(written with the chorus of “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar playing in the background)
Welcome to the month of nonstop, “Bye Felicia” emails and retail promotions regarding the grand exit of the dumpster fire that is 2020! We have made it to the next (and hopefully final) level of Jumanji; as in the part where Alan finally drops the dice on the board, and everything returns to the way it was before havoc ensued. With this new year, many of us find ourselves holding more weight in our expectations for 2021 and ourselves; whether that’s searching for a reset button, pretending that 2020 didn’t count, pressing in with longing hope, and/or wanting the next 365 days to be dedicated to growth, elected change, and something good because, dang it, we deserve it.
Once the clock strikes midnight and it’s January 1st, we find ourselves searching for ways to improve and be better with resolutions, accountability partners, or a word/phrase to source inspiration. However, the reality is that we do not look nearly deep enough to realize that the first plan of action is committing to an introspective mindset and searching our habits. A lot of us are too afraid to admit that we are coming up short in our work, our health, our relationships, our finances, etc. This results in selecting vague resolutions that sound good on paper or in conversation with your co-workers, friends, family, and on social media, but do not fully encompass how you’re going to get there or even how you arrived at your current point.
I am a big proponent of ownership aka owning your mess. It takes honesty, humility, and the realization that the person who can start positively shifting is you alone. Whether personal or professional, there will always be a way to refine your habits to achieve your goals. This is where it’s necessary to reflect on where you’re not meeting the mark, what needs to be changed, what needs to be added, and what is going to motivate you to maintain the course.
Here are a few of my bad habits that I have addressed and acknowledged from 2020 that I am actively pressing into and working against as 2021 unfolds:
Avoiding leads that I already consider as a loss
If you’re in the sales realm, you immediately know what I am referring to – the final call you need to make to someone that has yet to respond to you or the email you should reply to from a lead that you know is most likely not going to work out. There are times when it feels like a complete waste of your time and energy; and the thought of engaging and completing that task is mentally exhausting. I have been there time and time again; and, in a year like 2020, I have found myself avoiding making that final attempt call because I fear someone answering with an upset tone. Why? Because it is easier to just remove them from the funnel and move on to someone who’s engaged and interested. However, with this lack of action, I am not doing my job or meeting expectations. I know that I tend to lean towards this decision later in the afternoon when I approach the end of the day; therefore, my new habit is to complete tasks associated with leads in this category first thing in the morning. I am motivated to alter this pattern by knowing that this gives leads my full service and our venues my full reach.
Not asking for help
If you didn’t know this already, I work with some of the greatest humans on the planet. We’re good at what we do, care for one another, and are willing to help each other out within a moment’s notice. With some fun health issues (best believe that was sarcasm), I have found myself over the years not feeling well before tours, during meetings, or in the office when I need to make what feels like a bajillion phone calls. Unfortunately, I am stubborn and, at some point, learned to never ask for help. In my case, I found myself pushing through it, not operating at my best, or doing whatever I could instead of leaning on my team to avoid inconveniencing them to assist me. THIS IS UNHEALTHY! It is inevitable that you will need help, whether due to health, your schedule is double-booked or overloaded, you didn’t have enough hours in the day, etc. I am acknowledging that I won’t always be able to do it all on my own. The challenging habit to form is to share with my team when I’m not at a 100% and remind myself that they are not burdened by tapping in when I need to tap out. This motivates me to engage in it because it will ultimately benefit our venues and others’ experiences…and I’ll also not be suffering, so that’s a plus.
Has anyone else struggled to fall asleep at a normal time each night over the last 10+ months? This is a completely rhetorical question – I already know the answer is a resounding (and slightly aggressive) YES. Point blank, our circadian rhythm is vital and the best practice is to have a consistent time (about a 30-minute window) where your head hits your pillow and you are out for the night. It is scientifically proven that people who go to bed at the same time every night are far more healthy and successful than their more spontaneous peers. That alone is motivating! My goal is to be in bed and off my phone with the lights off between 10-10:30 PM each night. Ultimately, my biggest habit to break is turning off Netflix and putting my phone down at least an hour beforehand to allow my brain to power off.
I challenge you to evaluate your shortcomings at work and at home in this weird season. What is holding you back? What can take you to the next level? Remember, targeting your bad habits and creating new habits is what will take you from the valleys to the mountain peaks; humble yourself and press in.