Don't let this year's resolutions be an empty promise to yourself. Here are 17 resolutions you'll actually be able to keep!
As a wild 2016 winds down to an end, it’s time to look forward to 2017. For many, that means looking for New Year's resolution ideas and making goal for the new year. If you’re like most people, you’re probably sick of making the same, generic resolutions only to see them fly out the window by the end of January (if you’re lucky).
It’s great to make resolutions. They’re a way for us to look forward to the new year with optimism that is active, rather than passive. You’re proclaiming how you want the new year to be better and how you’re going to do it. The problem comes when those resolutions are too generic and impossible to measure.
This year, look at your career and set some firm, measurable goals that you can actually track and achieve. Here are 17 workplace goals for the new year that will make 2017 your best work year ever.
1. Do five things to stay healthier at work.
Everyone is concerned about health, and losing weight is a common New Year's resolution for many people. Consider how much time you spend at work. Think of five simple ways you can stay healthier at work. Pack a lunch. Take the stairs. Get up and stretch every hour. Think small and you’ll find that those little things add up.
2. Learn a new computer program.
No matter what career field you are in, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of computer programs that could be useful to you. Is there one you’ve been meaning to learn? Set it as one of your work goals for the year and get it done. You won’t regret it. If it can enhance your current job, your company might even be willing to pay for it!
3. Read one career related or motivational book.
Reading does wonders for your mind. Regardless of your job, there is a book out there that can improve your performance, your outlook, or your personal habits. Even if you think you know what you need to know, reading a great book on professional development can give you a new perspective.
4. Update your resume.
When is the last time you looked at your resume? I mean really looked at your resume. Is the style still current? Is the information correct? Make it a work goal for the year, even if you don’t plan on applying anywhere, it’s always best to update your resume periodically before you lose track of the information you need.
5. Add at least one new business connection per month.
There’s no downside to increasing the size of your network. You probably meet people all the time, but do you take the time to listen, grab their business card and connect with them? Try to find one person per month to add to your Linkedin connections and watch your network blossom.
6. Review and improve your LinkedIn profile.
Speaking of Linkedin, how does your profile look? In the professional world, Linkedin is crucial to your overall presence. Just like your resume, you need to keep the information, tone and look of it up to date. Look at some of your connections and see if they’re doing anything different that jumps out at you in a good way. If so, tweak your page to create a similar effect.
7. Clean out your file cabinet (or computer files).
This New Year's resolution idea can double as one for home, too! Book this one for spring cleaning if you’d like. Many of us have file cabinets that are filled with old papers that are not remotely relevant to our work anymore. It doesn’t take long and you’ll be glad you did. Weed through that file and recycle what you don’t need and organize the rest. This works equally well for your computer files, too.
8. Sign up to follow one relevant blog.
There is a world of free information, insider tips, and great motivational writers online. Find one that you enjoy, whether it is industry specific or just someone who puts a little pep in your step, and sign up to follow it. Don’t know where to find one? Ask around the office. If you find one your co-workers like, it also becomes conversation fodder. Win win.
9. Find a work mentor.
Is there someone whom you highly respect in your company? Look for someone a step or two above you and ask if they’d be willing to be a work mentor. Don’t just look up to them. It works best if it is a recognized relationship between the two of you. Set workplace goals for the new year and have a little fun while you’re at it.
10. Get a new professional photo.
Do you cringe every time you look at your photo on Linkedin? Take the plunge and get a new photo. It can be casual or very professional as long as the photo itself is high quality. You want a picture that truly represents who you are professionally and personally.
11. Send at least one “Thank You” per month.
Sending a handwritten “Thank You” is a great way to show your appreciation and professionalism. It feels good, too. Buy a box of “Thank You” notes that you like. Then, each month think of someone who did something nice for you. It could have been a recommendation. It may have been buying lunch. Even if it’s not work related and you send a “Thank You” to your mother-in-law, you’ll feel good about yourself and it will show at work.
12. Join a professional organization.
Yes, professional organizations usually cost money. However, the benefits you can receive from the connections you’ll make and what you can learn is well worth the cost in most cases. Look for one that is focused on your favorite part of your career and check out any conferences they have. A good conference can boost your work energy for weeks.
13. Take an evening to measure your work-life balance.
We all hear about work-life balance, but how do you measure it? The first step is actively deciding that you want to see where you are at. Then, find a good, online survey to make it easy. Look over your results and maybe discuss them with your family.
Volunteering is a great way to feel good about yourself, and it's an even better New Year's resolution idea. Find a cause that is meaningful for you and sign up to participate. You can feed the homeless, pick up trash in a park, raise money for a new local pool, whatever you like. If you really want to step up your game, see if you can get your office to make it an official event and recruit co-workers to volunteer with you.
15. Get one new professional certification.
Is there one spot on your resume where you wish you could put “XXXX Certified?” Stop wishing and make it happen. This is a great idea as one of your work goals for the year, as it can advance your career! If it costs money, just think of it as an investment in your future. You can do this!
16. Clean out your email inbox.
Just like that file cabinet, your email inbox is probably flooded with old, useless emails. There are some you can’t lose in there, too. Organize your email files, sort those emails, and delete what doesn’t need to be there anymore. You’ll feel a little bit lighter every time you log in.
17. Attend one networking event.
Networking events are not comfortable for everyone. You don’t have to do them every week, but it is a good idea to put yourself out there at least once per year. You’ll meet other movers and shakers in your industry that live in your area. It’s a great way to make new connections and keep on top of what’s happening in your field locally.
Now that you’ve made your 2017 New Year’s work goals for the year, put on your party hat and get ready to ring in the new year!
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