As the holidays wind down, New Year’s Day looms, and with it the spectre of New Year’s Resolutions. While most people look at these resolutions in a personal sense, like losing weight, exercising more, or being more assertive, I’ve found it beneficial to apply the idea of New Year’s Resolutions to work as well. We need goals in our jobs as well as in our personal life. After all, how do we know what we are achieving if we aren’t striving for something?
How to make good, achievable resolutions
We often make resolutions, but after a few weeks, they fade into the background, and we don’t think about them again until the next New Year. Here’s some tips for not just making, but keeping your resolutions:
- Keep it achievable. Make sure your resolution is possible. Don’t shoot for the moon, but rather incremental steps toward your goal. If you set your bar too high, you can feel overwhelmed by the challenge. Instead, set small, achievable goals that will step you along the way to the ultimate goal of your resolution.
- Make it specific. A goal that is too general isn’t always an impetus for change. State specifically what you want to achieve. Losing weight is too general. Losing 20 pounds is an actual goal that you can mark yourself against.
- List concrete steps towards your goal. Don’t just state what you want to achieve, but make part of your resolution specific steps you intend to take to meet the goal. If you want to be more assertive, add a goal of speaking up at least once in every staff meeting. Again, keep it achievable. And every time you achieve your goal, remember to reward yourself, even if it’s just a mental pat on the back!
- Share your goal with at least one other person. It’s easy to lie to ourselves, but it’s harder to backtrack when we have someone else helping us to be accountable.
My work related resolutions for this year are fairly simple:
- Learn CSS (cascading style sheets). I’ve already dabbled with CSS in my blogs, since it’s the backbone of WordPress. However, since it’s also the styling for SharePoint, learning CSS is a good direction for me to take not only in my current job, but in my career as well. So, I resolve to spend at least 1 hour per week this year working on my CSS skills.
- Keep my desk neater. Neatness has never been my forte, so this year, my goal is to keep everything neater. Keep my pens in a cup, keep my papers in their folders. Put things away when I’m not using them. I resolve to spend 10 minutes every evening before I go home and 10 minutes before lunch every day tidying up my desk so it remains neater.
- Be more assertive in asking for new duties. I’ve been holding back in this job so far, but I’ve seen a number of things around this office that I can lend my expertise to. So I’m putting together a list of things to cover with my boss on extra duties I can take on when I’m not tied up with my primary job here. I resolve to set up a meeting with him during the first two weeks of January to share my ideas.
So, what are your work and/or career resolutions for this year? It can be anything from a small resolution relating to a current duty, or something as big as getting a new job in another industry. Share with us your resolutions for 2009 and how you want to go about achieving them. Or if you aren’t sure how to achieve them, ask and we’ll help you with some ideas for achieving your goals this year.
So, what are your goal for the New Year? Share them with us. Maybe we can help?