1. Start A ‘Vision’ Notebook
Give yourself the gift of self-awareness and achievement. Start a new notebook—one you already have works just fine, too—with a list of ideal action in your career. The action can be as small as “Use a vacation day as a ‘surprise’ rest day for myself sometime this year” or as lofty as you wish. (It’s a good year to land that promotion you’ve been eyeing.) At the beginning of each new month, refer back to your ‘vision’ and align your reality accordingly.
2. Set Realistic Deadlines.
Staying on-track to meet client / customer expectations is not only good for business but also your health. Setting reasonable goals helps you cut back on the amount of stress you’ll experience and, in turn, keeps your heart young and immune system strong. A 700-hour project is not finished in a day, nor does it benefit anyone to try to manage impractical confines. Boundaries, people. B-o-u-n-d-a-r-i-e-s.
3. Don’t Wait for Permission
No one has all the answers all the time. Including your boss. This year, try tackling a situation by taking charge and leading others around you to the solution. Doing so often results in tremendous appreciation and added trust, and it certainly sets you apart from the group.
4. Offer Solutions, Not Problems.
‘Jerry Maguire’ (Tom Cruise) didn’t get anywhere by sitting back and allowing problems to stand in the way of success. Nor should you. When faced with a “problem,” simply switch your mindset. Repeat: This isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity. And approach it as such. You’ll likely find that the “problem” will slip away and become much less daunting, yielding clarity and clearer pathways to solutions.
5. Ask For Feedback
It’s super easy to self-analyze how you’re doing at work. It’s not super easy to ask for honest feedback. But, doing so is a good start to great momentum. Pick a few colleagues (or employees, depending on your position) including those you’re not so close with and briefly survey them for feedback. Ask questions like ‘what do you think I can improve on to help the team’ or ‘how do you feel about our last project together? If you could change anything, what would it be?’ Take the constructive criticism and use it as ammo to fire up the career drive.
6. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
One ‘Thank You’ or acknowledgment of your team, colleagues or boss goes a long way. Take five minutes following a team or individual success and shout-out praises to the people who made it happen. Gratitude is a powerful emotion capable of amazing things that will significantly affect your relationships, trust and well-being in the most positive ways.
7. Assume The Positive
Have you read The Four Agreements? If not, it’s a really quick read and totally worth skipping an hour of The Bachelor for. *gasp!* One of its many great lessons is to Never Take Anything Personal and, with that, to always assume the best of every situation. Easier said than done but it makes a world of difference if you give it a chance.
8. Return Every Call
In our overly-connected-socially-consumed-like-driven world it’s easy to miss a phone call and text later. This year, use your Call Back button more times than last. Get into the habit of giving a shout back.
9. Know Your Boss’ Goals
How long has it been since you’ve sat down with your Boss to ask “what are your goals for us this year? How can I help you reach them?” Rather, have you ever asked your Boss a question like this? Now’s the time to do so. A New Year brings with it new opportunities to establish clear goals and lay the groundwork for success. What’s more, you’re showing just how much you care about the work you do, which always sits well in the eyes of someone you report to.
10. Don’t Do ‘Normal’
Your normal weekday is comfortable. So, it’s easy to fall into the same hourly / lunch / social routine as years past. That’s why it’s important to switch things up a bit, bring a little life back to the mix. Rather than start your day with a focus on your inbox, focus on finishing a project or something you’d typically do in the afternoon. Try a new lunch spot. Get to know a new person in the building or on your team. Why? Studies show that new input encourages your brain creatively and breaks bad habits. Which is exactly the type of change you need to grow past your current status quo.
Remember, b-o-u-n-d-a-r-i-e-s. Make sure to record The Bachelor while reading our HB book club pick. And Happy 2017. Here’s to a great work year ahead.