It’s almost a new year. It’s time to think about upgrading. What does it mean to upgrade? To upgrade means to raise all of who you are and what you do to a higher standard. Take what already exists and maximize and improve upon it by adding, replacing or completely letting go of certain aspects of your life or business. If you can use this one word to live and practice all year, the changes you will experience will be remarkable.
1. Examine your relationships.
The first thing to upgrade in your life or business is your relationships. There is nothing that will hold you back more strongly than hosting parasitic, nonproductive, toxic relationships in your life. If you’re in a place where you have no choice, such as a boss or a colleague, then do what you can to give them very little power. Focus on your tasks, rather than on the toxic person you work with or for. Let your work be about performance rather than approval. With this shift in focus, the quality of your work will speak for itself.
If your personal life is congested with toxic people, do what you can to terminate these relationship or, at the very least, set firm boundaries around not tolerating their negativity, by going low contact. It is very difficult to upgrade your life with toxic people holing you hostage. To upgrade you need the freedom to do it, and the positive attitude to make it happen.
Related: 25 Best Habits to Have in Life
2. Choose your mood.
For most of us it doesn’t cross our minds, in the midst of our daily grind, to consider the idea of being mindful over our internal experience and our outward expression of it. Upgrade your life in 2017 by making a commitment to think about your thinking. When you become more conscious of how and where your thoughts go, and how those thoughts determine your overall mood, you will see that your mood is 100 percent up to you.
You do have a choice in how you express your mood in response to negative triggers. Choose composure. If you’re upset, take a moment and let yourself feel and process before choosing to act or react. If you think about it, the resistance you have experienced in life is exactly what has made you into the person you are today.
3. Ignite your creativity.
No idea is a bad idea. To upgrade in this upcoming year, think of the ways you can add touches of innovation to each day, in each meeting, to each deal and in every relationship. Dare yourself to think slightly more out of the box. Spend time alone, hold brainstorming meetings, hire a coach, go to seminars, read daily and keep blank paper on hand to write down all ideas without judgement. Most of us live unconsciously or by habit, rather than living our lives on purpose with minds which actively seek change. We tend to be more comfortable in what we know, yet our lives and businesses can only grow as much as we grow ourselves.
4. Add value to your relationships.
Upgrade your relationships in this upcoming year by focusing on what you can put into them instead of looking for what you can get out of them. There is nothing more fulfilling then operating as the cause in our relationships, rather than at the effect of them. Think about who you want to be as a boss, as a leader, a team member, as a manager, a sales rep, a friend, a wife, husband, mother or father. Don’t worry about or focus on who other people are at your expense. Be someone you can like and respect in the relationships you’re in, especially when you’re in the company of someone you really can’t stand.
5. Improve your attitude.
Your attitude is perceived, not just by what comes out of your mouth, but by the experience others have of your entire persona. To upgrade, take a moment to envision the experience of you that you want others to have of you. Start activating that vision through your posture, your tone of voice, the level of interest you show, your capacity to listen, the way and how you speak, and the quality, warmth and authenticity you generate. People will be drawn to you when your attitude carries a warm, quiet strength. An improved attitude will increase the quality of your work, your connections and your overall capacity as a human being. Others will admire and want to emulate you.
6. Increase you sense of adventure.
Upgrade your life in 2017 by making slightly riskier decisions. These shifts will stretch you beyond your rote, regimented, predictable daily routine. Having things to look forward to is proven to increase a sense of vitality and happiness. There will always be fear-based reasons which can hold you back from increasing your sense of adventure, but how can you grow and become the well-rounded person you need to be without getting out of your box and doing things, going places and meeting new people? If you live in a box, that’s as big as your life will get. You cannot upgrade with walls all around you. Get out, do what you would normally shy away from, and let life’s adventures mature, culture and educate you.
7. Better your health.
What physique do you dream of having? We all have an ideal body image and health status we desire, yet many of us never make either a priority. Think of how improving your sleep, diet and physical exercise would improve your life and how others view you. Instead of focusing rigidly on diet, taking on a rigid exercise program or sleep schedule, choose to simply upgrade these areas of your life from where you currently are, until you need to upgrade again. We often fail when we take on change aggressively or drastically. Start from wherever you are right now, and upgrade one level higher. Little improvements every day lead to lasting change because the consequences aren’t so severe that we set ourselves up for failure.
8. Increase your finances.
When we stress over finances, we block prosperity because we’re focused on lack. An attitude of lack doesn’t wear well on anyone. Others unconsciously pick up on your stress, which will most definitely block people from wanting to connect with you. The first upgrade needed to increase your finances has everything to do with your mental attitude and nothing to do with money. Start focusing on all the good that comes into your daily life, even it is something as simple as a compliment. Do not allow your mind to give you a, “yea, but things would be better if…” Focus and be thankful for it every single good thing, big or small, that you have. When you see all of the positive increases in your life, you will feel more prosperous, your attitude will express this, and you will experience more and more increase.
Upgrades are little increases. When we master one level, we are naturally curious about the next; making it time for another upgrade. Just as new updates show up in our technology, we must add this principle to our daily existence. To live the word "upgrade'' for one year will make improvements to your life, one level at a time, until you’re in an exciting new place, having achieved much more then you thought possible when you started.