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Here’s How You Can Be The Best and Shine This Year

Here’s How You Can Be The Best and Shine This Year

As we embark upon a new year, there are so many ways to view our lives and the chances ahead of us – new opportunities, old regrets, the same cycles people go through every year. However, if you want to change this year-  if you want to shine this year as a human being and as the best version of yourself – then you’re going to need to work at what makes you tick. What makes you happy, what makes you sad, your strengths, weaknesses, your days and nights. Everything about yourself has to undergo an examination if not a re-evaluation.

So, for those of you who are looking to shine this year and be the best you you can be, here are ten tips for how to achieve it.

1. Drink water every morning.

One of the easiest ways to shine this year is start every day off by drinking plenty of water as part of your early morning routine. The reason? Drinking water first thing in the morning has an incredible set of health benefits, including purifying the colon and allowing better nutrient absorption, aids weight loss and better metabolism, helps give you glowing skin thanks to flushing out toxins, and helps balance your lymph system. In short, it helps rejuvenate your system and helps you start every day off in the right way.

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2. Change your morning routine to suit you.

Everyone has a morning routine and one of the ways to shine this year is to go through it and modify aspects of it that can be best suited to you. After all, everyone’s different and has their own way of working things in the early hours. If you always feel like you need more sleep, go to bed earlier or use a sleep calculator to find out when you should be going to bed to work with your circadian rhythms and cycles. Add in time for a morning shower if you always feel better with one but never have time. Make sure you have breakfast. All these little things can have a big positive effect on your morning routine and wlll help you shine this year.

3. Make an active effort to see the good around you.

The world is, surprisingly, a good place despite the bad things going around and not a lot of us actually choose to see. Let’s face it, with the news creating catastrophe and calamity in every news item, some pretty seriously twisted ideals of perfection and beauty being pushed on us, and a general feeling that cynicism is the standard, it can be hard to be optimistic and someone who sees the silver lining when everyone else sees an oncoming storm. If you want to truly shine this year, look for the positive. Surround yourself with positive friends and be more considerate to people going through their own situations, so that by looking for the positive, you transfer it forward and become the positive change yourself.

4. Exercise at least three times a week.

Exercise is a bit of a hate word around people – it brings back memories of school gyms and forced running and mandatory activities. However, choosing to go out and engage in something that gets your body moving is absolutely a fantastic thing to get involved in and something that is certain to make you shine this year. Find the kind of exercise you like to do, rather than immediately going down the gym even though you’ll hate it. If you like slow rhythmic movements, take up tai chi or yoga; if you like high-energy stuff, check our Zumba or aerobics. There are more than enough exercise options out there for you and if you really want to shine this year, it’s a good idea to go and get your body moving.

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5. Get plenty of sleep.

This one cannot be stressed enough – sleep is key. All of our culture seems to be screaming, ‘you don’t need sleep, you can go for longer’ – but to do is to put into jeopardy your physical and mental health because sleep is an option. Sleep is a legitimate physical need that will cause you severe problems if you don’t get enough. A way to truly shine this year is to take care of yourself by engaging in some sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom the best kind of sleeping environment possible for you. Sweet dreams.

6. Make sure to dance at every opportunity.

A bit of a cliche, perhaps, but let’s be honest-  people who shine through life are always ready to dance at the drop of a hat. Dancing is both ridiculously simple and complex – it’s a true expression of human emotion and the ability to translate our physical body into a joyous or mournful or reverential proclamation. Plus, dancing has incredible health benefits as it helps you keep fit, works your legs and arms through rhythmic movement, and releases endorphins into the bloodstream providing an entirely natural rush. Whenever you find the chance to, put on your favorite kind of music and dance to it. Dance with a friend, dance alone, let your body do the talking and feel yourself begin to shine.

7. Try something new at least every month.

There’s nothing that kills as quick as routine nor boredom – so the paraphrased saying goes. One of the most enjoyable ways to shine is to keep putting yourself out there more and trying new things as often as possible, within a minimum of one new thing a month. There’s an entire world out there waiting for you to experience it – a world full of fantastic films and delicious food and astonishing plays and beautiful music and joyful dance and great TV. People who shine always try and broaden their horizons and their own perspectives, so make sure you give into that childlike curiosity with that new album, new restaurant, new film. After all, you might just find a new favorite.

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8. Visualize your happiness.

If you want your happiness, you’ve got to visualize it. See it, imagine it. Work through it so it becomes an approachable goal rather than a lofty ideal which is as unattainable as it is ill conceived. We create our own happiness and shape our own lives so if you want to truly shine this year and be the best version of yourself that you can be, is to decide what makes you happy and either cultivate it if you have it, or work towards it if you don’t. Create a vision board, a Pinterest channel, a sigil – whatever you need to try and plan out your happiness, use it. The future is yours.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing your life and yourself to other people is one of the most toxic and self-destructive things you could ever do to yourself as it undermines your own experiences and your personality and erodes away at all the positive achievements you’ve managed to accomplish throughout your life. Simply, you need to finish with both the negative and positive comparisons to other peoples’ lives in order to focus on your own. Comparisons lead to negativity, anger, jealousy and gossiping which not only makes you look more petty and negative, it also stops you from focusing on your life and your goals. Cut the comparison and truly shine this year as an example.

10. Stop the ‘should have’ thoughts in your life.

We’re constantly being told what we should have and shouldn’t have in our lives. Designer clothes, cars, the latest electronic products, haute cuisine and expensive coffee, everything is construed as a status symbol, an indicator that the person has met untold requirements for being seen as desirable. That is an incredibly toxic way of viewing life and viewing ownership, because if you live your life by the ‘should haves’, then you will be forever chasing trends because what is a la mode always changes, always evolves.

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Your life, however, should be based on the wants and needs that you yourself cultivate and desire. It’s not the end of the world if you want the latest tablet or phone or a cup of coffee or shoes – that’s fine – but what you need to assess is why you’re wanting it and then go off your instinct as to whether or not it’ll make you happy. If it makes you happy, go for it. If not, then find something that does make you happy. And then you’ll truly shine this year, and the years to come.

More by this author

Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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