The beginning of a new year is typically the best time to reflect on old habits and pick up new ones. This applies to both personal and professional habits.
Developing new habits is an essential must-do. That is because our daily schedules comprise endless routines. Becoming stuck in an infinite cycle of dull and unproductive habits can become disheartening over time. Therefore, adding brand-new activities and challenges to our professional lives can change the way we perceive things. We might start to think more positively, and become happier. “You are what you acquire,” some would say. And if you acquire new habits easily, you will become more fulfilled.
Getting out of our comfort zone and “going for it” might not be the easiest task for busy professionals but it is vital that we understand the impact this can have on individuals. Unchallenging behavior can create an unchallenging life style, and an unchallenging lifestyle can cause repetitive/tedious action.
I am glad that you are here, ready to get out of your comfort zone and confront your fears for a more fulfilling career path. Here are some tips on how to do it, and why!
1. Pick Up A Habit
The first thing you should do is pick up a habit you are interested in. For instance, you may want to improve your participation in professional development activities, and that is a very good option. Not only are you going feel more confident on the job but you will also have higher chances of increasing your opportunities for career growth.
Make sure you don’t pick a habit you are not interested in. It will become that much harder to accomplish. Be passionate about your daily routine at work, and make the best of it.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice is essential when it comes to acquiring new habits. If we don’t practice enough, we don’t see any results – and not seeing results is always a bummer. Make sure you leave at least 30 minutes to one hour each day to consciously practise your new habit. This could be communicating in a certain way or adopting a different approach to how you work. Make a routine of it! Here are some tips on how to get started:
· Write down you weekly goals on a piece of paper
· Stick the paper on your wall (so you can see it daily)
· Track your progress – you could keep a log book
· Map out a weekly schedule, and make enough time to practise your new habit! Incorporate it into your schedule by writing it down. That way, you promise yourself that you’ll do it, and that you won’t find any excuses.
3. Talk About It
Tell your friends and colleagues that you’ve added a new habit. Ask them if they are interested in joining you – you might find their answers surprising. You will become much more determined and willing to improve if you have other people constantly asking about your progress and holding you accountable for your actions.
4. Visualize Results
The best way to achieve challenging goals is to believe in yourself. Make sure that after you find the necessary motivation, you visualize the results. Visualize yourself practising your new work habit, for example, contributing to business meetings. Visualize the final result as well – you as an active member of the team. Believe that you can get there by sticking to your daily routine.
5. Convince Yourself
Sometimes, we need to convince ourselves of our actions. Before you go to bed, convince yourself that you are going to practise your new habit and develop new qualities tomorrow. For instance, you could say “I will contribute positive ideas to the meeting I’m having tomorrow morning.”
Talk to yourself and convince yourself that you are going to stick to your habits no matter what happens!
6. Be Perseverant
If you are not persistent in putting these ideas to work, there is no point in beginning. You need hardwork, commitment, and determination to succeed. No one has ever achieved new skills or developed new habits without being serious about them.
You need to keep yourself accountable and responsible for your actions. For instance, if your new goal is learning a new tool, practising daily will help you improve faster than you think but in order to do that, you need to make time for it and be consistent.
7. Remind Yourself Why
Sit down, grab a paper and a pen, and write the following questions:
· Will I have more self-confidence once I reach it?
· Why is it good to have more confidence? Will that help me succeed in other fields as well? If yes, what other fields?
· Why is it important to keep myself accountable? Does my behavior reflect my personality? If yes, how?
· What are the major benefits of achieving my goal? How will that help me in my daily or professional life? Will it improve it?
Now that you’ve answered all these questions, stick them to your wall next to your goal. Read the answers everyday and focus on achieving these goals.
Instead of making yourself feel guilty for not sticking to your targets, motivate yourself. You can do that by reading the above answers over and over again (since they are your answers), playing motivational music and podcasts, and understanding the reasons behind your actions. Introspection is the best way to realize why you’re set on achieving a certain goal. After you find that out, motivation will come instantly.
9. Don’t Try To Be Perfect
You might fail the first 100 times. That is fine. It’s ok if you get it the 101th time. There is no shame in taking things step by step and making mistakes while you practise and learn. No mistakes, no way to learn new things. You can only acquire new skills and habits by being imperfect, so don’t try to be something you are not. Be shameless about your mistakes and own them. Use them to your advantage and advance faster.
10. Reward Yourself
Celebrating is very important when developing new habits. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again and get nothing out of it, it gets boring and painful. Make sure you reward yourself for the progress you are making.
Acquiring new habits by getting out of your comfort zone is a good way to get out of boring routines. It is always good to develop new skills and behaviour that improve your skillsets and motivate you to achieve your future goals.
Brandon is interested in marketing, self-improvement and psychology. He writes on different topics related to self-growth and wellbeing. He really loves playing the piano and collecting unique books. He is also a contributor to this writing site. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.