With the long game in mind, here are 20 habits you can start today to help you be your best in 2020, and beyond.
Author: LOLLY DASKAL, President and CEO, Lead From Within, @LollyDaskal
1. Innovation and creativity
Start now to increase your commitment to actively and consciously creating your future instead of waiting for good things to happen. Shift some of the energy you put into coping into creating a better reality.
2. Constant improvement
Just as you have to prioritize saving for long-term financial goals, you have to prioritize your personal development and self-improvement if you want to become the kind of person who can face any challenge.
Whatever your age now, in five years you’ll be…well, five years older. You can make it five years of getting used to the damaging practice of sitting at a desk all day or five years of cultivating the energizing and beneficial habit of regular exercise.
4. Time stewardship
What could you accomplish with a gift of 900 hours? Save just 30 minutes of wasted time a day, and that’s what you’ll have in five years.
The habit of reflective writing, even a short daily passage, can make you more productive. It also helps clear out the cobwebs and gives you a record to look back on.
It’s easy to settle for what’s in front of you, but the best leaders see opportunities where others see nothing. Begin now to discipline yourself to seek out answers, do research, and look for solutions rather than problems.
Learn now how to slow down your internal pace. It will be a vital skill in a world where things move even faster than they do now.
It’s one of the most powerful forces you can develop. When you live in trust and trustworthiness, you build the reputation that will serve you well in the years to come.
Avid readers have a wealth of knowledge and experiences. It’s easy to let the reading habit fall off when life gets busy, but you owe it to your future to make the time.
Priorities tend to become even more challenging as you move through life. Work now to build balance among your competing priorities. Learn what balance feels like and appreciate its gifts so you can maintain it into the future.
If you’re at a point in life where it’s a temptation to switch to autopilot, keep yourself making intentional choices every day based on your life plan and long-term goals. Don’t allow your life to become a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes.
We’ve heard it a million times: The only constant is change. That means the most important skill is the ability to embrace change and adapt.
Through reading, through paying attention, through a deliberate effort to stay on top of current developments in your field, community, country, and the world, keep yourself learning every day.
Pay attention to what’s going on around you, and if you don’t know or understand something, ask. Always ask.
A sustainable culture, however large or small the scope, requires leaders who are less interested in how important they become and more interested in the difference they can make.
Learn now to finish what you start. Develop the discipline to stick with what you’re doing, even when the excitement and novelty have worn off, even when it’s no longer fun.
Invest in the future with a spirit of making every day a great day. Don’t give toxic people or negativity the slightest foothold, and commit to staying positive through good times and bad.
If you have tendencies toward people-pleasing and a need for approval, start now to replace them with confidence. Belief in yourself is a valuable asset to carry into the future.
Wherever you find yourself in five years, you’ll be a happier person if you learn to be thankful for whatever you have.
Be ready to set new standards, higher than the ones we have today. Those, in turn, will produce greater commitment, more momentum, more promise, and a meaningful journey into the next five years.