5 Valuable Work Lessons Learned This Year

By: Priya Kumar

In the journey of life, we often find ourselves donning various roles and titles. Personally, I wear the hats of an entrepreneur, managing a full-time job, a dedicated single mother, an educator involved in serving nonprofits, and a marathon runner. These roles, though diverse, have taught me profound lessons about balancing life and work. In this article, I would like to share the five most powerful lessons I learned this year, which have enabled me to reset, refocus, and thrive in every facet of my life. 

1. THE POWER OF SAYING NO The first lesson I learned was the profound power of saying no. It is crucial to understand that by saying no to certain clients, opportunities, or events, I am, in fact, saying yes to myself and what I value most. Juggling multiple responsibilities can be overwhelming, and without the ability to say no, everything connected to me would suffer if I am not performing at my best. This could ultimately compromise my reputation and integrity. Saying no is valuing oneself and the priorities at hand, emphasizing quality over quantity. It has also revealed that I possess more control over my life than I initially believed. 

2. EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING Balancing a multitude of roles and responsibilities can often feel like attempting to balance on a soccer ball while wearing heels. Just having a calendar for events and tasks is insufficient; an effective goal setting plan is essential. I needed to set clear objectives and then establish goals that aligned with those objectives. Understanding how these goals connected with the bigger picture of growing my business, securing my financial future, and maintaining my overall wellness became a game-changer. Goals without a broader context can lead to more work and stress. 

3. INTENTIONAL CONNECTION In the past, I attended numerous networking events, both in-person and virtually, and scheduled numerous 1:1 calls to get to know people I met. However, over time, this became overwhelming, and I began to dread networking events. It was then that I decided to take a step back and refocus. I asked myself, “What is my primary goal for my business this year? Who will be the best person to have in my network that aligns with my vision?” This allowed me to shift from a scattered approach to a targeted one, focusing on individuals who shared my vision and values. This approach not only allowed me to impact a wider range of people but also opened doors to opportunities that I might not have encountered otherwise. Being intentional with my connection turned my interactions into an action. 

4. FINANCIAL SECURITY One of the most significant stressors in life is finances. It can often be the reason we remain in toxic personal and professional relationships. While the goal is to achieve financial security, having a clear plan in place is key to attaining this objective. Start by identifying the most critical financial goals such as additional revenue, debt reduction, assets, retirement, college funds for kids, life insurance, different types of investment options, and funding requirements; then work towards them systematically. 

5. CELEBRATING AND TAKING BREAKS Celebrating small wins and taking regular breaks have been transformative for me. I used to be the type of person who only celebrated major milestones and chastised myself for not meeting smaller goals within the set timeframe. However, celebrating even the smallest victories has allowed me to value and honor myself. Moreover, taking genuine breaks – those where you leave your laptop and business phone behind – initially seemed daunting, but proved to be an essential self-care practice. These breaks were not just pauses; they were essential rituals of self-care that rekindled my spirit, enabling me to return with renewed vigor and creativity. Embracing these five lessons has enabled me to reset and refocus in both my personal and professional life and thrive in my diverse roles. I encourage you to reflect on these lessons and consider how they might apply to your life. In doing so, you can reset and refocus, ensuring a healthier, more fulfilling, and successful journey ahead. 

x Priya Kumar is a Financial Empowerment Coach educating and empowering women on how to create financial security, freedom, and success. Her program offers financial trauma healing and a step-bystep process to rebuild and grow. 

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