5 Tips to Start the New Year Right

5 Tips to Start the New Year Right

We often start the year with good intentions, eager to change some of the negative habits we’ve developed the year before. Most of us promise to work harder, sleep longer, eat healthier, and exercise more. For many career-goers, the New Year comes as a chance to start fresh and implement new strategies to finally take our careers to the next level. However, as February and March roll around, we often find ourselves slipping back into old habits, sleeping just the bare minimum, eating whatever food we can find, and struggling to find time to exercise. And just like with all other areas of our lives, our grand business plans for the year are suddenly confronted with the reality that it’s not so easy to change well-established habits.

So how can we keep the momentum going? How can we ensure that our best laid plans actually see the light of day? Here are a few quick, easy-to-accomplish tasks that will build the foundation to help you keep your promises to yourself.

  1. Clear Your Desk

This may not sound like much, but it may turn out to be the best piece of advice you receive all year. Remove every piece of paper from your desk. File or scan whatever you need and throw the rest away. De-cluttering your workspace helps clear your mind and allows you to focus on what’s really important. In essence, you get a fresh start every day.

  1. Set Your Goals

If you haven’t already done this, now is a good time to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Don’t put this off — carve out your goals before the end of the week. For goal-setting to be effective you must ensure that your objectives are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Time-bound
  • Your own
  • In writing

Remember not just to include career goals, but ones for other aspects of your life. To make sure your goal-setting is balanced, you must set at least one goal centered on:

  • Career
  • Financial
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Family
  • Social
  1. Create a Calendar

To really make sure you don’t fall off the goal wagon, keep a calendar with your goals penned (not penciled) in to give yourself time to do everything you set out to do. Make sure to reserve time for all your goals as well, be that time for self-care, time with your partner or family, or quality time with your children.

  1. Get Out of the Office

While you’re scheduling your goals, try to find a day for you and key team members in your department to meet and discuss a game plan to achieve your new career goals together — after all, many hands make for light work. And don’t do it at work. Getting away from the office for one day will keep distractions to a minimum and allow creativity to flow. Even better? No phones or email allowed.

  1. Map Out Checkpoints

Finally, mark out tangible checkpoints for the year to help you stay on target. Did you want to do more networking this year? Plan to attend one or two key conferences. Did you want to improve your presentation skills? Look up a few classes in your area and mark them in your calendar. These will keep you honest should life get in the way.

If you follow these quick tips, you’ll put yourself in the right frame of mind to turn your career ambitions into reality this year.

Wishing you all a happy new year 2019!