Top 9 Tips for Your Success in 2020: A New Decade
These are my top 9 tips to ensure your success in 2020 and beyond!
We have hit the year 2020, the start of a new decade. So far, it has been eventful and challenging in equal measures. Think about how far you have come since the beginning of 2010. And think about where you could be by 2030 if you implement just one of these value tips into your life from today.
1) Prioritise Your Sleep
Sleep is the fundamental driver of your performance, but this is only just starting to come to prominence. After a miserable night’s sleep, the likelihood of finding solace in a packet of biscuits is much more real. A whole series on Netflix becomes more appealing than the gym. And your attention and emotions tend to swing, making tasks that require focus considerably more challenging.
Sleep is also vital for your health. The repair and recovery that happens while you sleep is critical to your overall wellbeing. You are less likely to have accidents if you are fully alert and being under slept over time builds up a sleep debt equivalent to being drunk. Additionally, a lack of sleep dampens our immune system (oh no!), leaving us more likely to suffer illness and infection. If you cherish good health, you will prioritise your sleep.
Finally, your sleep makes the world a better place. You will be more empathetic and patient with your family, your friends, your colleagues and everybody you come across. You will have the capacity to be grateful, to find solutions, and to contribute more to the world around you. This compounds, over time, to give you more joy and fulfilment as you walk along the path to your version of success.
2) Work on Understanding Yourself
Have you ever wondered why you were feeling a certain way? Or why you behaved the way you did in a situation? These are not uncommon thoughts to have, but how often do we think about delving into this as a student of our mind to try and understand ourselves better?
To be a student of your mind is incredibly liberating. And in the age of the internet, access to psychology resources is only a few clicks away. A deeper understanding helps you to navigate the world and gives you direction and purpose. This, in turn, gives you a sense of happiness as you have more control over your destiny.
Possibly most important, to be a success in 2020 and beyond, we need to have personal and creative skills that cannot be replicated by robots. The ability to understand yourself helps you understand others, how their perception may differ, and be more attuned to other people’s feelings. You become a more attentive listener and easier to collaborate with. These are the transferable skills of the future, and your toolkit will be weaker without them.
3) Start a Nutritional Experiment
Nutrition is an interesting subject, full of contrasting opinions and conflicting viewpoints. In my work as a performance nutritionist, I advise clients to become a nutritional experimenter. Unfortunately, nutrition is dominated by belief systems, which, while helping with consistency, cause people to eliminate certain food groups based on other people’s advice.
Instead of listening to and conforming to the variety of opinions out there, we need first to understand that nutrition is a very young science, akin to surgery in the 1600s.
Therefore, the best advice I can give is to experiment with your diet. Add and eliminate foods and track how you feel. Find the foods that energise you for long periods and the foods that leave you feeling fatigued. Other foods will leave you feeling bloated, and some will trigger your immune system. Experiment and find what works for you, because we each have our own epigenetic expression, our own microbiome and our own enzyme makeup.
Once you have unlocked the balance of food that works for you, focus on eating those, in moderation, and never stop experimenting. Our bodies are continually evolving. To perform at a high level and be a success in 2020, you want to be powered by your own personal jet fuel, not somebody else’s diesel.
4) Reflect on where you put your attention
How many times have you intended to do something productive, only to fall down the social media black hole? Have you ever stepped back and thought about how sensationalist news is always so negative? In a world where the attention economy is worth billions of pounds, and where most adults have smartphones, it’s not your fault that your focus is often diverted. The technology we use is designed with many psychological hooks built-in. They need to keep our attention on those platforms, as that’s how they make their money.
While there is a gradual increase in people looking at digital minimalism, the simple act of reflecting on what inputs we have is a great start. Consuming more positive content helps us learn about the world through a lens of abundance. And being intentional with what we consume helps us develop and perform at a higher level.
If we channel our attention into the great things that people are doing, especially around the challenges of Coronavirus, we feel inspired. And as a result, we are more likely to take action to make a difference in our own lives. If we want to be a success in 2020, my tip is to leverage the suggestions of successful people, such as reading, journaling, reflection and continual self-improvement. There is great power when you choose the destination of your focus.
5) Be proactive with your work-life integration
In a world that’s always connected, it is very easy to let your work seep into every part of your life. This is especially true now that many people have to work from home. If you don’t action an intention to integrate work into ‘your’ life, then your work objectives will wrestle their way in. Whether it’s responding to email at all hours, regularly working beyond your time or task finish, or being constantly on Zoom on holiday, it’s essential to reflect on whether this fits with the life we would design ourselves.
Integration by design is also vital to allow us to detach from work, so we can reattach fully when we return. If we stay attached to work and are unable to disengage, our performance drops, we gradually become overwhelmed, and this can lead to burnout. The inability to disconnect also tends to lead us to attempt to force a state of relaxation, usually using poor quality food, alcohol, or low-value entertainment. We are unable to make the breakthroughs that typically come in the brain states of relaxing and reflecting naturally. And sadly, it takes its toll on our development, our relationships and the ability to do the things we love.
Work-life balance is a term much-touted by organisations as they look towards improving employee engagement and wellbeing. Balance means different things to different people, and it suggests that all areas of life can be balanced evenly. This commonly leads to the perception that we can do it all and should be able to balance it all. In truth, the areas of our lives are always in flux. As we prioritise one area, another will become less of a priority. While increasing performance can give you more capacity to manage this, we need to have the awareness that we can integrate our work to fit the design of our lives. Once you have this mindset shift, you begin to see how powerful being proactive can be for your quality of life and your happiness.
6) Learn how to stack good habits on top of each other
The power of human habits is impressive. We can programme ourselves to do certain things at certain times, we can link ideas together, and we can run many tasks on autopilot with ease once established. Naturally, this system works for both habits that serve us and patterns that hinder us. But the fact that we are the master programmer means that we can rewire habits to enable us to perform at a higher level.
One of my favourite habit stacks to create is a morning routine. Firstly, I get my clients to stop looking at their phone as soon as they wake up and replace this with washing their face and rehydrating. Once this habit is established, we stack a 10-minute meditation/prayer/silence on top of drinking your glass of water and let the association between the two actions build. Once that is a regular practice, we add other self-improvement tasks such as reading or listening to positive audio, so the first thing we consume into our minds is positive. And from this base, we can build a bespoke morning routine that over time becomes integrated into your life. It can include yoga, visualisations, journaling, or walking. The compounding effect of these small changes multiplied together, can make the difference between being successful and staying stuck where you are.
To make these habits stickier, we make them easier to do, and more visible as a trigger. The phone is charged outside of the bedroom, the water is prepared the previous night, and the books are right next to your morning seat. We advise to keep these habits small to start with, so small they become appealing rather than daunting. We then build them up, linking them to improving a little bit every day. And this is a great way to move along the pathway towards reaching your potential.
7) Learn or refine one transferable skill
In a world that is evolving and moving at such speed, we must keep adding skills to our portfolio. Being dynamic by continually learning, we get closer to our potential and become more agile as the world changes. Skills such as understanding psychology, public speaking, or learning a new language (let’s learn algorithms) give us another string to our bow. Often, we don’t even identify with the added value of keeping our minds learning, keep our brains plasticity ready for even more skill acquisition.
As we move away from the traditional career for life model, the continual learning and refinement of our skills become more important. Primarily the people-focused abilities, as these will shield us from the changes that automation will bring, and we can leverage these skills in everyday life. It also assists us in meeting new people, trying new things, and growing new neural pathways. And if we are to be successful, and follow our path, the skills we learn are excellent when we get lost or have obstacles to negotiate.
When it comes to our mental health, keeping our minds in the learning zone helps us feel like we are progressing. It also provides motivation and the clarity that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and that we are working towards our fulfilment and happiness.
8) Dig deep to find your underlying purpose
We all have an underlying purpose, but few people ever do the deep work required to identify it. It requires this deep self-work, but by identifying our values, and looking at why we have set the goals we’ve chosen, we can start to get an outline of what it might be.
Secondly, we then need to reflect on our lives. In both the negatives and the positives, there will be a theme that seems to keep appearing. Think about the things that you enjoy doing, the friends you have, and the memories that have stayed with you. When you do analyse these carefully, you will notice a pattern starting to emerge.
When you get clarity on your purpose, you wake up with a guiding star as your compass, and you know why you are setting out that day. Working towards your purpose requires undertaking many missions, each resonating with why your here and the change you want to make. For most people, it tends to focus on reaching their potential and helping others. If you need some guidance on finding your purpose, my book can help you, and best of all, today it’s FREE for you! Click here for your FREE download.
9) Get a little bit better every day.
All this culminates in the biggest takeaway from this article. Once you have clarity on your pathway in life, and your facing in the right direction, it’s time to take those small steps towards the peak that stands in front of you.
Be prepared; there will be obstacles and challenges awaiting you on your path. But if you consistently, day by day, move a little further forward and make a little progress, you will build the momentum needed to start the ascent when things get tough. You will wake up in the morning with a spring in your step. It’s amazing how good life can feel when you’re progressing towards something more significant.
Just remember that the journey is one to enjoy, to learn from and to cherish the small wins you make along the way. Getting a little bit better is a lifelong pursuit, and there are no simple ways or shortcuts. I know, I’ve tried! But if you need help finding your path, or someone to help you stay on it, I know a coach who will help you, support you, and be an ally on your journey.
If you are ready to find your success in 2020, your vision of success that takes you closer to your potential, contact me to find out how I can help and guide you to find your path, and become exceptional.