This week on The Hack Podacst Leon, Paul and Dean talk Productivity Hacks and Thriving in the Digital Age. 

Empowering Growth: Unveiling Productivity Hacks and Strategies for Thriving in the Digital Era 

What’s discussed? 

We are back; it is 2024 (we are a bit late to the party), and we cannot wait! New year, new resolutions and fresh starts. We are excited to bring you our first podcast of the year, filled with motivation and inspiration for the year ahead. 
In this episode, Leon, Dean, and Paul will delve into the significance of setting realistic goals, discovering your greatest strengths, and maintaining motivation throughout the year. We will also provide valuable insights on making your resolutions stick and avoiding the pitfalls of old habits. Join us as we explore these topics to enhance your personal growth and success. 
It's 2024, and we're thrilled to kick off the new year with a bang. It's all about new beginnings, setting resolutions, and embracing fresh opportunities. Today, we are delighted to bring you our first podcast episode of the year, packed with motivation and inspiration to fuel your journey. 
In this exciting episode, we have a powerhouse trio - Leon, Dean, and Paul - ready to dive into the importance of setting realistic goals, uncovering your unique strengths, and staying motivated throughout the year. Along the way, we'll share valuable insights on how to make those resolutions stick and avoid falling back into old habits. We aim to empower you with the tools and knowledge you need for personal growth and unparalleled success. 
So, grab your favourite beverage, get comfortable, and join us as we embark on this insightful exploration. Let's make 2024 a year of incredible achievements and limitless possibilities. 

Setting Realistic Goals: What to Keep and What to Leave Behind 

Setting achievable goals is crucial to starting the new year on the right foot. Having a clear direction and purpose for your actions is essential, as it gives you something to strive towards. However, it's also important to be realistic when setting your goals. While having big dreams and aspirations is great, it's essential to break them down into smaller, achievable steps so you can look at what you want to keep and what needs to be left behind as you enter a new year of personal growth. 
Leon explains a simple yet effective approach to goal-setting, emphasising the importance of focusing on the positive aspects of your life, or what he calls 'Radiators' while eliminating the negative factors, or 'drains'. This method lets you set achievable goals and cultivate a more fulfilling life. 
Designate two columns: 'Keep' and 'Leave Behind'. 
Begin by reflecting on the elements that have brought joy or fulfilment to your life over the last year. Consider the people, habits, places, and items which have had a positive impact. As you create your list, jot them down in the designated "Keep" column, allowing ample space between each entry. For instance, you may include activities like leisurely walks in the countryside, more time with family, or peaceful mornings to yourself. 
Now, reflect upon those individuals, habits, and activities that failed to bring you joy or a sense of fulfilment in 2023. Try jotting them down in the "Leave Behind" column. For instance, it could be a specific colleague or client, weekday hangovers, neglecting exercise, or having too many jam-packed weekends. 
Now, onto the exciting part: in the area below these bullet points, pen a few sentences explaining WHY you wish to retain/abandon these items. 

Discovering Your Strengths: A Reflection on Personal Growth 

Now that you have compiled your list, it is time to reflect and uncover your greatest strengths. Being mindful of what sets you apart and contributes to your personal growth is crucial. Understanding your strengths empowers you to harness them effectively and achieve success in various aspects of your life. As we enter the new year, we must discern which things to embrace and which to release. This process is not easy, but it enables us to identify areas where we can grow and improve. 
Make time for self-reflection: Carve out some quiet time in your day or week to objectively reflect on your life, actions, and experiences. It could be through meditation, journaling or talking to a trusted friend or mentor. 
Take personality tests: These tests assess your character traits, skills, and preferences, providing a detailed analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Some popular tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and StrengthsFinder. 
Seek feedback from others: Ask friends, family members or colleagues about your strengths and areas where they see growth potential. Their insights can give you a fresh perspective and help you identify strengths you may not know. 
Reflect on your past successes: Think about times when you excelled in something, whether at work, school or in your personal life. What skills did you use? What qualities helped you succeed? 
By understanding our strengths, we can utilise them to achieve our goals, leading to personal growth and success in the new year. 

Embracing Technological Advancements 

Leon is incredibly enthusiastic about the rapid development of AI. He firmly believes that AI has the potential to revolutionise our lives and work. Leon is captivated by the remarkable technological advancements and the fierce competition among tech giants. Recently, he's been particularly intrigued by the innovative features of Microsoft Copilot and Google Duet. 
Undoubtedly, technology has dramatically impacted our lives in the past year and will continue to do so in 2024. It's essential to stay updated on these advancements and how they can benefit us personally and professionally. 
Technology has enabled us to adapt quickly to changing times, from virtual meetings to online learning. It has also opened up opportunities for remote work and global connectivity, making it easier to collaborate with others, expand our reach and Empower us to acquire knowledge beyond previous limits, surpassing all previous boundaries of learning. 
In the realm of technology, what innovations or trends from the past year do you believe are worth keeping for the future, and why do they stand out? How do you plan to leverage technology for personal growth and success in the year ahead? 

Dynamic Shifts: Embracing the Winds of Change 

As we anticipate 2024, significant transformations we envision in the digital realm, including the rise of free energy, renewables, and solar power, are expected to reshape our energy landscape. 
Moreover, individuals increasingly seek meaningful work that provides a sense of purpose. Consequently, there is a growing emphasis on prioritising mental health and well-being in the workplace. In 2024, we can expect a dynamic shift as companies embrace a more holistic approach to employee satisfaction and well-being. 
How will you prioritise your mental health and well-being in the coming year? Have you considered incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine? How will this shift towards a more holistic approach to work benefit both individuals and companies? 

Finding Harmony: Striking the Perfect Work-Life Balance 

What work habit or routine from 2023 would you discard? How do you anticipate its absence in 2024 will enhance your work-life balance? Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for personal growth and well-being. Many individuals have had to adapt to working from home in the past year, blurring the lines between work and personal life. As we enter 2024, we must evaluate our habits and routines to prioritise our professional and personal lives. 
How do you plan on maintaining a healthy work-life balance in the new year? What changes do you foresee in your work-life dynamics, and how will they positively impact your personal growth and well-being? 

Unlocking Your Potential: Career and Skills Development 

Looking back on the skills and knowledge acquired in 2023, it is evident that career and skills development will play an even more significant role than ever before. The past couple of years have been quite demanding with the economic challenges we have been facing. However, amidst these challenges lies a tremendous opportunity for growth. Businesses must recognise and seize this opportunity. We previously discussed the importance of pivoting during the COVID era, which remains relevant today. Companies must adapt and reassess their strategies at an organisational level and regarding individual job roles. Individuals must pivot and align their skills with the highest and best use within the business. 
Many skills that will be required in the future still need job roles created. With the rapid advancements in technology and the ever-shifting landscape of industries, it becomes crucial to deeply understand what skills will be required to adapt and thrive in this changing world. The ability to anticipate and acquire these necessary skills will be a determining factor in future success. 
How do you plan on continuously developing your career and skills in the coming year? What steps will you take to stay relevant and adaptable in this rapidly changing job market? How do you see the role of businesses evolving in providing opportunities for career growth and development for their employees? 

Future Visioning 

Imagine it’s the end of 2024 – what changes or improvements would you like to see in your personal life, community, and the tech world, based on what you’ve decided to keep and leave behind? Take a moment to envision the future and set intentions for the year ahead. What steps can you take now to work towards this vision? By imagining our desired future, we can make it a reality. Whether personal growth, societal progress, or technological advancements, setting intentions and taking action can lead to a more fulfilling and prosperous new year. 

Making Resolutions Stick 

Every year, we make goals and resolutions with the best intentions, but by February or March, they have often fallen by the wayside. So, how do we make our resolutions stick? Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay on track: 
Set realistic and specific goals: Instead of vague resolutions like "exercise more", set a concrete goal like "go for a 30-minute walk three times a week". This makes your resolution more achievable and allows you to track your progress. 
Create an action plan: Write down the steps you need to take to achieve your goal and assign deadlines to each step. This will help keep you accountable and motivated. 
Share your goals with others: Telling friends, family or colleagues about your resolutions can provide support and accountability. You could also find a buddy with similar goals and work together towards achieving them. 
Celebrate small victories: Don't wait until the end of the year to celebrate your success. Recognise and praise the small wins, as they will keep you motivated and encouraged. 
Be kind to yourself: Making mistakes or slipping up occasionally is okay. Don't beat yourself up over it; acknowledge your mistake and get back on track with your resolution. 
With these tips in mind, let's make this year's resolutions stick and create a more fulfilling and prosperous year ahead! Remember, it's not about perfection but progress. So keep persevering and pushing towards your goals, and you'll be surprised at what you can achieve. 


As we say farewell to the past year and welcome the new one with open arms, let's reflect on our experiences and use them to shape a better future. Let's hold onto the things that bring us joy and fulfilment while letting go of the things that hinder our growth. As we embark on this new journey, let's embrace technology, prioritise work-life balance, invest in personal and professional development, and have a clear vision for the future. We can make this year our best with determination, resilience, and a positive mindset. So, let's press forward with confidence and make every day count! 
Here's to a successful and fulfilling 2024! 

Call to Action: 

The world we live in is full of tech that is constantly changing how we go about our daily lives. Technological advances are faster than ever, and it's important to embrace innovation and think differently. 
Listen to The Hack Podcast for insights on transformation and change, with a focus on People, Process, and Technology. Leon McQuade, Paul Longely, and Dean Bulfeild share their perspective on the technology drivers shaping the world, bringing a leader's eye back to East Yorkshire. The podcast offers straight-talk and smart tech. 
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