Expert advice: 7 changes you can make for a positive and productive new year

17 December 2018, 11:29

How to be a more productive version of yourself in 2019 (stock image)
How to be a more productive version of yourself in 2019 (stock image). Picture: Getty

New Year's resolutions to make you more productive in 2019

After spending December living off mulled wine, mince pies and very little sleep, we promise ourselves each New Year that we'll be healthier, more productive and just generally better versions of ourselves come January.

And every year we fail dramatically.

Read more: The best New Year diets (that you’ll actually stick to)

But we're *determined* that 2019 will be our year. So with that in mind, we sought expert help to make us better, more productive versions of ourselves in the new year.

How to be more successful in the new year
How to be more successful in the new year. Picture: Getty

#1 Be adaptable and embrace change

Behavioural expert Emma-Sue Prince says that adaptability is key when it comes to living your most successful life. "Whether thats being gracious about a last-minute change or about practising acceptance of something not working out as you wanted it to - being gracious is about how you word that email, how you express yourself to others," she says.

"Trust me, when you respond to situations beyond your control with adaptability you have a much easier time."

#2 Think more critically

"By using this skill to the full you are far less prone to making assumptions and quick judgements about things and you will, at the very least, start questioning those judgements and assumptions more," says Emma-Sue.

"This will make you much better at decision-making and problem-solving as well as tapping into your natural creativity.

"Use this skill also to take a closer look at how much you are using your Smartphone and controlling the overload of information we are all bombarded with each day."

#3 Be empathetic in your relationships

"The huge value of simply giving others the gift of your attention by actively listening gives all your relationships, whether personal or professional, the X-factor," says Emma-Sue.

"Being present enough to do that requires reflection, mindfulness and the ability to look up from your Smartphone on a regular basis.

"The regular practice of mindfulness helps you to be more present, calmer and less reactive. It also activates the parts of your brain that are naturally hard-wired to be empathetic. Winter is a perfect time for this kind of reflection!"

#4 Build your integrity

"The New Year is a great time to think about what you value most and to what extent that is reflected in your everyday living and action," she says. "Integrity also means keeping your promises and doing what you say you are going to do."

#5 Stay optimistic

"Practising gratitude is strongly linked with happiness levels because it gives us perspective and it helps us to savour life’s positive experiences, even in the middle of a challenging time," Emma-Sue says. "Numerous studies in recent years support this. Start strengthening optimism by writing down what you are grateful for each day."

#6 Be proactive

Emma-Sue says: When you’re proactive you are back in control of your life. People who are happy focus their energy and efforts only on things that are truly important and within their control.

"Getting consumed by the things that you have absolutely no control over is a waste of time and leads to unhappiness."

#7 Increase your resilience

"Living with resilience is more than just “bouncing back”; it is about shifting our perceptions, changing our responses, and experiencing real growth," she says.

"The only thing we have control over is that we have the ability to definitively and consciously change how we respond to what life throws at us at any given moment."

Emma-Sue Prince is an inspirational soft skills and effective behaviours expert and author of7 Skills for the Future, (Pearson) out 22nd January, and available on Amazon priced £12.99.

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