Love them or loathe them, New Year’s resolutions can be a good way of pinpointing our intentions for the year ahead. Resolutions help to focus our minds on the things that are important to us and, if done right, they are powerful, even life changing.
However, rather than a list of rigid promises along the lines of ‘I must lose weight’, which are bound to fall by the wayside come February, we have selected a few questions to refer to throughout the coming 12 months. These questions delve deeper into the motivations behind our resolutions and embrace the idea of making lasting changes with far-reaching benefits for ourselves and those around us. Thinking about the ‘why’ behind the changes we are making sets us up for a successful 2020 and keeps us going when our resolve starts to waiver.
Does my personal presentation need polishing?
A new year is the perfect time to define and refine your personal style. Start with a thorough inventory of your wardrobe to make sure that all the clothes you own fit and flatter you. Identify any gaps and invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Your shoes and accessories add the finishing touch that can elevate an otherwise pared-down look so make sure that these are polished and in good condition.
Take the time to look over your grooming routine and schedule any haircuts, manicures and dental appointments as necessary. Throw out any old makeup and treat yourself to a free makeover at your favourite department store to find out which products flatter and enhance your features.
Do not forget to pay attention to your posture and poise. Knowing how to maintain an elegant posture and control your facial expressions, will go a long way towards helping you make a great first impression.
Do I treat others as I want to be treated?
The Golden Rule of treating others how you want to be treated goes beyond simply being kind to people. If you treat those around you with friendliness, respect, politeness and loyalty, others with similar morals will respond to you in the same way. The Golden Rule can be hard to put into action when you feel that someone has wronged you, but try to stay open to seeing the other side of any argument or confrontation. You do not have to be a doormat but try to assert your rights in a calm and measured manner without retaliating.
Always strive to be mindful of your own thinking and the messages you send to others with your words and actions. Often we don ‘t realise when we treat others in hurtful ways and it helps to take a step back to see what impact our own thought patterns and habits have on our relationships and interactions. Developing our emotional intelligence helps us to be more aware of how internal emotions and perceptions influence our external behaviour.
Does my social media profile reflect my best self?
Your social media profile is an extension of your real-life self so it is essential that you present yourself in a way that is real and authentic. That does not mean that you should post selfies first thing in the morning or give your followers graphic updates of your hangover status. Always bear in mind that, due to their public nature, anyone can access your profile, pictures, posts and comments.
Think of your social media profiles as a window through which other people can discover who you really are. Your social content can influence your employment prospects, school performance and potential future relationships. Steer clear of knee-jerk or over the top reactions, never post comments in haste and do not tag friends without prior permission.
How can I reframe perceived failures?
We all want to present the best versions of ourselves at all times but as humans none of us are immune from making mistakes from time to time. Building a growth mindset makes us more resilient and helps us to digest failure by reframing mistakes as opportunities to learn. A growth mindset is based on the idea that, when presented with a challenge, our response is not “I can’t do this”, but rather “How can I learn to do this?”
Instead of giving up at the first hurdle, try to use perceived failures as a starting point for developing new strategies to achieve your goals. Whether you are trying to master a new skill or attempting to strengthen character traits such as patience and compassion, view lapses as temporary stumbling blocks that you can grow from rather than permanent failures.
How am I investing in myself in 2020?
If you do only one thing this year, let it be to stop comparing yourself to others and start investing in bettering yourself. Constantly looking at those around you to provide a frame of reference for how well you are doing in your work, social status or relationships creates a cycle of negativity where you never feel good enough. There will always be someone who is doing better than you on some measure and most of us tend to compare our weaknesses with others’ strengths, meaning that we constantly come up short in the comparison game.
Research shows that the happiest people are those who focus their efforts on improving themselves and use their own accomplishments as a frame of reference to track progress.
Unless we want to stand still, learning has to be a lifelong process where the journey is as important as the end destination. Even if you have reached the top of the corporate ladder, bear in mind that the most successful leaders are those who continually sharpen their skills and broaden their minds.
Knowledge and achievement do not happen overnight but are the result of an accumulation of hard work and practice. Committing to lifelong learning means feeding your curiosity and targeting your weaknesses by reading books or signing up for courses that stimulate the mind and lead you in new directions.
Regardless of what your goals and aspirations are for the coming year, we have a course to help you move towards them by building confidence, strengthening mindset and empowering you to be the best version of yourself in 2020 and beyond.