A fresh start. Isn’t that what everyone wants at the beginning of a New Year? People crave a chance to wipe the slate clean, and begin anew with no reminders or guilt about the past. Having an opportunity to start over again is a wonderful gift, don’t squander it.
Service professionals are no different from everyone else. We anticipate less stress, more productivity, and a bountiful amount of patience to deal with the rigors of delivering service excellence. Transcending to a higher level of service performance is attainable, starting today. But if you are waiting until tomorrow, because today’s conditions are just not favorable enough, then you lose.
When people rationalize about why today is not conducive, we assume that one day will not make a difference. Procrastination feels good, so why bother pursuing goals which may or may not improve things later on? String along 365 days of “I’ll do it tomorrow,” and another year will have elapsed. I believe that it is procrastination and a fear of the unknown that has long kept some service professionals from achieving their New Year’s goals. The easiest solution for overcoming procrastination is to simply start taking baby steps towards a desired goal.
The best remedy for overcoming fear is information. Fear and anxiety are often the result of ignorance about whatever is feared, or makes you anxious. A simple analogy might be to imagine yourself in a dark room at midnight. Strange noises might scare you, until you turn on the light switch and reveal the source of the noise. Light fills the room with fact-finding, rational evidence that dispels fear and anxiety. Think of this column as your light switch.
In 2016, I urge service professionals to kick start their goal-setting and rational thinking potential by making more positive food choices. Yes, that’s right, food. My recommendation is based on the impact that unhealthy eating can have on a service professional’s ability to stay focused. Monitor your sugar intake during the course of your workday. Lots of sugar may give you a quick energy boost, but the effect soon wears off leaving you more tired, irritable, anxious, or depressed. None of these results coincide with the optimal behaviors needed among service professionals who must stay sharp, alert, and courteous.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dietary Guidelines recommend choosing foods and beverages with little added sugars. These are not the naturally occurring sugars in fruits, but rather those which are added in the processing of soft drinks, candy, cake, cookies, pies, and fruit drinks. A banana also contains an essential amino acid called Tryptophan, which our body converts into serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate a person’s feelings, and it enables a person to make rational decisions. Service professionals who make rational decisions are more likely to experience heightened self-esteem and career advancement, all that from a banana. I admit that a banana a day may not get you an immediate pay raise, but it will put you on the right track for improved physical and mental health. Improved mental health is the required catalyst which can set your subsequent goal setting activities in motion.
Do not procrastinate when it comes to your physical and mental health. In 2016, opportunities abound, and the only thing that can hold you back is the gray matter between your ears.
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