Goals Managing Self

Start 2019 Strong: 10 strategies for thriving through challenge

Written by Allison Wolf
For many of us in the workforce stress and worry a regular part of our life. Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you’ve got to do? The good news is this doesn’t mean that something is terribly wrong. It can indicate you are leading a life filled with meaning and purpose.
A 2013 study held by University of Florida and Stanford University tracked adults between ages of 18 and 78. Participants were asked to rate how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the statement: Taking all things together, I feel my life is meaningful.

What distinguished those who strongly agreed vs. those who did not?

The most significant predictor was having a higher stress level. The people with higher stress levels were most likely to agree with the statement: Taking all things together, I feel my life is meaningful.

A conclusion of the researchers? People with meaningful lives worry more and experience more stress than people with less meaningful lives.

To help you with thriving amid challenge, here are 10 strategies from my coaching toolkit that can help. Review this list and consider: which of these strategies are you currently using? Are there some that you want to bring into play? Are there others you would like to strengthen or do more of?

  1. Say No: Set boundaries and say No to protect your priorities and commitments.
  2. Simplify: Reduce the energy given over to decision-making by simplifying elements of your life for example wardrobe or meals.
  3. Automate: Automate as much as possible through the use of technology, or by building in habits and routines.
  4. Set Goals and Plan: These are essential companions. Set goals, plan, and implement to see them achieved.
  5. Ditch People Pleasing: Replace people pleasing with a focus on your values, priorities, and commitments.
  6. Self-Advocacy: Actively seek out what you need, advocate for yourself, and make requests.
  7. Pause: Use brief breaks throughout the day to maintain focus, monitor your own emotional and energetic states, and to be more aware of the people around you.
  8. Team build: Develop a group of people – support staff, research lawyers, associates, and colleagues – whom you can depend on for support and guidance and who in turn can rely on you.
  9. Practice Happiness: Use positive psychology practices to prime yourself for a positive outlook.
  10. Plan Rest: Plan for rest and recuperation just as you would other priorities.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at allison@shiftworks.ca or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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