8 Tips to Start 2019 With the Right Intent

You are finishing up your well-deserved Christmas and New Years holiday, and if you got it right, you will feel fresh, recharged, and have the passion to lead with purpose.

Now, works commences in a few days and you want to bring you’re A-Game and start 2019 with the intent and energy you wish to continue all year.

Last year, you probably came out with all guns blazing, without much thought, and within a few weeks, days or in some cases a couple of hours, were back to your old habits, routines and potentially mistakes.

There is a much smarter way, if you want to deliver a high performance environment for both your team and yourself.

Those closest to you will appreciate it!

Before we get started, did your plan of having a holiday that allowed you to relax, rejuvenate and forget all about the stresses of work come to fruition?

I would expect not for many of you as you were unable to switch off an allow yourself the time and space, from work, to fully recharge.

So lets take a look at some proven ways to ensure that you are being your best possible self, every single day, through the decisions you make, habits you create and mindset you start with when you walk into the office on day one:


Eat a healthy meal, hydrate yourself and go to bed early the night before your first day back in the office. Allow yourself the opportunity to get at least 8hrs sleep, leave the phone or any other electronic devices tucked away, and wake up and do at least 30 minutes of exercise and/or meditation. Wait until after you have had a healthy breakfast, which includes fruit, with your partner or family. Make sure you are present with those you choose to have breakfast with.

Groom yourself so that you present the image that creates a positive feeling for both yourself and the people you interact with. Take a deep breath, clear the mind and walk into the office with positive energy, a smile and posture that breaths confidence. Acknowledge everyone, be present and actively listen to their exciting holiday adventures.


Many people fly out the door in a rush on the last day before their vacation. In a perfect world, you will ‘wipe the table’ so to speak before you depart so that you can come in fresh on day one, without the stresses that have built up in the previous year. If not, clear your desk, remove any unwanted documents and ‘reset the table’ that will allow you to work with clarity, focus and without distraction, before you commence anything else.


Before you turn on a compute or check your phone for emails, you should write a plan. It will be the best 30minutes spent all year, because your mind will have greater clarity and broader perspective following a holiday. This will allow you to brainstorm what is important to your role; design and create a strategy; and put an action plan in place so you can commence your work with less stress and more than likely increased productivity for 2019. You may want to do this in nature or somewhere with a great view, before you sit down at your desk.


What will really make a difference in 2019? Being able to reset your priorities is so valuable after a break as what you thought was important prior to the break, may not have such urgency anymore. Setting priorities that create a quick win, to get the team energised and pumped up early in the year, are just as important as creating the priorities that will bring long-term benefits to both you’re the company and your performance.


Something that I have found really useful over many years is to create a simple weekly spreadsheet, with five columns:

  1. Urgent – Today
  2. Important – Tomorrow
  3. Valuable – By the end of the week
  4. Useful – Next week
  5. Completed – Everything that has been completed this week

What it does is allow you to prioritise and reprioritise daily to ensure that you are being the most productive. In general there will only be 3-5 items in each column. Anything more than that and you will become overwhelmed and stress levels will gradually build and take command of your mindset and actions.


Creating positive habits and routines that allow you to deliver performance in the work you do and with the people you lead requires both great self-discipline and self-control. Taking breaks every 45-60minutes, even for just 1-5minutes, allows your mind to recharge and focus. This doesn’t mean checking emails on your phone and talking about work to a colleague. It means switching off and giving your mind a break.

Constantly checking emails and having alerts going off on phones, is the greatest distraction of productivity that effect most people. Try checking your emails only 2 or 3 times per day. I find I am most effective when I check emails at 10am and 3pm. It allows me to focus my time on projects and important meetings, rather than cluttering my head with too many thoughts and ideas. You will also find that many problems are solved and questions are answered by the time you check the email.


After you have had breakfast, make your lunch, fill a couple of bottles of water, and grab some snacks like fruit, nuts and health bars to take to work. One you will save money and time going out to get food throughout the day, and two you will eat a lot healthier.

This doesn’t mean that you continue working while eating as you need to give yourself a longer break, especially during the middle of the day, you recharge and refocus so you can be productive right until you leave the office.


This year, you need to ensure that you are having fun, laughing and being inspired by the people you work with. This type of environment starts with how you arrive each day and ensuring you bring energy and a positive attitude.

Looking for More?

To perform you need CLARITY, PURPOSE, DIRECTION and ENERGY. It’s that time of year when you reflect on 2018 and think about what you want to achieve in 2019. Use our FREE active CEO Performance Planning tool.

Do you need a coach to help you focus your attention, setting the right goals and enhancing your personal development in 2019? Then find out more on what we offer by visiting the COACHING section

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Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts:

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