Resolution. A decision to do or not do something. We all have them. We all start them. And we all rarely ever finish them. Maybe this year, instead of personal resolutions, it should be about new motivations. Instead of unrealistically trying to lose those 15 pounds you have been carrying around since college, it is time to focus your energy on what motivates you personally and professionally. Where can you improve? What can you build on? What do you want to learn more about? How do you want to transform yourself? As I look to jump into 2016, there are several areas I plan to focus on in the New Year.
Take on a Challenge
We all have job descriptions which include the overall day-to-day functions and responsibilities of our positions. To keep things fresh and challenging, I find it very important to take on roles that challenge me as an individual. I would identify and want to be a part of those projects that made me think outside of the box. Allowing myself to take on tasks that are not a part of my general day-to-day duties has created an opportunity to learn new things and grow within my position.
Steer Clear of Negative Influences
Don’t allow yourself to become involved in negative situations or entangled with negative people at work. Remember that those people are having issues and need to deal with it on their own accordingly. Don’t fuel their fire. Try to remain a positive influence for them and suggest constructive options for them to get out of their funk. Become a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
Have a Life
Eat + Work + Eat + Work + Eat + Sleep. For most people this is what their work life-balance formula looks like. There is no inclusion of family, friends, fun or free time. There is generally only time added in for the basic necessities to survive a long, never ending work day. There is really no "life” at all in this formula, only work. This formula however is not the equation for great work-life balance. The formula has to include additions of movie nights. There has to be allowances for time when you don’t pick up your cell phone because you were too busy re-living old times with your friends. There has to be additions of time in total silence, sitting on a beach, drinking a margarita. A formula modified with all these things creates a better career life for you and everyone that surrounds you. Take the time to figure out how you want your equation to look and you will see that the true formula is not a survival formula, but becomes your true “how to live” formula.
Develop a Personal Development Plan
Most game plans or work plans that you develop focus on specific tasks or to-dos to accomplish during that specific quarter or calendar year. They are almost entirely career or work focused. Rarely do they take your personal and family goals into account and rarely do they focus on your lifetime goals and growth. A personal development plan encompasses all of these factors. It can include overall career goals as well as personal and family goals all wrapped into one single plan. These goals can be a culmination of what you want to accomplish over a lifetime along with details on how to achieve them. For you, it can create your own personal map of how to get there.
Become a Leader
Perhaps you don’t exactly hold a leadership position in your office. Maybe you are a new employee and the word "leader” hasn’t been part of your vocabulary, yet. No matter the situation, and just because your title doesn’t have you at the top of the company ladder, there are still many ways you can start today by developing yourself into a leader at work. First, figure out what kind of leader you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your leadership characteristics? What is your leadership vision? What leadership statement best describes you? Find the answers to your questions and you can begin to develop a leadership plan to focus on for now and in the future.
Train, Learn and Educate
It’s your career. There is never a better time than now to start honing your craft. It’s time to start polishing what you do. It’s time to start building it for the future. Identify the areas of your job responsibilities that you want to grow in and start learning more. Take a class that teaches you something that you didn’t already know. Shadow a colleague to understand what it takes and to see it all through their eyes. Read a book. Write a report. And above all ask lots and lots of questions.
Here’s to making this the year you step from behind the curtain and start speaking your mind. Take the opportunity to make yourself heard at your next all company meeting. Even if you think your idea is off the wall or just a small brainstorm of something that isn’t quite developed, get it out there in the open and start talking about it. Start taking the initiative and express yourself.
This year change your focus. Set yourself up to be motivated in 2016. Motivate yourself to set your career resolutions up now and watch them become part of your career goals for a lifetime. So, here’s to you in 2016.