Over the years, I’ve learnt to identify a number of key habits and traits that I look for in my employees. I developed these same habits while I was an employee, which helped me get to where I am today. Cultivating these habits will help you stand out from other candidates and improve your productivity. Aside from work, integrating these habits into your daily routine will also help you become a better person too.
Fixing bad habits is hard, but starting good ones can be even harder. Which is why practice and repetition is necessary when developing good habits. My husband once said that it takes 60 repetitions to develop one positive habit. We all have seemingly natural tendencies to feel, think, and act in a certain way, and it takes time, commitment, and perseverance to overcome them.
Of course, developing good habits does not equate to financial success. As a business owner who has experienced ups and downs due to the economic crisis, I know this to be true. In fact, it is because of my positive habits that I’m able to recover from tough times. Once I’m ready, I’ll be sure to share my personal experiences of these challenges in a future blog post.
Reflecting on this past year, I’ve learnt so much and I am grateful to God for His consistent guidance throughout it all. I’m also thankful for my failures, since I believe failures are what make you wiser, stronger, and better.
While any list of habits is inevitably subjective, these are my top habits that have worked for me as well as others around me. Focus on developing and working these 8 habits into your daily routine, and you’ll be on your pathway to a more enriched, happier life:
1. Eat well and stay fit
This habit is essential for keeping you focused and energized, while helping you maintain a healthy mind and body. As an employer, I’ve noticed that employees who adopt a healthier lifestyle are more likely to bring a positive energy to the workplace and tend to be more proactive in their roles. These are the people who like taking on challenges and possess great leadership skills.
2. Be punctual
My father was the first person to teach this discipline to me. He is consistently on time (if not too early!) and it is due to his punctuality that he is greatly respected and trusted by his clients. Being a contractor, the nature of his work requires him to be punctual and maintain deadlines. I now follow his footsteps and allow my staff a maximum of three tardy occurrences in a 12-month period before termination of employment. Being punctual is a habit I personally struggle with and sometimes things happen in life that make it difficult to always be on time, but there is an importance in making promptness a priority. Being punctual signals you are a reliable and trustworthy individual, who likes to get things done. That’s what every employer wants!
3. Never stop learning
Reading books, attending seminars, listening to podcasts ⎯ these are all great habits to have and practice on a daily basis. There’s always room for improvement and it’s important to want to learn and become better. It can be hard to find a good mentor, but I find books, seminars, and podcasts to be a good place to begin. I try to attend seminars whenever I can, as it reminds me of my purpose, my goals, and my priorities in life. Plus, it’s a way to educate myself about new trends or perspectives that I may have forgotten and revitalize my mind to take on new challenges. The most successful people are always learners and it’s so humbling to see millionaires at seminars trying to better their business and learn something from someone new. Sometimes, all it takes is a room full of strangers to come up with an idea you’ve never thought of before.
4. Take on a hobby
Life can be stressful. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like and after a long day, all you want to do is relax. Hobbies are a great way to do that, while helping you stay happy and positive in your daily life. For me, Modern Dame is my hobby. I love what I do here on my blog and it gives me an excuse to dress up, plan a party, and share my updates with you! Modern Dame is my happy place as I get to share everything I enjoy doing in life. Whether it’s blogging, pottery making, baking, or horse riding, it’s very important to relieve stress and calm your mind. I always encourage my employees to take on hobbies and I love hearing their passion when they start something new. Hobbies are an outlet for creativity and the discovery of new talents, which could be used at work too.
5. Daily gratitude
Every day on my way to work, I pray and think about the things I’m most grateful for. From people to projects and places, I think of all the things that are going on in my daily life. This can be difficult to do when you’re in a tough situation or having a bad day, but this habit has helped me tremendously. It starts your day on a positive note and brings you a sense of humility that enriches your soul. As the business leader, I am responsible for creating the energy and mood of my workplace. When I greet people with a big smile and a grateful heart, the positive energy rubs off people and you immediately feel it. Practicing daily gratitude means appreciating the smaller things and becoming more mindful of your surroundings, like breathing clean air for example. Stop taking people or things for granted, always have a humble heart, and good things will follow. I’m a firm believer of this.
6. Sleep well
The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated, especially for me. I am someone who needs quality sleep in order to function the next day. I always try to sleep early and find it really important to sleep in a peaceful, tranquil environment. A good night’s rest provides the time our bodies need to relax and recharge. It also improves our cognitive ability, mood, and even helps us maintain healthy, youthful skin.
7. Be generous and courteous
Those who know me say I am a generous person. Sometimes, my friends and family have a hard time understanding why I am so giving. But as a person of faith, I strongly believe that what is given to me is not necessarily mine, and instead given to me with a higher purpose. In turn, God has been generous towards me in every way and the lesson I take away from this is the importance of being courteous and generous without ever having expectations. Because, with expectations come disappointments. Plus, it never hurts to be nice! I’m no saint and I have been in situations where being courteous and generous was the last thing on my mind, but I reminded myself during those instances that nothing good comes out of anger. Consequently, another equally important habit to have is forgiveness. Because at the end of the day we are all humans and will inevitably make mistakes. But if you’re kind at times where the other person doesn’t deserve your kindness, something positive will come from your actions.
8. Prioritize and set goals:
There will always be distractions in life. As a Christian, I believe that distractions and temptations are there to break your focus and steer you off the road to success. Learning to prioritize your goals is crucial to working more effectively and efficiently. The importance of working smart, not hard, is something I’ve learnt the hard way. I’m someone you could call a ‘people-pleaser,’ which stems from my own insecurities. Over the years, I’ve learnt that I must first help myself if I can help others ⎯and not the other way around. I used to be in an unhealthy state of mind because I was always seeking the approval of others. Because of this need for validation, I always put other people’s needs before mine, so my priorities got all mixed up. I’m not advocating selfishness here, but prioritizing the tasks you have in front of you will propel your forward and give you a sense of accomplishment. Whether that means learning to say “no” when you have to, cutting out toxic people from your life, or following a strict daily regimen, it’s important to set milestones in order to reach a certain higher goal. Knowing what to take on and when results in a happier, more successful, and much easier life. Prioritizing your people, work, and time to reach your goals is my #1 great habit for an enriched life.
Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll be sharing some of my goals for the New Year. Happy reading, everyone!