New Year's resolutions top many to-do lists each holiday season. The new year is a beginning so new goals and resolutions, new plans, new dreams and new directions fuel your thoughts. Here are ten New Year's resolutions for people who work for businesses and organizations.
Write out your New Year's resolutions and you will restore, revitalize and renew your spirit to take advantage of all the possibilities of the new year. May your New Year's resolutions help you make this year your best year ever.
Be good to yourself this year. Promise that you will:
Do something you love to do, and that you do best, every single day. In their landmark book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently (compare prices), Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup organization discovered this critical factor in interviews with 80,000 managers. For their interviews, they narrowed down the questions asked to the twelve that most clearly appeared to define happy, motivating, productive workplaces. These were the first three:
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
- At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
People who could answer these questions affirmatively were more likely to be happy and productive. Get passionate about your work. Do something you do best every day.
Do something just for you every single day. As a manager or business professional, you can get caught up in doing for others during every minute of your work day. If you have family members who occupy the off-work hours, this problem is compounded. Resolve to set time aside for yourself every day to exercise, relax, reflect, cook a gourmet dinner, eat ice cream, write in a journal, garden, walk your pet or do any other activity that takes your fancy. Just make sure the activity is different than what you already do all day long. You will feel as if you have a life.
Give yourself credit and a pat on the back when you deserve it. In the Gallup study cited earlier, this question defined the most productive workplaces. People who had received praise or recognition for their work in the past seven days were more happy and productive.
In this era of empowered employees and broad spans of managerial control, you are less likely to have frequent interaction with your boss. Thus, it is important that you recognize yourself for excellent efforts. One way to do this is to keep a file of positive notes, thank you letters and reminders of successful ventures. I call mine, “Neat Things.” Stop to assess success after each project you complete.
Strive to learn something new every single day. It is easy to get bogged down in the same old, same old. Read an article; discuss a new approach with a colleague; research what other organizations are doing on the Web. The opportunities for learning are multiplying every day in this information age.
Make professional contacts and network. Look up colleagues with whom you have lost touch. Make sure you attend at least one professional meeting each month. You will benefit from the friendships and relationships you develop from active participation. It is not enough to “join.” You need to participate to reap the rewards from professional collaboration. Read Dig the Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need by Harvey McKay, the king of networking. When you dig past the surface glitz, there are terrific ideas in this book.
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