Thoughts, Insights & Words of Wisdom

9 Top Tips for Getting Off to a Great Start

Whether it's a project, job or hobby.

We’ve had the pleasure of an assistant in the office this month.  Alex is shortly heading off to begin his career in the RAF, but for now he’s honing his digital marketing skills and doing a great job!  Here’s his first attempt at a Blog – putting his tips into practice.  Enjoy…

It doesn’t matter if, like me, you’ve just left university and are beginning your first job or if you’re starting a new project or even embarking on a personal fitness journey.  Starting off is tough.

But what is it really that most of us find so hard about it? I’ve come to realise that it’s us.  Or rather, it’s our mindset and it’s the biggest thing stopping you from achieving your goals.

So to help you get out of the starting blocks and on the right foot, here are my nine top tips:

Guest Blog

“If I can see it and believe it, then I can achieve it.”  – Arnold Schwarzenegger

1. Get yourself out of the door

Quite literally! By doing so you are physically taking action on starting your work/ fitness journey and actively changing your mindset from coach-potato to well, not quite Greek-God, but it’s a start! More importantly, you are eliminating any potential excuses that stop you from starting off.  For example: “I don’t have [insert excuse here]” or “ It’s too [insert adjective here]”.

2. Create a routine and stick to it

So, you’ve started; that’s great!  But now you need a steady, reliable routine to ensure you stick to it.  Much like running, there will be days when you wake up tired and unfocused, but that’s when the discipline of routine kicks in and before you know it, you’re back at it.

“Discipline equals freedom.”  – Jocko Willink, Navy SEAL (retired)

turtle winning the race against a rabbit

3. Pace yourself

We all want to make a good first impression from the start, but managing your workload is critical in ensuring you have high and consistent energy levels throughout the week.  That way, you keep your stress levels low which leads to greater productivity!  The same can be said of running, push too hard for the first kilometre and you’ll be out of steam by the third.  Need I remind you of the hare and the tortoise?

4. Growth takes time

With any new challenge, the results of your efforts will take time to show. A single run won’t make you an athlete overnight, but it’s a start.  Similarly, your new job might have a trial period to assess your fit for the role or team, your work ethic or how you work under pressure.  The important thing to remember is to remain engaged and look for ways to make a positive impact.

5. Mix it up

Thinking ‘outside the box’ can provide your team with alternative solutions to problems. Don’t be afraid to try new things, to step out of your comfort zone.  If you make a few mistakes along the way – and we all do – remember they’re all learning opportunities.  Mixing it up creates more a rounded skillset and ensures you’re ready to tackle different challenges that will doubtless come your way.  You wouldn’t want to run the same route, day in and day out, would you? So mix up up.  After all, variety is the spice of life!

6. Rest

Sometimes progress isn’t about doing more, but about doing things in a smarter, more-efficient way.  You need to give yourself plenty of time to recharge the batteries because there is such a thing as overtraining!   It’s no secret that regular exercise increases energy levels and that’s why taking a break for simple exercise is so effective – even if it’s a 20-minute power walk at lunchtime.  Mohammed Dewji, CEO of the Tanzania-based MeTL Group and named by Forbes as the youngest billionaire in Africa, says that his daily lunch hour workout is what keeps him sane. “It’s a no-brainer that I need to recharge and refresh so that I can handle the second half of my day with the same focus and energy as I did the first half.”

7. You are what you eat

You’re following all the steps, pacing yourself, getting enough rest, mixing it up, but you just don’t feel energized enough to take on anymore work/training.  So what do you do?  The answer starts with looking at what you’re eating. If you’re feeling lethargic throughout the work day, it might be that you’re just not fueling yourself properly.  So you need to make sure your nutrition reflects your work load; even a small snack such as an apple or banana when you’re feeling low will make all the difference!

8. Reflection

Taking time to reflect upon what you have achieved so far will allow you to analyze and learn from your mistakes; and to ‘course correct’ if necessary.  It also provides you with an opportunity to plan what you’re going to improve upon or do differently next time!

9. Enjoy what you do

Last but definitely not least, enjoy what you do!  If you’re not feeling the passion and curiosity you felt on the first day of work/ training you need to ask yourself why?  Because studies have shown a happy individual is 20% more productive than an unhappy one! More importantly, for your own mental wellbeing do something that drives you because there is nothing more soul-destroying than doing something you hate for a living.

First time here? Thank you for reading our blog. This is the first of Alex’s insights into the world of work.

If you liked it, there are more posts here. We’d love to hear your comments and please feel free to share it.

Want to find out more about what we do – our assessments, leadership development programmes or learning journeys? You can email me directly, use the contact form below or visit The Extraordinary Training Company website.  

Author: Alex

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