Stress, anxiety and divided attention rule our lives today and negate healthy work habits. Our attitude and our mind is where it all starts. But if you just pause and reflect, there’s this wonderful power we all possess. And it can be summed up in a single word – BREATHE!
It doesn’t take much – simple habits can have huge outcomes to impact not just our happiness, but also the way we approach our work. And they ultimately contribute much to our success too!
With that arsenal, I propose these 8 goals that can help you have a happy and successful professional and personal life.
Have you tried these 8 amazing ways each of us can fuel our mind and career?
Practice Morning Meditation
From stress reduction, pain management, to improved immunity and cardiovascular health, the benefits of meditation are immense and so well documented that it is almost a crime to not meditate. As someone who has taught meditation extensively to people of all ages, and who understands the pressing demands on an everyday career woman, I can’t recommend morning meditation enough. Tackled first thing in the morning, it sets the mood for the day and helps you start the day with a fresh and clean slate.
Meditation can result in a reduction of stress. In fact, mindfulness meditation is recommended for pain relief.
The easiest way to kickstart meditation is to do mindful breathing. Take just a couple of minutes and focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply. If your mind wanders, redirect attention to the breath. It’s very calming. Guided meditation is great for when you need a helping hand.
Simply set that alarm clock to go off 10 minutes earlier knowing that the rest of the day might overtake you.
If you can not take time out today for meditation, then you may have to take time out later in life for “dis-eases“, mental, emotional and/or physical.
Conjure a Personal Mantra
The logic is simple: “Wherever attention goes, energy flows. Wherever energy flows, that thing grows.”
Repeating a personal mantra or a daily affirmation like “I am strong and determined” or “I will face and overcome my fear” helps you to gradually imbibe those qualities.
Robin Sharma, considered to be one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world, shares “I use success statements or affirmations to get my mind focused. Success and joy and inner peace don’t just show up. You need to create them.”
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Likewise, Oprah Winfrey famously advocates the Law of Attraction – the way you think creates reality for yourself!
One of my clients, Anna (name changed for privacy) felt that she was consistently being palmed off with “boring” work at her office which nobody wanted on their plate. Apart from the fact that the work was not contributing to her professional growth, this was also eroding her self-esteem. I urged Anna to speak up and work on her personal mantra “I am confident and I respect myself.” Today she feels more secure and assertive and calls herself “Anna V2.0”.
So, go ahead, repeat your affirmation 200 times a day for four weeks. If you can’t do as many as you can – do your best.
Let go and let be
Workplaces can be a cauldron of negative emotions – irritation, arguments, missed deadlines, unreasonable customers or colleagues not delivering on time.
Often we hold on to the past, feeling resentment, guilt, pain or anger. While it’s important not to deny those emotions, it is equally important to not live in the past. Things may not have worked out once, but by reliving that pain, you are hurting yourself many more times. Why not let go of that baggage and travel light going forward and aim for healthy work habits instead?
Try this – Imagine positive thoughts as blue and negative thoughts as red. Inhale and visualize blue filling you up. Exhale and visualize the red disintegrating!
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Raise your game
Self-awareness is a game-changer, yet only 15% of people are actually aware of their blind spots. Evaluate your actions, especially the ones that do not yield results. Are you spending time on social media, or watching mindless TV or making excuses? Set ambitious goals, and a project plan with mini-steps that detail every task you need to accomplish to achieve your goal. Celebrate every milestone and be mindful of procrastination.
While you are at it, establish your support network. Seek help, outsource when possible and if you feel guilty doing so, remember it does take a village to become successful.
7 out of 10 people struggle with their Goals because they don’t start right!
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Seek joy in learning
Only you can make an effort to make learning fun for yourself. Invest time in acquiring knowledge, not just to enhance your resume but for the sheer joy of learning. Whether an app on the go, an online course, a weekend workshop or listening to mindset podcasts while driving to work, figure out what works for you.
The best of the best stay in a learning beta mode. PepsiCo Chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi states, “As a CEO, I am finding that I have to become a learning CEO. I have to go to school all the time because I am learning new skills that I need to run this company and I am realizing that I am not equipped to just coast, I have to constantly renew my skills.”
If Bill Gates is your role-model, follow his advice and take time out to read a book. Gates reads about 50 books in one year. In a recent interview, he remarked: “Every book teaches me something new or helps me see things differently.”
Also read: How I Prioritize Time for Learning and You Can Too
Embrace total fitness
Exercise releases endorphins. These hormones reduce the perception of pain, reduce anxiety and instead increase self-esteem. That alone makes a potent cloak of confidence. Fitness is a great fuel for your mid and thus, your career.
Too busy to exercise? Just do a simple yoga chair twist or a set of calf raises in the middle of the workday.
However, remember that true health is not only about the physical aspect of life. It is also about having a positive attitude in life and a strong sense of self. So have a goal of staying fit mentally, emotionally and physically. Choose recreational activities that can sharpen your mental skills. Crack a Sudoku problem, a crossword puzzle or indulge in adult coloring books.
Mental agility slows aging, improves confidence, and gives you an opportunity to brag in front of your friends and colleagues. Ahem! Humor helps you stay fit too 🙂
Also read: A case for Self-Care – the Amazing Power of 5 Minute Desk Yoga
Take an Internal pause
Take short one minute sessions throughout the day to check the traffic of thoughts in your mind. Use traffic control for a moment of internal pause.
It’s the time to free your mind of uncontrolled mental clutter, to erase what you may have drawn on the canvas of your mind and gently remind yourself that you have a choice to paint your own panorama. You can do this by the hour or every few hours. So, when you are inundated with emails and have an upcoming conference call while trying to finish a deadline, consciously pause your thoughts, anchor yourself into your breath or visual imagery and breathe mindfully for a minute.
Give a gift of kindness
Samuel Johnson, the English essayist, wrote: “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
Try doing something unexpected for someone else. Do this for the joy of giving and for no reward. Practicing kindness promotes feelings of love, happiness and hope, as well as improves your personal well being.
Generosity will come back to you. So go ahead and start, even if it’s something small. Cover up for someone at work or volunteer at your local charity. And if you wish to buy a cup of coffee (English breakfast tea is preferable), know that I am always ready to receive that kindness 🙂
In the end, finding the balance between achieving your professional potential and managing the pressure that comes with it can be like walking the proverbial tightrope. But aiming for these goals will help you find islands of sanity in an otherwise frenetic life.
And that’s what I’ve learned from personal experience and through counseling clients – worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.
How are you embracing healthy work habits to fuel your mind and career?
Nidhi is a Certified Reiki Master, Teacher of Usui/Tibetan Reiki, and a Meditation coach. With a degree in commerce, an MBA from a top business school, and many years of international banking and IT services/ products experience, Nidhi is a proud Comeback Mom. She now has a flourishing Reiki & Meditation practice iReikiNow, where she helps people achieve personal growth, self-awareness, spiritual development and overall well-being.
Admiring the time and effort you put into your website and detailed information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.
Sounds like good things to accomplish, setting goals is so important, especially in the New Year. Get on track right from the start.
Thanks April! Sometimes I also like to set monthly goals for myself. I find them more achievable.
This is such an important post. We should all remember to always give ourselves the time to relax and be in peace. This is so helpful for everyone!
Thanks Conchita! Glad you liked it.
I definitely have to work on focusing my attention! Thanks for the tips, very useful!!
I’ve also been wanting to try meditation, I’ve done a little here and there with various apps. But I need to get more into it because I hear about how life changing it is!
I’ve been wanting to try meditation for so long, but I can’t get enough time to do it. I really need to get on that.
Good luck with that Melissa! It truly is life changing.
This is a wonderful overview of things I need to remember and implement! I love the “Let go and let be.” Thanks for sharing!
I love your last tip the best. It’s so important to take a step back from our seemingly busy lives every day and think of one small thing we can do for someone else. It can make a big difference to both of you.
This was some really valuable information. I believe what you said about how your attitude can effect your career. You nicely tied together how a person’s attitude can effect a person’s overall health.
Thanks Rochella! As you rightly stated in your blog, “self care is necessary not optional.”
Great tips! I meditate occasionally and know I need to be more consistent with it. Also, like the tip about doing little exercises at your desk!
These are truly helpful and unique tips. Thank you for sharing
Just took a vision board workshop last night that talked about the law of attraction- so true about where we place our attention!
The vision board workshop sounds interesting. It is one more way to manifest. Wish you the best in implementing your vision.
i really love these. especially letting go – that is a really hard one for me and a constant struggle!
Thanks Kristen! Yes, letting go is hard for most of us, if not everyone, that is why we are called Work-in-progress 🙂
Thank you so much! loved the post, lot’s of positive energy… one of my favorites is “Let go and let be”, just focus in the good things!
Thanks Pilar! Your website is very informative. I enjoyed browsing it.
This was very inspirational and very true, we need to take time for ourselves. I started meditation last year and feel a lot calmer and it also helps when I’m stressed and need to calm down and rebalance.
That’s a great advice. I definitely need to get back to Meditation. Finding joy in every action has been my key to peaceful mind and life.
While I am a big advocate for meditation and the peace and joy it brings. But, on checking your website, it does seem that you do find joy in every action. The Staycation article was a great read.
Also, you will find more articles on meditation at http://www.ireikinow.com/
Great tips. I especially like the tip of letting go and letting be. I think sometimes I had gotten caught up in the pain and the hurts of my past, and it prevented me from moving forward. When I finally started to let go and let be, a weight was lifted off me.