21 Days of Green

Last weekend finally brought us some long-awaited sunshine. With the breath of fresh air came the promise of Spring, the season when nature starts waking up from its winter slumber to remind us how great it is to be alive. After spending Saturday and Sunday outside, recharging my batteries, I thought how lovely it would be to carry that feeling of relaxation with me into the week. As you can probably guess, however, my bliss was quickly replaced with stress, frustration and that “I need a holiday” feeling. I hadn’t even reached 5pm on Monday when I realised that the memories of the weekend were fading at the speed of light. I decided it was time to do something about it.

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At JCA Global, during our training courses and developmental programmes we often use a 21 day habit change exercise, which helps to replace certain unhelpful behaviours or mind-sets with more emotionally intelligent solutions. I have been applying it in my personal life for a while now and can vouch for the usefulness of this technique (in case the research isn’t enough for you), but there are still a few more things for me to work on. And since, as studies suggest, public commitment is meant to strengthen our motivation to stick to the resolutions we’ve made, I thought to myself “why not start this Spring in a green way and get a few other people to join me?”.

So here’s my idea – from today (Monday 4th April) every day for 21 days I will work on my Emotional Intelligence, by trying to act in a more green, or, as we like to call it at JCA, “mindful” way. In a gross simplification, when our actions are driven by fear, anger, insecurities etc. we are more likely to be more reactive and display some not very emotionally intelligent behaviours. However, we all have an option and can opt to move from that unhelpful “survival” state into a “mindful” state. The way to get there is different for every individual, however I know that for me it is usually tiredness combined with stress that makes me fall back into the unhelpful patterns, where I am surviving rather than thriving. So, to help me get into the mindful zone and start this Spring in the blissful green area of my life, for the next 21 days I will take 50 minutes each day to allow myself true renewal time. It can be a nice walk in the park, a yoga class or a quick meditation here and an exercise there. It can be a nice cup of tea with a book. Whatever my mind and body may need on that particular day to recharge and lower my stress levels. At the end of those 21 days, I will share my journey on the JCA blog.

There it is. I made my public commitment! But since my psychology lectures taught me that goals are more likely to be followed when we have social support, I thought I would invite you to join me in this 21 day challenge. If you have taken our Emotional Intelligence Profile and know what your development areas are, join us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and share the one thing you will start doing differently for the next 21 days. For those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to receive EI feedback, from the 4th April for 21 days, we will be posting some tips on little things that can be done to improve your Emotional Intelligence.

Let’s make this Spring special. Let’s be more green. Who’s joining me? #21daysofgreen

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