Towards the end of the year, I always like to reflect on the months gone by to help me plan for the forthcoming year. There was a time in my life when my goals just focussed on ‘doing’ and ‘having’ more with the focus being mainly on my business.

For me personally it is not just about achieving goals, it is also about becoming the best version of myself in the process and living a more meaningful and joyful life.

Working with individuals and teams to optimise performance and enhance emotional intelligence, I have found that the following topics are the most common discussion points and the key priority areas for personal change. Whether you are a business owner, CEO, leader, manager or an employee within an organisation the following are my 12 top game changing habits that I recommend in order to become the best version of yourself.

I will be expanding on each of these 12 habits in 2020 so look out for future blogs which will provide you with more information on how you can become the best version of yourself, be more productive, healthier and happier at work and in life.

1.0 Count Your BLESSINGS Everyday

If you can think of one thing to be grateful for each morning, what would it be? According to Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, authors of the book The Power of Thanks, “Gratitude magnifies the spirit and promotes well-being. In good times and bad, authentic appreciation creates perspective, literally stepping back from the distractions of the moment and affirming something more lasting than passing circumstance.”

Expressing your gratitude will keep you focused on what’s great about your life, your relationships, your work and the blessings you can appreciate right now. Even when you face challenges, you may not see the seed of positivity in the situation immediately, however hindsight is a wonderful thing and you may discover that it really was a blessing in disguise.

2.0 BE Your True Self

Being your true self, really means letting go of the stories, limiting beliefs, self-judgements and labels. It’s about being your authentic self and giving yourself permission to express your truth which also means it’s OK to be vulnerable.

I used to believe that being myself was being selfish. Now I know being my true self is about respecting who I am and living the life that makes me happy, even if it doesn’t fit with other people’s opinions, views and expectations. Other people are going to judge you no matter what you do.

3.0 BELIEVE in You

Is your life exactly as you had imagined it would be? If not, only you can change it through the practice of self-empowerment.

Rumi said “It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you”

Self-empowerment in its simplest form means taking charge of your own life through the decisions you make every day. Taking charge of your life can be both scary and liberating.

4.0 Regulate Your EMOTIONS

Depending on what you are doing? Who you are with? and where you are? you will experience a range of emotions. I often refer to the Hulk, Eeyore, Tigger and Yoda to illustrate a spectrum of emotions that we can experience in a day. We all have the capacity to take on the emotions of each one of these characters.

When you learn to shift your emotional states in the moment to more positive emotions such as joy, appreciation and gratitude, you see the benefits in your performance, health and results. The more often you do this, your brain will start to adjust and recognise a new healthier pattern, creating a new baseline of what is normal. This is done by tapping into the heart’s intelligence.

5.0 Manage Your ENERGY Levels

When the battery on your mobile phone shows that it’s running low, what do you normally do? You plug it in.

When it comes to your inner battery of energy, how often do you check your own energy levels? What routines do you have in place to recharge your inner battery?

When you are fully charged, you can handle your day to day challenges. You feel more composed emotionally, you make better decisions, you have focus, you feel calmer, confident and you perform at your best.

6.0 ENJOY the Present Moment

Most people either ruminate about the past or worry about the future. The bottom line is you can’t change the past and you can’t always predict the future.

We all innately know that we need to slow down. We might try for a while then we are off again, rushing from one place to another, distracted by the numerous ‘pings’ on our phones and the urgency to get through the to do list.

There is a great saying ‘where your attention (awareness) goes your energy flows”. To be fully present and enjoying the moment is being able to keep your focus on the one thing that you are doing and not be distracted. This also means truly being present with the person in front of you because everyone wants to know they are seen, they are heard, and that what they say matters.

7.0. Cultivate SELF- AWARENESS

Self- awareness is the starting point for making any personal changes. Self -awareness is the ability recognise and understand your emotions, drives and habits and how they affect others.

With self-awareness you can observe when a person, situation or even a thought, triggers you. Becoming familiar with conscious and unconscious habits and behaviours enables you to start making changes.

With greater self-awareness you create a gap between your reactions and the decisions you make, leading to more productive actions.

8.0 Develop SELF-LEADERSHIP

Whilst leadership focuses on leading others, self- leadership is your ability to manage your own thoughts, behaviours and emotions. The bottom line is if you are unable to lead yourself, how can you effectively lead your life or lead others?

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.

Having emotional intelligence is essential for high performance and success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a person who gets frustrated and loses control when under pressure, or a person who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

9.0 Build a SUPPORT Network

Asking for help is never a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of resilience. Building a strong support network, both in and out of the workplace, can help to improve resilience.

Resilient people tend to surround themselves with a strong network of friends and supporters who have your best interests at heart especially when you’re facing adversity. Sometimes, just getting a different perspective, another opinion or the opportunity to get something off your chest, can make the world of difference.

You don’t have to do it alone. A coach, a mentor, a critical friend or supportive partner will be worth their weight in gold. Having someone by your side who can give you emotional support is a must.

10.0 Prioritise Your TIME

When you find yourself saying “I don’t have enough time” or words to that effect, what kind of personal reality are you creating for yourself?

I used to say, “I always have too much work to do and there’s not enough hours in the day’. I realise now that this recurring thought led me to make similar choices creating the same personal reality, which was feeling disorganised, not in control and tired.

The bottom line is time management is a habit. I have found that the key is not about managing time, it is about how you prioritise the time that is available to you. It’s important to create a plan for how you intend to achieve your goals so that you can organise your time, get clarity on what key tasks need to be prioritised with a completion date assigned to it.

11.0 TRACK Your Progress

When you have a goal in mind, it’s important to not lose sight of the bigger picture. Remind of yourself of your motivation for getting out of bed and starting your day with focus, commitment and discipline.

It is critical that your plan breaks down your goals into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks. This will enable you to measure progress and maximise your productivity.

Keep a record of your progress. Inevitably problems outside your control can occur and it’s important to review on an ongoing basis what is working well and what needs to change.

12.0 Follow Your TRUE PURPOSE

We are all born with unique talents, gifts and qualities. For some people they know from a very young age what their purpose is and for others it becomes clear later in adult life.

Everyone’s purpose is unique to them and finding and following that purpose is the key to creating an abundant, meaningful and joyful life for yourself.

Your purpose provides an internal compass that guides everything you do. Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Knowing your purpose in life helps you live life with integrity. When you live your life with a sense of purpose, you feel more positive, motivated and grounded. When you start to live your life on purpose, amazing things start to happen.

Let me know which habits you will be working on in 2020, even if they are not specifically listed above. For more information please contact me on 0781 5793597 or email dakshapatel@your-mind-at-work.com