New Year’s resolutions. Everybody has them, and everybody tries to stick to them. A few succeed and others, well, there’s always next year. But New Year’s goals aren’t just for losing weight or vowing to eat healthier—they apply to the professional world too. Here is a list of nine resolutions we as professionals can consider in 2014.
Get better @SocialNetworking.
Stop posting weird and awkward photos of yourself and your friends. Instead, turn your social channels into an asset. The people who do the hiring at most companies will resort to looking a person up on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about him or her. Blog about industry-related trends, follow the thought leaders in your line of business, or simply share interesting articles and other content. It will position you as an expert and make you look like an ideal candidate for the job.
Stop buying useless things. Instead, save your hard-earned money—be sure to contribute to your 401K, some stock options and an emergency savings fund. It’s important to have some fun, but it also cuts down on stress when you have some money to fall back on.
Give your office space some love in the New Year. Bring in a plant, frame a meaningful photo, or simply do a little rearranging. Surround yourself with inspiration and it will always come to you.
Escape the office and go to the beach. Take some of that hard-earned cash you saved (see No. 2) and go somewhere, even if just for a long weekend. A break from reality will leave you recharged and ready to take on that daunting to-do list.
“Where did I put that file? Hmmm.” Don’t be that person. Know exactly where everything is, and you’ll have one less thing to be overwhelmed about. Being organized not only helps you but helps others find all of the resources needed to get the job done.
Do something charitable.
There’s always time to give back to your community. Dedicate some time to an organization that you find hits home for you. And if you realize there just isn’t time, donate.
Spend less time on Facebook.
Stop checking to see what everyone is up to. Is it really worth it to see what someone did last night and risk your boss seeing? It doesn’t look good when you’re stalking friends and family on company time. Leave your Facebook (and Twitter and Instagram) check-ins for home and use the company time for work.
Call people more.
A phone or in-person conversation is a lost art. People tend to rely on the quick nature of emailing as opposed to a phone conversation, but nothing beats a phone call, except a face-to-face conversation. Sometimes a quick touch-base can be much more productive than any written communication—take the time to visit co-workers in person with a question or give a client a call to check in.
Go bungee jumping.
Yes, you read that title correctly. Go do something out of the ordinary. If you’re afraid of heights, do something else out of your comfort zone. We all have a bucket list of things we’d like to accomplish. Be sure to knock out one of those listed items from time to time. It makes you a more dynamic person and can often give you a fresh perspective on life (and your job).
Being born and raised in northeast Ohio, I’ve become used to the phrase, ”There is always next year,” but let’s try to break the mold this year. Make 2014 a year for the record books and try something new, stick to your resolutions and be amazed by what you can do. It may just be your best professional year yet.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?