New Year’s resolutions are familiar to all of us. We take our smartphone – or if you are still a nostalgic paper lover, your notebook – and list things we want to change over the 12 months to come. Often times, the list of items becomes shorter because we decide certain promises need to wait. At least, that’s the case of most of the people around here.
We thought a “half-a-year’s resolutions” habit would be very useful to recommit to some of those we left behind at some point in the first six months of the year. We want to guarantee successful performance, though (trust us, achieving good performance has always been our obsession!). Our PwC Global Human Capital Leader Agnes Hussherr came up with the “Habit Bank” called “Be well, work well”. It’s a set of everyday behaviors and habits to fuel one’s four dimensions of energy. When we had a call with them to have a full overview of the idea and get it right, they told us the set is “proven to help us become and sustain our best selves, both personally and professionally”.
Let’s get back to the guarantee of success. We’ve filtered the list of proposed habits and chosen the ones we believe are not only more achievable but also more urgent. Would you like to take the challenge together with us? Read through. You’ll likely be on board.
The Energy Dimensions
Close your eyes after reading this sentence. Think of only yourself, feel your body for 10 seconds. Energy is flowing in all directions. The Habit Bank is precisely based on the energy traveling across our cells. It proposes that we can achieve a better version of ourselves by understanding the path that energy follows in our bodies. That path has 4 “dimensions”.
The Physical dimension is the source; the emotional is our internal climate, or how energy is translated into positive, neutral or negative emotions; the mental is the energy our brain demands be focused and attentive; the spiritual is the one activating our senses when we act in alignment with our values.
Ideally, all the dimensions need to be balanced. Aren’t you sometimes full of physical energy but you feel it doesn’t properly flow through your brain so you can’t concentrate?
What we have called matter is energy*: The Physical Habits
Eat, drink, sleep, play sports, work. The physical dimension, as we mentioned before, is our source of energy. Although the Habit Bank proposes 12 habits for you to make the most of your body and perform at your best in a sustainable way, we propose to you five. Mindfully curated, these habits will help you keep boosted and more vigorous at work.
Habit 1: Stand up for short meetings
Meetings usually take longer than what the schedule says. How to keep them quick, concise, and efficient? Simply stand up! Standing creates a sense urgency, keeping meetings on topic and to the point. There are two added benefits: you’ll be more focused and engaged and you’ll get your internal engine to burn calories activated.
Habit 2: Move it, move it!
If you often find yourself exhausted, stressed, and nervous at work, you may find relief in a rather unexpected activity: exercising. According to the American Psychological Association, employees who exercise during the workday are more productive, happier, and have more energy than those who stay sedentary. For those days you aren’t able to make it to the gym or your regular workout, there are a number of exercises that you can do right at your desk (just do a quick search). If you feel a little silly working out in the middle of the office, try to spend one of your breaks throughout the day engaged in physical activity. Walking to or from work, or even standing up and doing a lap around the office once every hour, can do wonders for your mood and overall health.
Habit 3: Park your worries
If you struggle to fall asleep because you’re thinking seriously about work, put a pad of paper and a pen beside your bed. Whatever you’re worrying about before you go to sleep, write it down. Do the same if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night. This is a powerful way to calm your mind and get a better night’s sleep.
Habit 4: Don’t skip lunch!
When you’re buried under mountains of work and deadlines start flying at you, it can be easy to lose track of time and opt to “plough through” rather than giving your body and brain the renewal break it needs. By skipping lunch, you decrease your productivity, leaving you irritable, fatigued, and unable to concentrate. Prioritise meal time by blocking off time in your calendar. If you’re unable to leave the office to grab a fueling lunch, consider subscribing to a healthy meal delivery service.
Habit 5: Hydrate your mind
Just because you’re sitting at a desk all day doesn’t mean you can’t hydrate your body. Scientists have found that even mild dehydration can lead to decreased cognitive ability, as well as a negative impact on one’s mood and stamina.
Don’t forget to drink 8 glasses of water in between those pots of coffee (Yes, we love coffee too!). Either keep a small glass of water at your desk or get up every 60 minutes or so to refill it (which also is a reminder to get up and walk around!), or use a large water bottle to track your water intake throughout the day.
Little baby steps… small tips to be successful
We’ve asked some people what they did when they achieved their New Year’s resolutions so you can take advantage of their success tips. The most common answered was, “we narrowed down the idea, we made it specific”. But what could be more specific than the habits we proposed to you above?
Let’s list, then, the other 4 we found the most valuable:
- This one is simple but… write down the goal! This technique is the best reminder.
- Visualise yourself achieving the goal.
- If the habit is hard to accomplish according to your current circumstances, work it out in smaller Increments.
- Take a moment and define deadlines.
- Treat yourself! Celebrate success either when you achieve a small goal in your incremental strategy or when you feel the habit definitely sticks with you.
When do you start? We did. Already.
(*) This quote is attributed to Albert Einstein