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It’s been a full month since many of us set our new year’s resolution. Statistics shows that at least 90% of people fall short of achieving their resolutions. For this reason, I think we should all ditch resolutions in 2017. Instead, let’s go with rules. Rules are more concrete, more permanent and in my opinion act as a better daily guide for success. I believe these new rules will help us become our smartest, most productive selves and will go a long way in ensuring that 2017 is our year.  My three rules to live by this year are:

REFLECT MORE

I realized near the end of the year just how valuable reflection could be, not just on a personal level but also from a productivity standpoint. It was so easy for me to engage in busy work when I got started with my business. These were things I did every day that had that rewarding “I did work” feel but didn’t contribute to my bottom line. A few weeks before Christmas it hit me that I was getting nowhere with this kind of ego filling fluff work and decided to try out adding reflection to my daily routine. At the start, I wasn’t sure what reflection would entail. Your style of reflection can vary depending on your personality. For some, reflection may take the form of a video journal or meditation or even working on a piece of art. For me, it manifested in the form of written journal entries. This type of reflection allowed me to identify the exact activities affecting my productivity. I learned quickly where in my life there was room for improvement. I was able to focus on being more productive in the work that I did. All I needed was, to be honest with myself about the past day’s failures, successes, and setbacks through reflection. I believe if I hadn’t decided to add a daily reflection rule this post would be non-existent. I wouldn’t have taken the time to seek out behaviors that would guide me and help me grow.

 

BE MORE SOCIAL ( BEYOND THE INTERNET) 

As an extroverted seeming introvert, I struggle with this. I’ve tried many things to reduce my in-person social engagement — from throwing myself at my work 150% so I could claim to be busy, to restricting most of my daily conversations to one of many chat apps. After this type of avoidance, it doesn’t take long to see the benefits of human interaction. In trying to reduce my meaningful conversations to the realm of social networks I realized conversational quality along with empathy was lost. We were all just trading words. I have seen now that it takes me 10+ conversations on social media to get the same kind of emotional value that I receive out of 2 or so conversations in real life. This positive feedback is the reason I’ve added this rule to my life for 2017. I no longer have any doubts about the benefits of going out there — interacting, negotiating, selling and networking. All four need me to communicate with people in person.

BE CONFIDENT

You’re putting in the work. If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?

I never once set out to make any of these rules easy for myself but I also didn’t make the mistake of making them completely unattainable. This particular rule may seem nearly impossible to some especially if you were brought up with the old adage “don’t toot your own horn”. However, in the world of today, it is easy for your talents to go unnoticed especially if you make the mistake of not being confident about the things you are good at. Because of this, I plan to live this rule every day and in everything I do.

People feed off each others’ confidence as long as that brand of confidence is not too aggressive or arrogant. The best way to meet people and maintain relationships is to be confident in your own skills. If you lack confidence it will always be difficult for someone else to trust you or the quality of your work as people expect you to be the best judge of that. As Guy Kawasaki says “If you don’t toot your own horn, don’t complain that there’s no music.” It’s hard for someone to praise you for something you yourself don’t seem to believe in.

 

These are the three rules I plan to live by this year. I’ll add them to my daily life and use them as foundations to achieve my yearly goals. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Written By: Mathúe Duhaney

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