Each year millions of people make resolutions on what they will start or stop doing in the new year. One key to successfully keeping a resolution is making it specific and measurable.
If you are still working on yours, below are 10 ideas for commitments you can make in your professional and personal life – many apply to both!
These are simply suggestions, so don’t feel like you have to tackle every one of them. If any appeal to you, add them to any other resolutions you want to make and write them all down. Make sure you create measurable objectives.
1. Take Better Care of Yourself. Are you spending enough time taking care of your health? Without good health, none of your other resolutions matter.
Most of us struggle with this area, whether it’s weight gain, poor eating, lack of exercise, poor sleep, smoking, alcohol consumption – or other unhealthy behaviors. This is at the top of the resolutions list for a reason.
If any of these hit home, take a good hard look at which ones are affecting you the most and make a specific, written commitment to make changes to get yourself on the path to physical wellness.
2. Feed Your Brain. Do you spend enough time learning? When did you last read or listen to a good book that brought you new knowledge? Maybe it’s time to commit to reading at least one edifying book a month or perhaps start with one a quarter. What’s important is your commitment to a number and follow through.
3. Improve Your Work/Life Balance. Most professionals spend too many hours working and not enough time living their lives outside of work. Sound familiar? One way to break this cycle is to commit specific blocks of time for activities outside of work.
You can structure time for new hobbies, sports, or other interests. Or you can simply cook a meal from scratch every week, read a book, or do new activities with your spouse or loved ones. Maybe join a church group or volunteer at a food bank. A good way to stay on track is to write these activities on your schedule every week, the same way you would plan a work meeting or a project. Otherwise, you will likely slip out of balance again. This is key to any resolutions list.
4. Get Better Organized. Oftentimes clutter leads to wasting a lot of time finding things when you need them. It’s easier said than done but commit to starting the new year by cleaning your office – or your garage. Eliminate things you have stored up but haven’t looked at or used in several years – you probably never will.
5. Reduce Distractions. If you find yourself getting distracted a lot, and becoming frustrated about not getting things done quickly enough, maybe it’s time to try something different.
This might include letting phones go to voicemail, turning off text and instant messaging, closing your door, and removing as many distractions as possible. Try this for a month. Make it a habit, and you will wonder how you were ever able to get anything done before.
6. See Your Commitments Through. It’s very easy to get excited about a new project, focus a bunch of energy on it, then halfway through see another “shiny object,” and start on that. Before you know it you have a bunch of unfinished projects. How frustrating is that?
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. That doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple projects going on at the same time. Most people don’t have the luxury of just doing one thing at a time. Try this: As you complete a step in a project, immediately schedule the next step.
With your project “timelines” all on one page, you can see when a project is slipping, and make a decision to put it on hold or slow down on the others so you can get it back on track.
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