It happens every January of every New Year. We make a time-consuming list of resolutions (usually the same ones from the prior year) and by the third week in January, we gradually go back to our old ways. In fact, by the time March rolls around, we can’t even remember our top 5 New Year’s Resolutions unless we go back to the place where they were once faithfully written down. My theory on keeping resolutions is to tie them to an aspect of our life that is meaningful, such as our health, wealth, relationship, or career. Keeping each resolution simple and with a clear purpose is essential. Opt for a collection of small resolutions to accomplish one result in order to keep them from seeming insurmountable.
Today, I’ll share a cluster of 5 easy-to-keep New Year’s resolutions to help you spark, sustain, and succeed in your career. Remember—they’re short and sweet— but collectively they will have a long-lasting effect not only on this year’s career achievements, but on your career success for years to come.
1. Organize Your Closet:
An organized closet is essential for job seekers and those of us who want to succeed in our careers. Think of all the time and brain cells you’ll save in the morning if you don’t have to give what you are wearing that day a second thought. Also, when your closet is organized you’ll be inspired to add accessories and coordinate outfits that are more interesting and intricate— all portraying a more upscale and sophisticated image of yourself.
2. Wash Your Hair the Night Before:
Bad hair mornings are the source of much anxiety in the morning, missed trains, and lateness for meetings and interviews. Washing your hair in the evening not only frees up time for you in the morning, but massaging your scalp before you go to bed will aid in a more pleasant and restful night’s sleep. You will feel more alert in the morning and ready to take on even the most difficult of bosses or work challenges. In addition, hair that’s been washed the night before has less static and is less slippery for styling. Use the extra time you’d normally spend fussing with your hair in the morning to plan and strategize your day’s work.
3. Go Into Your Archive of Friends & Acquaintances:
We tend to be creatures of habit. We eat the same things, wear the same things, and reach out to the same people. We stay within our comfort zones just because it feels safe. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn and grow by reaching out to more than the same five friends you’ve called within the past year. Go through your holiday cards (both personal and professional) and make a stack of people who you haven’t seen face-to-face in a year. Reach out to at least five people every month throughout this year: that’s sixty “new” people who can feed leads and information to help propel your career or job search.
4. Reward Yourself Without Breaking the Bank:
The holiday season can really be a rat race to send cards, bake cookies, entertain, shop, and wrap presents until wee hour of the night. Feeling depleted will absolutely show on your face and in your performance at work. So it’s important to pamper and reward yourself in ways that will invigorate you without breaking the bank. A simple manicure ($10-$12 + tip) will restore your nails and cuticles post holiday cooking and gift-wrapping. Treat yourself to an at-home aroma therapy bath and spa night after kids and/or significant other have gone to sleep. Indulge with a friend, co-worker, or partner on breakfast, coffee/tea, or after-dinner dessert instead of lunch and dinner—meals which tend to be more expensive social dining options.
5. Be Genuinely Open to Change:
Yes, we desire change. We hope for change. But are we really genuinely open and ready to change? Embrace small changes that will collectively make a difference to the big picture in your life. Choose colors, patterns, and textures in your wardrobe that you may have overlooked in the past. Change your walking or driving route to work, even if it means walking on the other side of the street. Change your lipstick color or the handbag you’ve neglected to clean out all year. Even these small changes will influence you to have an extra little hop in your step. That extra bit of positive energy is sure to fuel your disposition at work. An upbeat disposition is often rewarded with bonuses, promotions or other types of recognition in the workplace.
Make 2012 the year of your career!