How many of you, like me, found yourself thinking about goals to fulfill, actions to take and new habits to build? Even though I know the majority of resolutions fail (88% to be exact), I still find myself drawn to this idea of a reset, and truthfully it seems to happen as if there is some biological pull for reflections. Yes, resolutions fail, but it isn’t impossible to build new habits. We do it all the time intentionally and unintentionally. There are plenty of articles that already cover tips to build habits – here, here, and here. There are also great books on this topic from The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to Atomic Habits by James Clear. I recommend both.
Today I want to share a very simple but powerful practice that has helped me and many of my clients. It is the idea of creating an “anchor” image to support your new goals. Anchors are visual cues that you can surround yourself with to help reinforce and remind you of your values and new habits you are building. This is a concept I learned years ago through coaching training and has been transformative for me. If you ever see my office, home, closet and jewelry box you see lots of anchor cues that reinforce the values that are important to me.
Two images you will see most often are elephants and acorns. Elephants remind me to make sure I am either freeing or stop feeding the elephant in the room. In fact, when I work with a team and I know we are likely going to do some tough work I have a special elephant necklace and bracelet I wear to ground myself in how to show up. The acorn represents one of my core purposes, which is “To be the sun that nurtures the acorn to become the great oak tree it was meant to be” aka I want to nurture people’s greatness. Just this Christmas my parents bought a beautiful acorn necklace (and it was in an elephant box–a double anchor!) because they know how important that symbol is for me.
Our swag store? It’s really an anchor store. I had my designers build off the phrases Chronically Curious and Play Fully Brave to help ground us in core values of curiosity and bravery. The I love my amygdala shirt? Yep, anchor. The original anchor in fact. I had a shirt made 6 years ago to help me embrace my anxious brain.
Then this Christmas, my sister-in-law, Jessie, gifted me a very thoughtful and beautiful gift of “Pocket Pals”. These little pocket pals each hold an adorable animal that represents the word or phrase on the box (here’s the link). And as the name suggests, they are small enough to fit in your pocket, purse, bag, or desk drawer. A perfect anchor!