2024: New Year, New Focus

4 January 2024

“The only person you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday.” – John C. Maxwell.

Vanessa Sampson, Director of People & Culture at Locale, shares her advice on how to make a strong start in the New Year and set yourself up for success.


As one year ends and the next emerges, I try and step way back to better picture my year’s successes, what skills I am doing disservice to and what potential I could fill better in the New Year. Here are some nuggets of wisdom I’d like to share to help you unlock your own potential in 2024.


What is your motivation?

Ask yourself, ‘what motivates and resonates with me?’

Whether it’s reaching a certain goal or simply doing what you love, motivation can give you a greater sense of purpose, mastery, autonomy, and a sense of belonging in the workplace.

But there is a fine balance to strike. With all things in life, we must all understand that we are one person that must stretch across many different demands which take time and energy - family, work, career, health, intellect, etc. So, it’s important to also be fair on ourselves to ensure our needs are met and not compromised.


Complete your New Year resolution with ease

How do we build healthy habits to follow through with New Year resolutions? Habits are formed through repeated associations in the brain so you have to disrupt the cue-response-reward loop to make an intentional behavioural changes. Easy, right? Ha. 

We can apply fixes and reboot our software. The brain adapts to repeated behaviours, strengthening neural pathways associated with the habit, making it more automatic over time. People don’t dislike change. They dislike changing. Some general rules of the mind for me, include:

  1. In a battle between emotion and logic, emotion will win
  2. The mind learns by repetition
  3. Your mind wants to stay with what is familiar while avoiding what is unfamiliar
  4. Your mind responds to the pictures you create and words you use
  5. Your mind operates on the principle of least effort


Communication is king

A well-known research study into communications suggests that we prioritise tone of voice and facial cues before we process what is actually being said. In emotive contexts, such as in a team meetings, one-to-one’s, and feedback sessions, the total emotion communicated is 38% vocal, 55% facial, and only 7% verbal. Remember to pay attention to all cues around you and take time to reflect on key conversations so you can continue to perform well and grow, too.

To sum it all up, let’s circle back to John C. Maxwell who said, “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” So, let’s get to work!

New Year, new focus image

Books that have helped me grow

  • ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’, Daniel Kahneman
  • ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear
  • ‘Dare to Lead’, Brené Brown
  • ‘Atlas of the Heart’, Brené Brown
  • ‘Leaders Eat Last’, Simon Sinek
  • ‘Think Again’, Adam Grant
  • ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • ‘The Body Keeps the Score’, Bessel van der Kolk

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