Four Professional New Year’s Resolutions Worth Adopting

January 6, 2016
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If you are among the 45% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions1, here are nine that will help propel your career.  If you haven’t already chosen your resolutions, consider adopting the following this year.

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Become an early bird.  One study cited by Psychology Today found that early birds are generally happier because they were more productive in a given day than their night owl counterparts.  Capitalize on your peak productivity time by waking up earlier and getting some work done when your brain is firing on all cylinders.  Tackle your most challenging task first so you are more likely to complete it.  Waking up earlier only impacts your productivity if done on a consistent basis, so no more sleeping in on the weekend.  Why?  Catching up on lost sleep on the weekends actually disturbs the body’s circadian rhythm.  People who sleep past their normal wake-up time later feel groggy and exhausted. 

Consume more content.  Leaders never stop learning.  Staying abreast of industry news and learning from experts increases your knowledge, confidence and creativity levels.  There is a virtual labyrinth of literature available, so consume only high-quality content such as the Harvard Business Review and the New York Times.  Select industry-specific blogs to refine your core competency and continue reading this Dale Carnegie blog to ensure you reach your ultimate professional potential.  If you’re really limited on time, pick a few relevant podcasts to listen to during your commute, work-out or lunch hour.  I recommend starting with a free HBR’s Ideacast or TedTalks Business podcast.

Share your skills with others.  If you merely show up and do your job every day, the cold truth is that you are dispensable—can easily be replaced.  In addition to growing your skills, it is important to share them so that you play a vital part of your organization’s success.  To become this prized building block, Seth Godin says you need to, “produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.”  Fostering strong relationships with co-workers and sharing your skills with them, will set you up for success.  Ask your manager about upcoming opportunities to speak at a future conference or employee meeting such as a Lunch ’N Learn. 

Do something you’ve always dreamed of.  Dale Carnegie said, “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”  Perhaps there is a professional conference you’ve always wanted to attend, but lament annually that you can’t break away from the office for a few days.  Maybe there is an inner writer who you have been ignoring for years, yet you know your organization would benefit from your business blogging.  Whatever the dream, set a goal to achieve it in the New Year.  Dale Carnegie also said, “Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed,” so register for that conference, start writing—muster up the courage and just do it.

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