With the start of each new year comes resolutions that each of us would like to accomplish in the coming year. Many goals include weight loss, being healthier, happier, or maybe wanting an overall life change which could include a new career entirely.
Creating a list and putting our New Year’s resolutions down on paper is the best way to start. According to a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews with the Dominican University of California emphasizes how important it is to not only write down your goals, but to also share your goals with a friend and send them weekly progress reports. Five groups were created out of the 149 participants: Group 1 was supposed to think about their business related goals they wished to accomplish within a 4-week period and rate each goal by difficulty, importance, the skills and resources they had to accomplish said goal, their level of commitment/motivation, and whether or not they had pursued this goal before. Group 2-5 were asked to write down their goals and rate them based on the same criteria as Group 1. Group 3 was also asked to write down action commitments for each goal. Group 4 was asked to share their goals and commitments with a friend in addition to writing them down. Group 5 was asked to do everything above and was also asked to send out a weekly progress report to their friend. Out of the 5 groups, group 5 accomplished 76% of their goals and group 1 only accomplished 43%. So the best way to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions is not only to get them down in writing, but to also share them with a friend to best hold yourself accountable.
Some ideas for 2014 resolutions to better yourself in your career and overall life have been laid out in a recent Forbes Magazine article titled “11 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Jump Start Your Career.” The following items were highlighted:
Get a Raise or Promotion. Before going to your boss, compile a list of your daily responsibilities, major projects you have accomplished, projects that you did that you weren’t asked to do, specific examples of what you have brought to the table in the past and what you plan to bring in the future, and be sure to quantify all of these to further emphasis why you deserve the raise/promotion.
Be Less Stressed. It’s easy these days to get over-stressed in our careers and personal life. It is imperative that you take care of yourself and use stress-reducing techniques that work for you which could be exercising, playing games, watching sports, etc. To maintain the best attitude at work and at home, it is important that you are taking daily means to keep your stress levels down.
Be More Organized. In the workplace, it is easy to get unorganized with increasing work loads; however, it is very important to best manage your time at work by keeping your calendar and your desk well organized and up to date everyday. Your superiors and co-workers do notice when your desk is in disarray so be sure to maintain an organized impression.
Get a New Job. According to the most recent Gallup State of the American Workplace Poll, “70% of American’s are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work.” If you feel this way, then perhaps 2014 is the year to find a new job where you will be engaged and will enjoy what you are doing since many Americans spend 40 hours a week or more at work. Life is really too short to not be doing what you love so follow your passion!
Improve Your Work/Life Balance. Many Americans have difficulty with this. Many of us stay late at work everyday which starts to cut into our personal time to relax and regroup after work which isn’t a good pattern to be in. A couple ways to help create a better balance in your life is to prioritize your tasks better and know that not everything can be accomplished in one day – it’s okay to get things done the next day if there isn’t a set deadline. Finish the projects that have a set due date first and then fill in the rest of your days with your other tasks. If you know you have a long day ahead of you, then try getting to the office early in the morning so you can leave work at a reasonable hour. Delegate out tasks that can be done by your co-workers or subordinates to make your life easier. You don’t have to do everything you know!
Become a Better Networker. Networking yourself and your company is one of the best ways to spread the word and in the process, you will create more meaningful, professional relationships. People are more apt to do business with you if they like you as a person and if you go into each event thinking about creating partnerships rather than how it will only help you. LinkedIn is a fabulous networking site for those of us that can’t get out of the office to attend networking events in person. Set aside time each week to work on developing new partnerships – it will pay off!
Improve Your Work Relationships. Your boss controls a huge aspect of your life if you think about it so it is important that you have a strong professional relationship with him/her. Be sure you are effectively communicating with your boss and your co-workers each day. Ask your boss and fellow coworkers how you can help, and keep them abreast of your progress on certain tasks. Effective communication will keep the office running smoothly.
Develop Better Communication Skills. As mentioned above, effective communication is a must in the office. If you need improvement, then reading a book about communication or enrolling in some adult classes to help strengthen your skills would be a good idea.
Go Back to School. It’s never too late to finish a degree or to even get your first one. There are tons of different programs out there so go ahead and take the plunge this year!
Have a Better Attitude. People generally like positive people and positive people tend to have better opportunities and experiences happen to them. Remember to spend plenty of time with your friends and family this year and also remember to smile and laugh. Your New Year’s Resolutions will be more attainable if you stay positive.
2014 will be a great year as long as we set some goals (in writing) and follow through with them. Our work lives and personal lives are up to us so let’s all go out there and seize them and make 2014 the best year yet! 🙂