I’ve personally declared 2019 the year of Back to Basics.

Now, it’s not that I don’t value sophisticated strategies and the powerful impact of complex and creative sequences of self-development.

But there is nothing like building a foundation on simple yet un-shakeable habits if you want to maximise your potential over a lifetime.

Here are the three tweaks that allowed me to grow in my own career as a self-development and high-performance mentor in 2018.

  1. Making the most of the morning

We’ve all heard of morning rituals.

High performance giants like Tony Robbins and Brendon Burchard swear by them.

Turns out… they work.

Meditation, a daily cup of green tea, hitting the gym, journalling… whatever your morning rituals might look like, they help you start the day with the correct mindset.

My own morning ritual was cemented a long time ago when I was a young athlete, training with Cyprus’ national handball team.

It’s basically rising with the sun and exercising, rain or shine, no matter the season.

This was temporarily disrupted when I relocated to work in a country where the opportunity to design my own schedule was very limited.

In 2018 I moved back home, and have since got ‘Back to Basics’.

In other words… getting up at 5am to hit the gym by 6am.

I’ll be honest, some days it’s hard. Some days it’s cold, or I’ve slept poorly, or I just flat-out feel low in energy.

I go anyway. And I never regret it as, one hour later, when I’ve showered, dressed, had breakfast and grabbed my car keys to make my first 8.30am meeting, my body and mind are already glowing with feel-good endorphins, and I know that, no matter what, I’m ready to give my best.

Whatever your own way of making the most of the morning, design a routine – a ritual, and then practise it daily, first thing.

Because when you win the morning, you truly win the day.

  1. Committing to a self-education mind-set

I talk a lot about the important of consistent self-education on this blog.

That’s because, I don’t just follow the employability trends simply because continuous up-levelling and upskilling is being demanded of today’s professionals…

But actually because, simply… continuous self-education is massively effective.

Now, admittedly, there is a professional expectation on me, as a corporate trainer as well as a high-performance mentor, to keep adding to my industry-related knowledge.

I do so to grow my authority, keep my pulse on the training market’s evolution, and to ensure I have the most up-to-date tools and resources with which to serve the people I work with.

But this is not just about reading LinkedIn articles, watching an interview or presentation on YouTube or listening to a guru’s weekly podcast.

It’s about adopting a self-education mind-set. For life.

While I am, by nature, a curious person, and have always tried to stay up-to-speed with the trends and needs and opportunities available for self-development…

… but in 2018, I chose four innovators and influencers – Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Simon Sinek and Peter Diamandis – and consumed their podcasts and videos consistently.

Additionally, my associate and I faithfully worked our way down a long list of business, self-development and innovation books that they recommended… which didn’t just empower us with their insights, but gave me the focus and inspiration to design a range of new training material.

Consciously adopting a self-education mindset, is a mental shift that expands your personal and career horizons massively (and exponentially!)

  1. Favouring family time

Last but not DEFINITELY not least, I actively planned to spend time with my family.

In other words, I scheduled it.

Now, I’m not yet married, but I do hope to find the right girl and be a dad myself some day. In the meantime, spending time with my little nephew Maximos, kept me grounded throughout 2018’s crazy ride.

I might have been working through the night to be ready for intense, two or three-day training workshops, where I’d be on my feet unbrokenly for eight or more hours, working, motivating, challenging and empowering mentees and corporate teams…

But whatever my commitments, I would always deliberately make time to hang out and be silly with my sister’s little man each week, buying him books or educational gifts, listening to his curious impressions about the world, helping him figure things out by reasoning and supporting him as he continued to grow.

I also made it a conscious choice to spend time with my own parents, taking the opportunity to check in with their needs and concerns and sharing weekly meals with them.

This active choice to make time for family, allowed me the personal resources to connect deeper with my 2018 mentees, empathise with wherever they found themselves in their lives and appreciate the love and nurture that exist beyond the metrics of professional performance.

Which, ironically, made and, I believe, continues to make me better at what I do in my career.

So, I challenge you: go find the tweaks that will make all the difference to YOUR career, and then take action to commit and practise them, every day, as sacred habits.

You’ll be amazed at what doing so will allow you to achieve in 2019…

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com