A new year is upon us, and, of course, we must set our usual resolutions; eat healthier, go to the gym, swear less, sleep more. These goals usually last a whole 31 days before they phase out and we resume our normal, indulgent lifestyle. This year, it’s time to start something different, setting resolutions that can be done at work and will benefit your entire life. But what career goals should you set, and how do you stick to them?
Here are 30 resolution ideas that you can easily incorporate into your daily life and make your upcoming working year an even better one.
1. Revamp your social media profiles
Take a look at your online profiles — are they in line with your professional image? If not, don’t fall into the trap of making well-known social media mistakes, and give your pages a revamp. A study from CareerBuilder revealed that “70 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates before hiring them, up from 60 percent a year ago and 11 percent in 2006.”
Ensure you only have information that you would want your boss or potential manager to see — it’s time to get rid of those embarrassing Magaluf photos and replace them with something a little more refined.
2. Do something for you every day
It’s human nature to get caught up doing things for others and forget to do something for yourself. This is your year to make a change and do something for yourself every single day. Whether it’s going on a walk on every lunch break, treating yourself to a Starbucks coffee, or simply taking five minutes at the end of the day to gather your thoughts and unwind.
Find something that you will look forward to, and that will make your working day better — it’s the little things that count!
3. Give credit where credit is due
Are you constantly beating yourself up about what went wrong, rather than reflecting on the amazing job that you or your team did? If so, it’s time to start giving more credit; whether it’s a pat on your back or a well-done to your employees. It’s mind-blowing how a little bit of recognition can motivate you to strive for success.
4. Be more positive
Are you one of those people that think the grass is always greener on the other side? If so, it might be time to change your mindset to a more positive one. Be grateful for where you are and the job you have. You’re there because you were really excited about it at one point, so find that fire inside you and list what’s great about your current situation. You’ll be amazed at the difference a mindset shift can have!
5. Learn something new
Are you struggling to keep up with the new version of Microsoft Word and can’t seem to figure out all the functions in Outlook? Maybe it’s time to learn something new and develop your skills. If it’s something that will enhance your current job, your company may even be willing to pay for it. If not, there are plenty of free or cheap online courses that can spruce up your knowledge. You could also dedicate 15 minutes of your day to read an educational article about your specific field or a new study.
6. Make new connections
Even if you’re not looking for a new job, networking is something you should still put effort into. Going to networking events and connecting with peers online will help give you creditability and will help you create valuable and meaningful relationships. You’ll learn new things and will improve your social and professional skills. You could even network with colleagues in your office that work in a separate department outside of the office walls; when you need a favor, they’ll be more inclined to help you if you already have an existing relationship.
7. Improve your to-do list
Is your to-do list currently a few scribbles on a post-it note that always happens to disappear? It’s probably time you upped your list and organized your time a little better. You need to find the best method that works for you and is something that you will stick to.
Why not move your to-do list online? You can add calendar notes with alerts or download an app on your phone. If online isn’t your thing, buy yourself a diary and create a numbered to-do list at the end of your day and be ready to start fresh in the morning.
8. Rethink your professional goals
Having professional goals to work towards can really help you advance your career. Do you want to develop your career and get a promotion or move on to a new career path? Think about what it is you want to do in the new year and set yourself some goals to work towards your target. If you want to start a new career, gain the education that you require and learn what it takes to break through into that field.
9. Build your personal brand
Your personal brand is a reflection of yourself, your experience, and the knowledge that you possess. If you don’t have a brand, it’s time to start building one. Use social media platforms to your advantage and create a strong and useful contact for your industry.
10. Quit complaining
If you’re that person that is always complaining about the state of the office kitchen or the fact that Jane’s holiday was approved before yours, or any other irrelevant topic, it’s probably time to quit complaining. If you’ve not noticed that people are avoiding you like the plague, now is your time to reflect and realize why.
11. Stay out of office politics
Office gossiping really won’t get you anywhere in life — so what if Jane and the IT guy got it on at the Christmas bash? From now on, if a colleague tries to engage in a little gossip sesh, give one-word answers that won’t backfire, like “wow” or “interesting” and follow with an “I’m really busy. I’ll catch up with you later.”
12. Get your career in shape
The start of a new year is the perfect time for a career check. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to fall into a routine of cutting corners, cruising at half speed and losing focus. Make a list of areas that you can improve and find solutions to those problems. Now is your chance to take charge of your career and be more successful within your company.
13. Build your relationships
It’s so easy to write a quick IM to John in accounting or shoot a swift e-mail to Greg in IT instead of getting up off your chair and having a face-to-face conversation. These unsociable ways we have succumbed to have taken away the personal touch to form an actual relationship. Wires can get crossed, and messages misread, so get up and walk those 10 steps to build valuable relationships within the workplace.
14. Eat healthier at work
We are all guilty of over-indulging on junk in the workplace; whether it’s a delicious chocolate cheesecake your colleague brought in for their birthday or the donuts a client kindly sent as a thank you. This year learn to resist temptation and swap the calorific options for healthy snacks that will keep you just as satisfied throughout your working day.
15. Exercise at work
This one might be a long shot, but if you can’t get yourself to the gym, why not squeeze in some exercise at work? If that’s even a push, you can work out on the clock with simple desk exercises. Your colleagues won’t even realize you’re exercising with some of the routines!
16. Get a raise or a promotion
If you’ve been in your current role for a while and have hit a bit of a slump, it’s time to talk to your boss to understand what it will take to get a raise or a promotion.
17. Reduce stress
If you’re feeling super stressed at work, you need to take a step back and find out where the stress is coming from. You could be putting too much pressure on yourself for no apparent reason. Once you have identified the cause, find ways to eliminate the stress; this could be through better organization or more personal time to enjoy activities and unwind after work.
18. Improve your work-life balance
Are you guilty of staying late every day and rushing home with a takeaway in hand because it’s too late to cook anything? Work-life balance is important; you need to know when to switch off and figure out what you can leave until the next day. If you are a supervisor, delegate your tasks among your employees to lighten your workload. That’ll ensure you’re not staying hours later, playing catch-up.
19. Develop your communications skills
If you’re terrible at delivering presentations or interacting with your boss, try taking classes to improve your communication skills. It’ll not only help you within the workplace but will also build up your general confidence.
20. Volunteer more
Volunteering is a great way to feel good about yourself and will also look great on your résumé and social media platforms. Find a cause that’s close to your heart and round up your colleagues to help out too.
21. Make new friends
If you’re the type of person that keeps their head down at work, it’s time that you start taking small breaks to connect with your coworkers. Aim to make new friendships in the workplace — not only will it make your day more enjoyable, but you’ll have an additional bond that will keep you motivated at work. Let’s not forget that you’ll have someone to vent to when your boss is getting on your last nerve, too!
22. Stop procrastinating
Are you guilty of procrastinating on the job? It’s easy to get side-tracked by a news alert or a text from your best friend! We’ve all been there. That said, in the new year, set yourself a new goal to stop wasting time at work. You can use the help of some great tools, like a time-tracking app or a social media blocker, to keep you focused on the work at hand.
23. Improve your mental skills
Improving your mental skills can help you stay more focused and alert throughout the day. So, if you want to start training your brain, you can use cognitive thinking tests, training games on your smartphone and herbal remedies that can increase your mental ability. For example, B12 is recommended for increased energy consumption and better functioning of your nervous system.
24. Get more sleep
Are you always yawning on the job and end up in a midday slump while you’re battling to keep your eyes open? If so, you most likely lack some much-needed quality sleep. To improve your overall energy levels and concentration, aim to get at least eight hours of shut eye every night. This is an easy and effective New Year’s resolution that you’ll be thanking us for later.
25. Start your pension savings
Even if you’re in your 20s or 30s, you should definitely start thinking about your pension plans. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to start investing in your future by setting some money aside each month. How you do this is up to you — you could consider opening a private pension plan or simply saving in a fixed ISA account. The most important thing is to start putting money into your pension pot.
26. Set personal goals
Personal goals are essential if you want to have a good work-life balance. So, as well as outlining your professional goals, as mentioned above, it’s important to set personal ones, too. Do you want to be healthier? Learn a new sport or skill? Write it down! At the beginning of the year, create a list of goals that you want to achieve and review your progress every quarter.
27. Update your résumé
Even if you don’t plan on looking for a new job in the new year, it’s never a bad idea to give your résumé a refresh. You should update it yearly, based on the new tasks and skills you’ve achieved. It’s a good idea to update your résumé periodically so you don’t lose track of any achievements. if you leave it until you’re searching for a new job, you may forget vital information to add.
28. Get a new professional headshot
Unless your company forces you to pose in front of the camera, it’s unlikely that you’ve updated your headshot in a few years. That said, it’s important to keep your headshot up to date, so hiring managers and connections have a good idea of who you are and what you look like. It’s important to give an accurate representation of yourself. So, this new year, get out there and get yourself a new headshot to update your professional profiles.
29. Embark on personal ventures
Is there a personal venture that you’ve been dreaming about, but you haven’t actually put the ball in motion to see it through? Well, now is your time to branch out and try your own thing! It doesn’t mean that you need to quit your job. Instead, allocate some time each week to work on your personal goals. You never know, your side-gig might eventually turn into a profitable business!
30. Work on your time management
Even if you’ve got impeccable time management skills, they can always be improved further. There’s always more time to accomplish new goals and do more with the time that we have. So, in the new year, try to improve your time management skills. You could do this with the help of time-tracking apps, to-do lists and other productivity tools. It’s all about working smarter to work harder!
Do you struggle to keep your resolutions? Here are a few tips:
New Year’s resolutions are often a fad that people tend to forget by the end of January and that they aren’t able to keep. That said, this year, select a few that you really want to work on and try to achieve them. Don’t go overboard and attempt to turn your life around in a few months. Instead, be realistic and ensure your chosen goals are manageable.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Originally published 31 December 2020.