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Set yourself up for a successful 2018

Set yourself up for a successful 2018

By Converge International

Health Students Time Management Wellbeing 


A new year brings new opportunities for happiness, health and success. To seize these opportunities we need to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them. Sometimes we will need help to get there. The reality is that many of us start our year with good intentions, but we fall short as the year goes by. We all know it’s easy to get distracted and lose our way: life happens, we get thrown off balance by change, we can feel overwhelmed or just “stuck in a rut”. You can commit to making this year different, to 2018 being the year when you kick-start positive changes to your physical and mental wellness.


Setting realistic and achievable goals around physical and mental wellness is an important step toward kick-starting your best year yet.

Setting realistic and achievable goals:

  • Triggers positive behaviour changes
  • Keeps you focused on the steps you need to take to make positive changes
  • Motivates you to keep going as you begin to see progress towards achieving your goals
  • Achieving your goals builds your confidence and changes you from a “dreamer” to a “doer” What are some quick ideas to set goals that stick?
  • Keep your goals realistic and achievable
  • Set goals that you can work towards achieving by taking small steps every day
  • Keep your goals visible: write them on a piece of paper and place it in your wallet, create a motivational wallpaper for your phone screen or computer, share your goals with others to keep yourself accountable
  • Get a Goal Buddy, someone who will keep you motivated and accountable


Did you know that actively practicing mindfulness and gratitude has many health benefits? A 2010 study by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D, a USA-based expert on gratitude, found that people practicing gratitude reported:

  • Experiencing higher levels of positive emotions
  • Feeling more alert, alive and awake
  • Experiencing more joy and pleasure
  • Feeling more optimism and happiness Robert A. Emmons suggests the following tips for practicing gratitude:
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Each day ask yourself: “What am I grateful for today?”, “What have I received from __?” and “What have I given to __?”. Write these answers in your gratitude journal
  • Use visual reminders such as sticky notes, photos or images or inspirational quotes to spark feelings of gratitude
  • Physically express gratitude every day: smile at others, say “Thank You” or write letters or short notes to show others how thankful you are for things they do


“If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody” is a Chinese saying. You can kick-start a happy and successful year by focusing on doing extraordinary things for other people, consider:

  • Giving the gift of “time” through volunteering in your community or to support a cause, charity or organisation that is important to you
  • Donating money or valuable items to a charity to support others who are doing it tough
  • Giving without any expectation of recognition or reward


“Not to do lists are often more effective than To Do lists... The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do,” Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week. We often focus on what we need To Do to achieve a sense of happiness and wellness, and “ticking things off” our To Do List marks out progress towards achieving our goals. But, have you ever considered using a Not To Do List? Does eating fast food make you feel ill? Does staying up late to binge watch your favourite shows leave you feeling exhausted, distracted and stressed at work? Does starting your work day by reading emails leave you chasing your tail?

To set up your Not To Do List:

  • Add anything that keeps you from achieving your goals or feeling gratitude
  • List actions or behaviours that contribute to feelings of stress, disappointment, regret, anger or feeling overwhelmed
  • Add any distractions that you want to avoid, including using your smartphone, spending time in social media apps or wasting time randomly surfing the internet (we all do it!)
  • Place your Not To Do List in a prominent spot at work or at home


How can you set up your work environment in a way that contributes to meeting your goals, as well as to encouraging mindfulness and focus and avoiding distractions?

To create an environment for success:

  • Minimise distractions by turning off notifications on your computer and smartphone
  • Consider how noise impacts on your work: some people enjoy listening to music while they work. Different types of music and different types of sounds (for example white noise) can help you to stay focused and productive
  • Bring light into your workspace; natural light is best, but also consider lamps. If you want to get really creative, consider experimenting with different coloured lighting to create a fun and inspiring environment
  • Get some green into your workspace. Including plants in your workspace can help to create an environment that is welcoming, inspiring, fresh and colourful (just remember to water the plants!)
  • Listen to and read content that inspires you or makes you happy. Check out some motivational podcasts, read some inspiring books or blogs, watch some stand-up comedy videos on your lunch break or read a biography of a person who inspires you

This article was prepared by Converge International and reproduced with permission. Converge International your LIV Member Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider. To make an appointment or speak to a consultant call 1300 687 327


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