Pretty soon, you're going to have a well-deserved break during the New Year's holidays! It's a time for Christmas romcoms, skiing, and social gatherings. Sounds great, doesn't it?

However, suppose you tirelessly strive for knowledge and new achievements, just like our Lectera's experts. In that case, you will definitely want to spend your holiday productively. That is why we have come up with 5 activities for you to do that will diversify your holiday and benefit your productivity and career.

At the end of the article, you will find a fantastic bonus, a checklist to help you spend a brilliant winter holiday drawn up by the CEO of our platform Mila Semeshkina!

A beneficial thing to do # 1. Conduct a SWOT analysis of your personality

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A SWOT analysis helps you look at your strengths and weaknesses. It's superb at helping you analyse your development path and see how you can fix it. So, what better time to do it, if not during the holidays? All you need to get started is an opportunity to have 30-40 minutes somewhere quiet where you can be alone. First, grab a piece of paper after switching off all your devices, including your mobile phone. Then, divide your piece of paper into four columns, and in each column, answer the following questions:

S — your strengths:

  • What is my greatest quality?
  • What do my colleagues or friends frequently ask me to help them with?
  • What can I do even better than others?
  • What skill or trait am I proud of?

W — your weaknesses:

  • What unhealthy habits are holding me back?
  • What trait would I like to banish?
  • What do I argue about the most with other people?
  • What holds me back?
  • What problems do I face frequently?

O — a list of opportunities:

  • What could I learn to be more effective?
  • What knowledge will help me achieve my goals?
  • What character trait could I improve?
  • In what area could I be more successful?
  • What are my prospects?

T — a list of threats:

  • What events are beyond my control but could impede me?
  • What unpleasant situations have hindered me in the past?
  • What might prevent me from achieving my goal, and why?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen to me or my career?

Strengths are something you want to build upon and continue to develop. Weaknesses, however, must be shifted from a minus to a plus by taking the appropriate courses and acquiring the knowledge you need. So, your listed opportunities are advantages and reveal the path where you can move more quickly and as efficiently as possible. The list of threats is what you have to anticipate in advance and avoid when planning.

A beneficial thing to do # 2. Start listening to podcasts

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Podcasts are a wonderful way to help your self-development and do not require additional money or extra time. Listening to them while engaging in interesting leisure activities, such as skiing or making gingerbread cookies, is also very convenient! Additionally, you can listen to podcasts that will not only deepen your knowledge in a particular area but can also improve your knowledge about "almost anything in the world."

Mila Semeshkina particularly suggests that you devote your time over the New Year holidays listening to podcasts that will motivate you for your future achievements and help you figure out your strategies and plans. For example:

  • Design Your Dream Life. A podcast created by writer and personal growth coach Natalie Bacon. She once quit her job in finance and law to find her true purpose in life. Today, Bacon helps millions of people change their mindsets, overcome difficulties, strive for financial freedom, and enjoy their work. It’s the best podcast for finding inspiration!
  • Optimal Living Daily. The name speaks for itself as this is a daily 10-minute podcast about everyday life. Personal growth expert Justin Malik shares "strength training" for your mind and educational tips to help you improve your productivity and do things a lot faster.
  • The Tony Robbins Podcast. You might know Tony Robbins, a mega-famous coach whom even billionaires and celebrities turn to for mentoring. He shares his theories about relationships, making money, health, business, and so much more in his podcast. Everything is based on first-hand experience, which many are willing to pay millions for.

However, all of the podcasts are in English, so maybe this is a great excuse for you to improve your language skills!

A beneficial thing to do # 3. Share your dream with others

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When is a better time to dream than on New Year's Eve? It is the perfect time to shape your plans for the future and share them with others. Furthermore, you can consider it an exercise to develop your imagination and self-confidence whilst examining your willingness to act. After all, our dreams become more real when we say them aloud and openly declare what we strive for.

Just tell your friends, colleagues, or even new acquaintances online about your dreams, and then discuss the difficulties that you face (or will have to face). Apart from fleshing out your plans and automatically turning them into goals, you also attract support. Perhaps, the person you are sharing them with knows just how to help you get around the problems.

A beneficial thing to do # 4. Look back on your year

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If you have not done this yet with Mila Semeshkina in her editorial column, it's time to do it now! This list of questions will take only half an hour of your time. Answer them with complete honesty:

  • What event of this year would I like to remember forever?
  • What's the best decision I've made this year?
  • If a film were made about my life this year, what genre would it be?
  • How many professional books have I read? Which one has benefited me the most?
  • When and how did I step out of my comfort zone? What were the results of this?
  • What new skills have I developed this year?
  • Who is the most useful acquaintance I have made?
  • Draw a story from the following words "It was scary/difficult, but I did it".
  • What did I try for the first time this year?
  • What shouldn’t I have done?
  • What compliment do I remember most vividly?
  • How has my salary altered compared to last year? What are my new responsibilities?
  • What new habits have I developed? Why?
  • Have I become closer to my dream? How much closer?
  • Have I influenced someone else's life? How?
  • What would be this year's motto?
  • What useful things have I been doing for myself? And for my loved ones?
  • What three things am I grateful for this year?
  • What will I definitely achieve next year?

A beneficial thing to do # 5. Develop a good habit

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Good habits are half the battle. Read interviews with famous people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg; both are famous for their daily "rituals" that help them achieve a productive mood, like waking up at sunrise and going for a run. The right habits are like an additional engine allowing you to fly towards your dream even more rapidly.

Psychologists collectively say that any habit usually starts with a trigger followed by the desired action, which becomes a habit. For example, brushing your teeth can also be considered a trigger. It is a routine action that all people perform automatically. Next, try attaching a habit when you next do it, such as exercising after brushing your teeth. This makes exercise a lot easier and quicker to set up in your schedule, and your mind will not wish to avoid it because it does not attempt to stop you from brushing your teeth.

Depending upon your profession and goals, you might need a variety of good habits. Still, there are also universal ones like getting up early or exercising. The course "Changing Mindsets. Program Yourself to Succeed" will help you choose your habits and quickly develop them. Here, you will discover not just how to introduce new rituals into your life, but also how to cope with the fear of change, set goals and programme yourself for fabulous results. In short, that’s exactly what you need for a productive New Year's holiday!

A checklist of useful (and cosy!) things to do over the New Year holidays from Mila Semeshkina

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  • Declutter your home and free up your wardrobe for new things
  • Set 20 goals for the year ahead
  • Try a new meditation
  • Take a new online course
  • Stay off social media for a day
  • Arrange a winter photo session
  • Make a list of the things you are grateful for for the year
  • Read at least one fictional book for your enjoyment
  • Update your CV
  • Visit your relatives
  • Master a new application or programme
  • Clear the memory on your phone and computer
  • Get some sleep!

The New Year's holidays are not only a time for relaxation, but they are also a fantastic opportunity to try something new, evaluate yourself and your successes, develop a future path and become even better, more productive, and stronger. So, be sure to use this opportunity together with Lectera!

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