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How you can make 2013 your best professional year yet.

, January 11, 2013, 0 Comments

We spend most of our time at the workplace, so it becomes important that we not only enjoy ourselves, but also succeed by achieving our career goals. As we start a new year full of new dreams, ambitions, a new career perhaps, we need to refuel and learn or relearn some basics we probably have forgotten along the way.

Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…these words from The Sound of Music, Do-Re-Mi  song make sense when we want to start on a clean slate and get back to basics.

I look at some ways in which we can reshape our work life through this series on ‘Practical Tips for Professional Excellence’.

You probably already practice these tips, if not then maybe now early 2013 is a good time to start.

Tips for professional excellence in 2013

Focus on self: YOU are the most important person on earth. Of course, we forget that and live our life the way others want us to and expect of us or we try to keep up with the Joneses. At the risk of sounding morbid and depressing, I say, think of your last day on this planet. Who do you want around you? How do you want to be remembered? Will you miss the incomplete project at work? Or, wish you had quit smoking and survived a few more years to see your daughter’s wedding? The time is NOW. So start focusing on the areas of life that are important to you. This tool ‘The Wheel of Life’ could be of help to you.

Start getting up early: When the world is still sleeping, use the time early in the morning to do what you like… reading, exercising, planning your day or whatever suits your fancy. I know how hectic life can be, with trains and buses and 18-hour work days. I worked in Mumbai for a number of years but now that I’m away from it, I can see what a rapid paced life is doing to my family and friends. Waking up, even 15 minutes early can make a real difference and give you a good start. When you get up 15 minutes earlier than usual, try controlling the mind. There are many articles you can find on this so I’ll move along.

Practise yoga/meditation: India is the land of yoga. People from around the world visit India to find peace and harmony of mind and body. I didn’t learn yoga when there, but here in Sydney, I’m practicing it with a teacher who learned the art in Pune, two hours from where I used to live!

I recommend reading this powerful book on the human mind by Dr.Dan Siegal called ’Mindsight’. It is a book that gives medical evidence and not a feel good book recommending the use of affirmations and positive thinking. You can also read ‘just one thing’ by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Exercise/get into shape: Who likes a leader with a paunch and someone who is lethargic? That’s hardly influential. For those who can, start exercising and eating healthy.

Develop the habit of reading or listen to music/helpful podcasts or watch useful videos on you tube: This could be a good mindfulness practice where you switch off and do something you like. Plus, you’ll be equipped with information.  You won’t regret it.


  • A calm leader or colleague emerges as a better leader
  • Do some things for yourself
  • Life is too short!!

What are you already doing to enhance your life?