05/06/2015 07:55 BST | Updated 03/06/2016 06:59 BST

What Are You Neglecting?

The A-Z Challenge: N is for Neglect. Shift negative habits, alphabetically.

What are you neglecting that could propel you towards success? Towards being the best person you could be? Are you neglecting yourself, your health or the people who matter the most?

If you're not paying enough attention, or any attention, to what's truly important to you - that's self-sabotage. We know that negligence at work leads to mistakes, accidents and losses, but we often overlook ourselves. Neglecting our health and personal development, over time, affects our mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Why do we neglect? Often neglect is a result of taking things for granted. We don't mean to, but the more we get used to someone or something, the less grateful we become. Another reason for neglect is that in the whirlwind of life, where we get caught up in so many demands and seemingly urgent tasks, it's all too easy to lose focus of what's important and what really requires our attention.

Now neglect doesn't happen overnight. It usually starts with small things and gradually expands into several other areas. So make the time to look for the underlying issues that lead you to neglect, and then work out how you can make amends and fix all that's been overlooked.

Respect, not neglect. To do this, you may want to try holding a short gratitude session. This could be weekly or daily, when you wake up in the morning or as you drink your morning tea or coffee. Count your blessings and good fortune. Do this and you'll naturally develop respect for all that you have.

Nurture, not neglect. Because whatever you nurture, will thrive. Select one of the things that you've been neglecting and make it so attractive that putting it off is just crazy. Be careful not to approach it as another goal on your list, instead apply your heart, attention and focus to nurture it.

Here are two things you may have been neglecting, that you might want to start nurturing.

  1. Nurture your relationships. Strong relationships and close connections are essential to our happiness, wellbeing and resilience. So take an inventory of your personal and professional relationships. Take stock of what's going well and what's not. Determine how to nurture the relationships that need nurturing. Make the extra effort to stay in touch with the people who matter the most. Drop a line, send a note or meet up. Do something.
  2. Nurture your well-being. Your body, like a car, needs its own MOT. Invest in regular maintenance and take care of all the little problems, as an insurance against problems in the future. Visit the doctor, dentist and optician when you need to. Keep fit and eat well. Regularly treat yourself with something special and you'll have more to give. The benefits will spill over into all areas of your life. Give yourself a high priority and nurture yourself.