New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, and people often take the opportunity to focus on their personal lives and how they can improve themselves. However, there are important ways that these resolutions can enter into our professional lives to make us better workers who enjoy our day to day activities more and work more productively as well.
When we enjoy what we do every day, we are happier in our lives in general, so work-related New Year’s resolutions can have extremely positive benefits for people working in all kinds of jobs. Here are 5 suggestions for how to start the New Year positively and productively:
- Communicate more- Whether it’s responding to an email or just a friendly chat, it’s important to work in an environment where people feel comfortable interacting with each other. Whether this is between co-workers or managers and employees, it is important that employees feel comfortable speaking openly about issues that arise in the workplace. In some workplaces, employees are more or less isolated from one another, but it is always beneficial for workers to know their teams and how they can work together and cooperate and collaborate most effectively and efficiently.
- Learn about your colleagues- When you work with the same people every day, you understand how they operate in particular situations, but this can offer a very one-sided picture. Additionally it is common for workers to interact with the same people repeatedly, based on their office positions or work needs and to rarely engage with other employees. Learning more about your colleagues and the people who work in your company can make your job more interesting, engaging and enjoyable. It can expand your understanding of who you are working with, and it can introduce you to the broader culture of your workplace that you are a part of.
- Make time for you throughout the day- Of course you are there to do a job, and perhaps you are reporting to a manager or working as part of a larger team. Regardless of your role, you are there because YOU are doing your job. In order for you to perform your work most productively, it is important that you take time for yourself, so you can put your best self forward for the team and/or the company without losing yourself in your work. There may be times when you are swamped with work and feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but always remember that 10 minutes on either side of a task won’t make or break you.
- Improve your work/life balance- We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to maintain a healthy work/life balance. This doesn’t mean separating your personal and professional lives. Surely if you’ve tried, you know you can’t just leave home life behind when you head to work, and you can’t just leave your job at work when it’s time to call it a day. Instead try to find small positive ways that you can incorporate these two spheres of life without letting either take over you and your world. Think about what makes you happy at work (of course this doesn’t have to be your day-to-day tasks, but maybe it’s your co-workers, a nice person you see during lunch or maybe it is something you do that offers a sense of satisfaction);
- Eat healthier/Exercise- That’s right! The number one New Year’s resolution is on our list of ways to improve your professional life (and of course, at the same time, improve your personal life and health!) Given the amount of time we spend at work, it would be nearly impossible to commit to a healthier lifestyle without changing our eating and exercise habits during our professional lives as well. So, why not incorporate your new routine into your work life? Studies have shown that people are more likely to succeed in dieting and exercise when they have the support of buddies who are working towards common goals[i]. Working to achieve your goal with someone who you spend all day with during the week is a great option (plus, you can take the weekend off if you’ve stuck to the plan all week!) Buddying up with people at work offers the option of organising a pre-work exercise plan, a mid-day run or post-work gym session, and you always have someone to keep you in line during your lunch break. You also have a buddy to lean on for support when you slip up. Some companies offer corporate gym rates, and others organise group team sporting activities, so these are also great ways to start the New Year on the right track!