Do yourself a favour

Let’s face it, we all tend to kid ourselves when it comes to creating ‘resolutions’ for the New Year. To be honest, why we’re not doing whatever it is we promise ourselves in the first place is normally the reason as to why we’ll break them within the first month or so.

However, I do think it’s important to think about the year gone by and commit to ourselves a promise that we’ll try and do better. So with that in mind I thought I would throw a few into the ring for you to consider or even embrace…

For you

1. Drink at least 1.2 litres of water a day. Human beings are made up of around 75 percent water and loses 1-1.5 litres of water a day. Therefore it’s important to ensure you’re topped up. Water is important for flushing out toxins, improving mental awareness, and may even help you lose weight (drinking before eating may help you lose weight because the brain can generate energy from water and food). For more info, click here.

2. Stop and reflect. Ensuring that you take time out from the fast-paced business world for regular sanity checks is critical to your ability to contribute in the future. There are plenty of sources of information to help you find the best way to do this but ensure you physically remove yourself from your working world to avoid distractions such as your inbox, you mobile phone, or browsing the Internet. An ideal start point could be here.


3. Don’t reach for technology when you think you have nothing to do. Instead spend some time enjoying the silence and use it to think of new ideas. Have you seen how ridiculous everyone looks sitting on the tube all silent and staring at their phones?

4. Be positive. Think about all the things you have done in the year that you are pleased with and try and replicate them again. Even in the midst of conflict there is opportunity for resolution, as Al Franken says “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”

5. Watch less television – watching TV before you go to bed is no good for your brain since it’s still pretty active when you want some ZZzz’s. Instead, get into the habit of reading or listening to a podcast that will help you relax, be it meditative or fictional… stretch those brain cells positively.

6. Exercise more – it’s good for your mental and physical health and therefore makes you better prepared for whatever life throws at you. Try a 30-minute walk in your neighbourhood, or a keep fit DVD, or even join me in a little jog around London in March!

For your business

1. Consider all ideas and encourage creativity. Don’t assume that someone in your office isn’t a ‘team player’ because they don’t contribute; perhaps they are nervous about showing themselves up or think their ideas will be dismissed. If you can, buy the biggest whiteboard available and mount it an office wall – get everyone to throw their ideas up there so that you can collect and use them to grow your business together.

2. Step away from the monitor more often – it simply isn’t healthy to sit in the same position all the time. On top of that, you’re missing out on talking to customers on the phone and listening to what they and your colleagues have to say.

3. Try something different – change is often challenging and more so for those who don’t understand anything beyond what’s in front of them. If you want to get ahead, you may need to consider reading up on something that you would normally overlook. Try reading about a product or service that conflicts with what you provide so that you can see why others like it.

4. Talk more to your customers – find out what they like about what you do and what they think you could do to further your business. If you’re nervous about negative feedback, start off easy and work with your favourite ones first to build up your confidence.

5. Appreciate others more often – thank the courier who helps make delivering something easier for you; thank your colleague for making you a cup of tea, in fact, make THEM a cup of tea to thank them. Get your organisation into the habit of thanking clients more for their business and loyalty; from a simple card (or email) to something more memorable is a sure fire way to show them that they matter.

6. Share your ideas – you never know, someone may have something to add to it which could help you do more with less!

For others

7. Our world is so vast and varied that it would be boring to have everyone conform (people have tried that before without much luck) and so it comes to pass that we’re not going to like everyone. However, that shouldn’t mean that we think EVERYONE is scrounging off the Government and everyone but you and your friends are wasters. There are millions of people just like you and in the act of good Karma I would suggest you get involved in something good to help others. Check out HorsesMouth, Crisis or TimeBank.

8. Also, and I know at times it will feel pointless or silly doing this, but try them out:

If you’re walking around in your neighbourhood and make eye contact with someone who seems friendly enough say ‘hello’ – it’s one word but it’s great at making you feel part of your local area.

Smile more – it makes you more approachable and you’ll feel happier for it.

Be thankful. If you have read something from someone that affects you positively, make sure you say ‘thank you’. If someone holds the door open for you or does something that impresses you then ensure you follow up. Already, I have completed the feedback requests from those online retailers who I bought my Christmas presents from. I want good service to become the norm again and NOT feel forced to accept anything less.

2010 is a New Year but ensure that you plan for it well so that you get the most from it. Think about what you would like to be doing in five years time and realise that what you do now determines how well you succeed at your dream.

Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.


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