different approach that will be much better for your mindset. Avoid goal-setting and set your mind to goal-getting! Keep looking for new opportunities and create bite-sized chunks of activity that will move you in the direction of maximising those opportunities.

Let me give you an example from my world. In the last 12 months, I have had some major challenges in getting projects completed. My husband was diagnosed with a life-threatening, incurable but treatable blood disease, which damaged his previously very healthy heart. That tends to focus your thinking!

As his wellbeing ebbed and flowed (and at the moment, he is doing quite well!), I was committed to caring for him in the best way I possibly could. That meant compartmentalising my life. When he was having a bad day, I couldn’t “fix” it. What I could do was set aside other projects and do some little things to make him feel better.

On days when he was feeling better, I focused on finding micro-tasks that would move my various business projects forward. I never knew how long the bright patch would be, so it was pointless to start a job that would take me days. I also found that the “sprint, pause, sprint” method suited me. Work intensely for an hour or so, then pause to check on Lachlan and maybe do something for him.

I also found that, in the “pause” times, my brain would still be processing the task and I’d come back to it with new ideas. Bonus!

One of the challenges I often hear about from my coaching clients is the constant interruptions from team members. In that situation, the “sprint, pause, sprint” technique may deliver you a sense of momentum and better output – that’s a good way to start the year!