What’s next for the Happier at Work podcast?
As we step into 2024, it’s a time for reflection, growth, and positive change. In our latest solo episode, host Aoife shares some upcoming changes to the podcast and invites you to join her on this journey of continuous improvement.
Aoife expresses her gratitude for the ongoing feedback from the Happier at Work community and emphasises the importance of continuous development. Your input is vital in shaping the podcast’s future, so keep an eye out for opportunities to provide feedback and suggestions.
Exciting changes are on the horizon with the introduction of bonus episodes on Mondays. The spotlight will be on implementing key takeaways, promoting accountability, and a more authentic, behind-the-scenes approach. Get ready for more personal experiences, movie references, and deeper insights for a richer listening experience.
Aoife shares a glimpse of the upcoming content, revealing deeply personal experiences with performance management and boundaries. She also discusses her focus on productivity and maximising each day, encouraging listeners to reflect on their own habits and goals.
Pondering the traditional approach to New Year’s resolutions, Aoife shares her insights on shifting the focus towards daily habits. She encourages listeners to consider what’s not working, what to stop and start doing, and what to continue as part of an ongoing personal growth strategy.
As we embrace the opportunities of 2024, Aoife encourages everyone to reflect on what’s working well and what needs to change, and to make small, meaningful adjustments that align with personal growth.
We’re excited about the upcoming changes and the way they will encourage personal and professional growth. Your feedback is valuable, and we’re looking forward to guiding and inspiring each other.
Keep an eye on our social media channels and podcast episodes for more updates on the Happier at Work podcast in 2024.
Wishing you a fulfilling and productive 2024!
Do you have any feedback or thoughts on this discussion? If so, please connect with Aoife via the links below and let her know. Aoife would love to hear from you!
Connect with Happier at Work host Aoife O’Brien:
Aoife O’Brien [00:00:35]:
Hello and happy new year. Happy 2024. If you’re listening to this in real time then we are in January and it’s a new year. And Usually, the new year is a time for reflection. It’s a time for people to to think about what’s working and maybe make a few changes, maybe make some resolutions. Now that’s something I’m going to talk a little bit more detail about later in today’s episode. But I suppose, first of all, what I wanted to do was share some of the upcoming changes and give a shout out. Say thank you so much for anyone who has provided feedback.
Aoife O’Brien [00:01:09]:
I do regularly look for feedback on the podcast, so have a look in the show notes for a link where you can provide feedback. I’ll be asking about things, but I’m always looking for ways to improve what I do here at the Happier at Work podcast. So thank you first of all for that, and I will be looking for Ongoing feedback because I’m committed to continuous development, continuous improvement. I love making things better whether The systems on the podcast, whether it is the topics that I talk about, the solo episodes I think kind of maybe fared not as well as I would have liked, but I was aware of that already. You know, I find I have to dig deep to do these solo episodes. So I have some really great ideas from suggestions that people have made or for just being a bit more real, being you know, taking examples from my own work life and The kind of struggles that I have. So I’ll be sharing lots more about that type of stuff behind the curtain. Thanks to everyone who reached out.
Aoife O’Brien [00:02:08]:
So you’d be surprised at how few people on LinkedIn or feel free to send me an email to connect. Let me know if you’re struggling to implement anything that I’ve talked about on the podcast. Let me know how you’re getting on, if you have put stuff into practice, or just connect and say that you’ve enjoyed listening to the show and show your appreciation. I do really appreciate that. It’s a human here at the other side of the microphone. Maybe it doesn’t always seem like that But I’m a human too so it’s really about that 1 on 1 connection. I want to bring so much more of that 1 on 1 connection into Into my world, into my life in 2024, that’s a huge thing. So some of the changes that I’m going to be making, One of the big things I suppose, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, I always do a synopsis at the end.
Aoife O’Brien [00:03:09]:
I want people to get the most from the podcast episodes when they listen to them. So I do a synopsis at the end. I talk about the key points. I pull out my insights from it and share practical takeaways that people can put into practice that they can implement straight away after listening to the podcast episode. Now that doesn’t always mean that people do implement what I talk about. 1 of my, I was gonna say one of my my bookbears, but not really a book, but it’s something that I’ve become aware of over time that we tend to read a lot of stuff and absorb a lot of information, and maybe we know the answers, but we’re not necessarily implementing it. So I’m gonna try and bring a lot more of that implementation side into what I do in 20 24 as well. So back to that, I I have always done that synopsis.
Aoife O’Brien [00:03:58]:
I will continue to do that but I’ve decided to split it out So it’ll be a bonus episode that comes out on a Monday. It’s a free bonus episode that you will get. So on the Friday I will release as normal 6 AM GMT, the podcast episode comes out and then on the Monday there will be the synopsis that comes out. So use it however you see fit. Do you want to maybe test the water, see what the the full episode is like by listening to the synopsis of it? Use it as an accountability piece where you listen to the full episode and then you go back and you listen to the synopsis afterwards as well. So, you know, I suppose there’s a few different options. It’s something that I’m testing the waters with and something I’ve been thinking about doing for quite a while. Like I said, I want to bring more of me.
Aoife O’Brien [00:04:46]:
So this has a couple of connotations. One of the things I suppose I’m thinking from a social media generally perspective is and people tell me all the time that I come across as quite authentic but I feel in some ways I’ve been holding back, you know? There’s I haven’t fully brought myself to everything that I’m doing you can expect more if you’re watching the video today, you’ll see I’m wearing red lipstick. You can expect more red lipsticking, expect more video. So I’m recording this today in video and audio like I have done. A lot of people don’t know that I have a video channel on YouTube as well with all of the podcast So if you prefer to watch video, the videos are available there as well. I do shorts. I do clips from the podcast as well On that YouTube channel, check it out, happier at work HQ. So more of me more, you know, this is probably more applicable social media but things like movie references.
Aoife O’Brien [00:05:40]:
I love movies. I love making references to movies as well. More memes As well, again, probably doesn’t apply so much to the podcast, but making those connections between what I’m hearing and how things show up in in popular culture Essentially, obviously, I’m more of my own personal experiences from work as I mentioned. So behind the curtain, you know, what are some of the things I personally have experienced, how do I handle them at the time, which wasn’t always the best way to handle them, what have I learned in the interim, what would I do differently, Things like that that are really pertinent I think because a lot of the time when I’m talking on the podcast I’m also very aware it’s very theoretical. It’s not in It’s not in the moment. So how do you deal with things in the moment and how do you reflect and how do you go back and maybe change things? So a lot more of that, and I suppose that’s where you come in as well as a listener. So if you’re listening today and you think I’m really struggling with this aspect of my career or this aspect of workplace culture, absolutely feel free to reach out to me. Let me know what you’re struggling with.
Aoife O’Brien [00:06:44]:
If I can help directly and straight away I will absolutely try and do that, but it’s also something that could be impacting on other listeners as well. So I could do entire podcast episode. Now obviously if I’m doing a podcast episode it’s not gonna apply in all cases. It might be a little bit nuanced. It’d be a bit more of a general approach And without saying, hopefully, this goes without saying that it’s it’s everything remains anonymous. I’m not gonna say, You know, who shared, who shared what or anything like that. So some of the upcoming episode episodes that I have, they’re the behind the curtain on performance management. This is something I’ve wanted Talk about for a while.
Aoife O’Brien [00:07:22]:
So my own personal experience of performance management throughout my entire career, and just a look behind and a watch out for those Kinds of niggly bits that can that can bring you down, that can stop you in your tracks in your career. I share from my own personal experience what I might do differently, And my thoughts on on performance management in general and maybe some of the the future in that space because I think there’s Huge room for improvement. If you think of yourself, do you like giving performance reviews? Do you like being on the receiving end of performance reviews, especially when the The conversations are difficult, especially when there’s that forced, the forced scale where you have to people have to fit into a certain box, And it has to be in that the the normal distribution. That’s what I the word I was looking for. Or whether it’s, you know, only the there’s a top, 10% or a top whatever percent, and then the rest, you know, there then there’s a bottom 10%. What do you do with those people? You know? So all of these kinds of things, wanna challenge the thinking around that. I’m getting closer and closer to episode 200. So episode 100, I did kind of, 99, 10101.
Aoife O’Brien [00:08:35]:
I did a synopsis of what Past guests have shared about what what does what does happier at work mean to them. I was interviewed by someone so I’ll be to do something like that again, so interviewing me about my career. And then also, have a special guest, a returning guest To share insights on the podcast. I have an idea of what we’re going to talk about. He doesn’t yet. So that’ll that’ll give you a little clip. Some other things that I mean I’ve always hugely been interested in productivity and how to get the most out of my day, how to make, how to maximize essentially, but, kinda bringing more understanding around that. Some of the tips I’ve implemented for myself, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, And thinking about productivity more so in terms of a framework as opposed to here is my be all be all and end all, this is what works for me type of thing.
Aoife O’Brien [00:09:28]:
Boundaries is something that comes up a lot a lot with my clients. So that’s something that I want to address in an episode of its own as well. Talk about My own journey with boundaries and, you know, I’m not I’m not by any means near a destination of, yeah, I have everything sorted. There’s still work for me to do in that area as well. Now I did say that at the start of the year, it is or at the sorry. I did say at the start of the episode that it is that time of year we’re entering into 2024 if you’re listening to this in real time. But if you’re not, I don’t think it matters because these are the kinds of things that we can think about all the time, and we tend to put this big focus on January. January’s new year, we have new year’s resolutions and it’s time for change, and it just kinda denotes this huge change that we expect to implement in our lives.
Aoife O’Brien [00:10:20]:
And then sometimes maybe that could happen in September, you know, that’s another sort of new start since the start of the school year, Certainly in the northern hemisphere anyway. So we have these times of the year that we perceive to be The opportunity for a new start. But if you’re not listening in real time, I would urge you to think about you don’t have to you don’t those Times of the year don’t have to exclusively be the times that you can think about making changes. You can do this anytime. So also have a think about, If you are listening in real time, maybe have a listen back to this episode that you want to have To to kinda do a bit of reflection and think about, well, what’s working well for me and what maybe what’s not working so well for me. So for me, I I’m trying to think I’m sure in the past, I I used to do resolutions, you know, and I think we all have this perception that we go into a new year and you’re like, right, what do I want? I want to be skinnier, I want to be richer, and I wanna have better relationships. You know, throw in your own there. We have this wild thing like, oh, it’s a new year and now every I want everything to be better and I want everything to change.
Aoife O’Brien [00:11:34]:
And how long does that actually last? So maybe you sign up to the gym, maybe you start doing something, And, again, I will talk about my approach to those in a bit more detail in some future episodes, but having things like accountability I think is Really, really important for that, whatever that means to you. So whether that’s using an app, whether it’s using another person sorry. Using is probably, an extreme word, but, like, working with someone else to hold you accountable to whatever it is that you said that you were going to do. But I suppose my point here is this that we we have all of these grand plans of I want this, this, and this. But if you switch that thinking to be focused much more on habits rather than goals, then every day is an opportunity to meet a goal. So my habits are I’m going to go for a walk every day or I’m going to do you know, needs to be a bit more specific. I’m gonna do a 20 minute walk, a 30 minute walk, a 45 minute walk, whatever that might be. And then you have achieved your goal for the day because that’s what you set out to do.
Aoife O’Brien [00:12:38]:
So personally, I’m thinking, you know, I’ve tried this before where you try and change everything all at once. You’re like right healthy eating. I’m gonna start walking again. I’m gonna start going to the gym. You try and do everything all at the same time and it doesn’t work. So think about, well, what is the most pressing thing? What is the easiest thing to do? What is gonna have the most impact on other aspects of your life as well. And for me, health is it’s always up there. It’s always up there, you know, one of the top priorities for me, and I let things slide.
Aoife O’Brien [00:13:11]:
I’m just human. You know, as the year goes on, it becomes less of a priority or I focus more at work or I focus more on other things that are not my health. Now what I’ve started doing recently, I’ve recently got back into doing my yoga in the mornings. So do 10 or 20 minutes of yoga every day in the morning. Really, really enjoying that. What I’ve stopped doing is my walks Every day. And I’ve noticed recently that it’s having a huge impact on my mental health. And I didn’t make the connection, Really, you know, because it takes a while, I think, to build up.
Aoife O’Brien [00:13:45]:
When you go out for a walk, it feels nice, but you’ve you know, you feel refreshed and you come back and you can You can tackle the day let’s say or at the end of the day and you’re, you know, you’re feeling better after having worked all Whatever it might be. But for me, what I’ve noticed is I’ve just had some mental health stuff recently where I’m like, I don’t know what’s going on. And then I made the connection. I’ve been for a walk in ages. And that is down to and again something that we need to address, A change in circumstances. So living in a different place and where we are, it’s not that accessible to just hop out and go for a walk every day. So I’m gonna stop with the excuses and I’m gonna be like right how can I build that walk into my day every day? And start with walking and then think about okay so I need to get my strength back up. I can either do that at home, I can use online videos, I can get some weights, or I can join a gym, and I can get the accountability maybe from a a personal trainer.
Aoife O’Brien [00:14:43]:
So thinking about things like that, how are you gonna build all of that in? Another thing I really love to do is think about Stop, start, continue. If you’re on my mailing list you will have seen an email from me all about this. I got some lovely feedback about that approach. I thought it was quite common, Apparently not, but it was something that we used to use in work all the time. And I just like it as a way of thinking, okay, What is not working for me right now? What do I need to stop doing? And one of those things is snacking in the evenings. I need to stop eating after, you know, have a cutoff time. I have my dinner and then that’s it. No snacking in the evenings.
Aoife O’Brien [00:15:21]:
So what do you want to stop doing? Then think about, well, what do you want to start doing? For me it’s Getting back into walking, you know, it’s going for those walks every day, get out, clear my head, have a listen to podcast or an audio book. That’s something that I want to start doing again. And then what am I going to continue doing? So I mentioned already that I’m doing the yoga in the morning so definitely gonna continue that. I aim every year to read around a book a week. And as the time of recording of this, we’re coming up to the end of the year. I haven’t quite reached the new year at the time of recording, and I’m scrambling to to read to get to my number 52 books, you know, trying to find some short books or audiobooks that I can just listen to quite easily. So I do put pressure on myself for a completely arbitrary goal, but it’s it’s also a nice feeling. Like even if I up to 50 books this year.
Aoife O’Brien [00:16:13]:
And how I do that is I listen on audio. So when I go for walks I can have my audio book in. I listen to audio books which helps me to read more. I’ve built myself up from listening at regular speed, so one x up to 2 x. So 1.75 or 2 x. And that wasn’t all at once. That was, that wasn’t all at once. That was over time, I’ve built myself up to do that.
Aoife O’Brien [00:16:49]:
I also read every night before I go to bed so I’ll spend between half an hour and 45 minutes reading. If I’ve gone to bed late, maybe I got distracted by a Netflix series or something, but maybe there’s something that has stopped me from reading. I try and build it in at some point some other point during the day, but it’s a habit that I got into years ago and it’s something I continue doing. And and I suppose the thing with listening on audio as well is you can do it when you’re commuting, you can do it when you’re doing other stuff much like with podcasts as well. It’s something that you can do at other times throughout the day. So I suppose coming back to this idea of New Year’s. You don’t have to change everything all at once. Maybe think about what are the things that are really not working for you right now, Whether that is from a career perspective, from a business perspective, from a personal perspective, what’s not working for you? What can you stop doing? What can you start doing? So what is something that you need to start doing? And I suppose another thing in my personal life, as I reflect on my personal relationships is I’d love to talk more on the phone.
Aoife O’Brien [00:17:59]:
You know, you sometimes expect that people know what’s going on with you because you share on social media, but actually, I want to bring more of that. And I say that every year, but now it’s like, okay. How can I make that happen? How can I do that? Whether it’s putting a reminder into my phone, Whether it is having some sort of a calendar thing or just making an arrangement with someone, like, when you’re talking to them, when am I gonna talk to that person next? And then have a think, well, what can I continue doing? What’s working well? And what can what do I need to continue doing in order to have the life that I have? So hopefully, that gives you some food for thought about some of the things that you can think about as we go into the new year. As I mentioned, it doesn’t have to be the new year, and maybe this is something that you need to think about on a regular basis. Check-in with yourself, what’s working well, what’s not working so well, what do I need to change, what changes need to happen, and don’t try and do it all at once. Make small changes. I loved Gretchen Rubin’s approach. This is something that got me into the personal development area probably about 10 years ago now, The Happiness Project, which was her book.
Aoife O’Brien [00:19:08]:
And every month she had sort of a general theme, and then there were some activities that she could do every week to bring more of that. Like, there were some specific things that she identified. But what I liked about it is it’s not an all in one thing. It’s not like, oh, here’s all of the changes that I want to make. It’s broken down by theme. It’s looking month by month by month. What are you gonna do? And then on a breaking it down to week by week basis, like, How can I take more photographs, for example, you know, to to create better memories? There’s so many different things that you can do, but I think thinking about it of, Quite simply, what’s working well, what’s not working so well, what changes can I make, what do we need to stop, start, and continue doing is A really nice framework to have a think about that? So I really hope you enjoyed today’s solo episode as a kickoff for 2024 and the changes that are coming