Top 5 Tips to Thrive in the New Year

Your 2015 Success Formula

Let me start this first article by wishing each and everyone among you as well as your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2015! happy new year 2015For those of you who will prefer to watch the video, note that it was originally recorded in 2012 but, three years on, I trust you will find its content relevant to your challenges of today.

The start of a New Year is a time for resolution-making, goal-selection, objective-setting whether it is about personal issues or work matters. I personally use a method called ‘SMARTEY’ to ensure that I carefully articulate my objectives.

If you are curious about the ‘SMARTEY’ approach, click here.

 (click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

What I thought I would discuss with you today is a mindset for success. Was 2014 a bit of a roller coaster? If your work environment remains challenging and possibly volatile, how you manage your thoughts could make the difference between peace of mind and stress, achievement and drudgery, as well as, dare I say it, pleasure and pain.

If you have ever wondered about someone else’s success, let me assure you that there is no magic involved. Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay ahead of the game, whatever the game is. With these strategies, you will be making much of your own luck rather than leaving it to chance! And when you don’t immediately achieve your objectives, having the right mindset will inspire you to continue striving.

So let’s take a look (drumroll) at the top 5 tips for success in order to increasing importance:

At number 5, ‘know yourself‘. Let me encourage you to take an honest look at both your abilities and your areas of development. Be sure to identify dispassionately your strengths, your limitations and your personal motivations. In addition to understanding yourself, observe and reflect on the effect you have on others. Having a good sense of who and what you are will help you tackle every situation with a clear mind. It will also avoid you spreading yourself too thinly because you lack focus.

To ensure you have a clear view of your abilities and areas of development, your latest performance review and/or a recent 360 survey could be a good starting point. To understand what impact you have on others, pay attention to their reactions — or ask a few of them!

In fourth place, ‘play to your strengths‘. When we do things in a way that maximises our unique abilities, two good things happen. First, there is a greater likelihood that we will perform well and achieve a positive result. Second, the process is enjoyable: it is less tiring to use one’s strengths and it may even be fun. Remember that when you have fun, when you laugh for instance, Dopamine is released into your system making you feel relaxed and contented.

For more on identifying your strengths, go there.

At work, this could mean that, if you think you may be in a role which does not play to your strengths, I encourage you to contemplate whatever changes might make sense so you can obtain a position which will do more justice to your abilities and interests, for both your benefit and that of your employer.

At number 3, ‘challenge yourself‘. Don’t put your head in the sand: use your self-knowledge to figure out what skills you need to develop. I’d like to suggest you really tackle your areas of development rather than try to avoid activities which seem more arduous. Have a ‘can do’ attitude and embrace learning opportunities. Many firms offer training so look for and attend training to build up those skills which you have less off.

In addition, I want to suggest to you that you ‘ask your way to success‘: ask others for help so that you combine your strengths with theirs and together, collaboratively achieve a ‘win-win’ for all. In addition, I have observed that many people will be happy to share their knowledge so don’t hesitate to ask and learn from others.

In second place, ‘use your time well‘. Did you know that there are 168 hours in a week? Assuming you sleep 8 hours per night, this leaves you with 112 hours to allocate to work and play time. Successful people use their time wisely. They plan their time and focus on tasks which have a strategic dimension. They know how to delegate and don’t micro-manage but rather appropriately review and supervise others and their work. Successful people also know how to spot really urgent matters. I am sure you have heard this: "work smart, not hard". If you are spending your evenings at the office and often bring work home, your professional success may be at the expense of personal fulfillment and your health may be at risk further down the line.

For more on improving your personal effectiveness, read this.

And finally, the top tip for a successful 2015 is ‘be positive‘. Let me say upfront: I do not mean the kind of positive thinking which denies harsh realities. The ‘positivity’ I talk about is a combination of optimism, a sense of self-efficacy and the courage to persevere. As I have, I am sure that you too have noted that successful people believe in themselves and their actions are imbued with a sense of purpose which others notice.

In addition, research shows that the more you focus on what went well every day, the more positive, healthier and happier you become. Positive people get more out of life and when you feel good about yourself, you deal more confidently with challenges. Have you noticed that the constructive person, who seeks solutions, invariably gains more support than the pessimist, the worrier who only talks of problems?

I hope these tips will be helpful to you in getting off to a great start to 2015! So have a go and don’t hesitate to let me know how you implemented these strategies and how they worked for you by emailing me: just click here.

If this article resonated with you, don’t hesitate to contact me for a chat where we would explore what is going on for you and what you would like to have happen. To contact me, click here.

If you don’t have it already, get your copy of "5 Gear Shifts to Accelerate your Career!" and learn about the five building blocks of any successful career! Get it here now!

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