It's a leap year; great news for those born on the 29th of February. For the rest of us, it’s just another new year – or is it? We may not be able to control external circumstances like the economy, politics or the weather, but there are things we can do to increase the chances of a successful year – leap or otherwise. Here are some ideas:
Your Emotional State
Tune in to your mental well-being. We cannot control having emotions – such is the fate of the human species – but we can learn what to do with them when they’re triggered. And what happens if we ignore our emotions or misapply them (leading to anxiety and depression)? You can learn the difference between healthy and toxic emotions such as shame and the impact it has on you as a person, particularly if you’re a man, since society has been telling men that having and showing emotions is unmanly. But what’s unmanly – in my opinion – is to deny ourselves one of the fundamental aspects of who we are, ie. emotional beings. So, do yourself a favour this year, pick up a podcast or an audiobook on emotional health and broaden your horizons.
When it comes to financial matters, many of us prefer to close our eyes and hope for the best or alternatively, leave all financial decisions to our partners. Neither is a “strategy” towards financial independence. Try changing the dialogue this year by starting with a conversation on the topic. By making time to talk about your finances, your chances of setting off together on the journey towards financial freedom will be less stressful for you and your loved ones. What then? There are a million books out there to help you become better at planning, budgeting, saving and investing. I recommend You’re Not Broke – You’re Pre-Rich! written by Emilie Bellet of Vestpod, a financial-savviness network for women. Take a look, join their mailing list and perhaps attend one of their many workshops on how to become smarter with your hard-earned money.
The holidays can be a stressful time for relationships: we have such high expectations of them that we become disappointed if they fail to deliver. The associated tension is sometimes offloaded onto our loved ones. Try re-thinking the situation and instead of giving in to bad habits and disrespecting the closest person to you, make an effort to listen to them and take a greater interest. Maybe even set a couple of goals for the relationship this year. Anything from planned weekends away to turning the relationship up a notch. And while you’re talking to each other, don’t forget to discuss equality and future expectations of each other. If you expect to have a career of your own, think about what that means for you and your partner – will they support you equally at home as they might in your career aspirations? Will they be an equal carer for your mutual offspring? Will they regard what you do at home with the same awe and respect as what you deliver in the workplace? And while we’re on the topic…
The start of a year is always a good time to think about your own career trajectory. In what direction do you want to take your career in the next few months? Is a promotion on the cards? Or have you been toying with the idea of setting up your own business? It’s a great time to attend a goal-setting workshop or read a book on the topic or attend a webinar to help you clarify your career ambitions and set a few goals to improve your career in 2020. Here’s one suggestion: join our webinar on the 17th of January Run Your Career As If It’s Your Business and get a few ideas of how to go about moving up.
If you have any of your own thoughts to share on how to embrace the new year and decade, we would love to hear them!