We finished 2021 a mix of happy, tired and excited. We had our best-ever quarter at the end of our best-ever year in 2021, and were ready for an office recess so we could all have a well-earned rest. And we were just as amped to get into 2022!

Most of us headed off to spend low-key time with family and friends. As we did, the Omicron variant became increasingly rampant across Australia and most of the world. This caused varying levels of holiday ‘isolations’, testing protocols, illness, and drama, with almost everyone getting a very different holiday to the one they planned.

Uncertainty. Again.

The ‘holiday’ – so needed – saw a conflation of factors for our team – COVID-19, uncertainty with kids and school on the horizon, concern for elderly parents, and a host of other life stuff. Best laid plans were again disrupted. We  know it was the same for many across our community.

To be candid,  I’m sure we all briefly walked the line between frustrated, and keen to get a grip on the situation at hand and stay optimistic. At times, that can be tough.

At the official start of mwah. in 2017, we had this idea of ‘humans at work’. Great people, doing great work – in all manner of industries, jobs, functions. Their faces, their stories. And we’ve found that looking deliberately out to the great work of others right now has been energising – be it Cricket Australia Captain Pat Cummins, Dr Daniel Nour from Street Medics, or Tennis Champion Dylan Alcott.

These examples, and many more everyday examples, remind us of key mindsets – the difference between learned helplessness, or learned optimism (Google: Seligman if you want to see the evolution of both). The latter is a belief you can get a grip, and have an impact.

So, we moved fast into 2022 doing our best to carry learned optimism.

So, we moved fast into 2022 doing our best to carry learned optimism – deploying the early-year discipline that has served us well – looking at strategy, projects, capacity, capability development and our operating rhythm. We’ve always supported and taken individual health and wellbeing seriously, but we’d finished 2021 too exhausted to stay diligent on rating scores and committed exercise goals. We replaced it with banter. We got tired of the exhausting context we’re all living in. We needed new energy on all fronts.

So, along with humans doing great work, we also revisited wellbeing very candidly and openly, to hold each other to account on the markers of wellbeing that matter most to each of us. Not necessarily a new year’s resolution to drop 10 kgs, or that sweaty yoga is your jam (great if either of those mean something to you), but really, the things that give us energy, and give us a sense of confident control over our own wellness.

We’ve put our anonymised list here from our team’s conversation, but we think the process we used to get a quick re-grip on 2022 is valuable to others.

A very simple framework

Here’s that very simple framework on what matters most to you in the year ahead – to get back your sense of control. As you’ll see from our list above, whatever situation life, work, or the day, gives to us – it is within our grasp to make these things happen – for ourselves and for each other.

The exercise gives you a feeling of control that does wonders for your mindset. And – it’s a great one for between the meetings and juggling, with a coffee, glass of water, or even during a walk around the block. No Zoom required.

All you need to do, is take a minute to think, plot your mini-list, and be brave enough to share. With your leader, team, company, family, and elsewhere as you see fit.

Feel free to share with us – we are ready to cheer you on. Get a grip. You’ve got this!!!!

What matters to our team?

We kept our list simple. Things we love, that matter. That are achievable.

– Connection with people. It is really important to know people more than just the work we do together, the kind of friendship that only comes through chatting and making time together

– Bouncing ideas/ sounding board, even though you may know the answer, there’s energy from verbalising thoughts to sense check/ build confidence.

– Activity! It’s a struggle to be active when tethered to a computer/desk! Fidget spinners work to keep constant motion at bay but standing and stretching every 40 mins is better!

– Natural Light. The sun is an energy source – we hate the cold and the dark!

– Laughter & Banter. We bring laughter, banter, and ‘the vibe’.

– An open, accepting & inclusive culture

– Open, warm & positive styles of communication where everyone’s voices are heard, appreciated, respected & wanted

– The team all being well and happy

– Doing fun and unique things with the team – sailing, Survivor Sweepstakes, and more!

– Never feeling alone on a work project – actively seeking support when we need it, and offering it to others.

– Fresh air – however it comes, a walk, a run, a cycle, sitting outside in the garden, or on the beach. Stagnant air (let alone air conditioning) does nothing good.

– Eating well – pre-planning snacks so we eat better not for convenience

– Having some element of control over our days – good solid blocks of time to do good stuff. Balancing thinking and doing time, together and alone time.

– Learn something new. Be ready for the future.

A simple framework for you to get a grip in 2022.

And that’s our thoughts on a nice calm place to start.  To get a grip on 2022 during this overwhelming first month we’re all working through.

  • 3 simple things that matter to you.
  • 1 thing you’d love to learn.

And knowing the same for your colleagues, so you can be there for each other!

Wishing you a great 2022!

Look forward to sharing it with you!