- Acknowledge your goals to keep laziness and self-sabotage at bay.
- Setting and achieving small goals grants us the confidence to aim higher.
- Make a list of small and achievable work related goals that you can keep to significantly enhance the year ahead.
By Bronwyn Xavier.
The start of a New Year is often the only time we thoroughly scrutinise all aspects of our lives. We often find many areas wanting and vow to make drastic sweeping changes that will sort everything out once and for all.
But as we all know, despite our champagne-fuelled confidence, it never works like that. We need to be realistic and specific about our goals and desires. Instead of saying: “I promise never to eat junk food again”, it is much more achievable to specify: “I resolve not to eat Adriano Zumbo’s Red Velvet Tim Tams in 2018”. This resolution has identified a specific problem (not mine I swear!) and has a finite and achievable end goal.
Setting and achieving small goals grants us the confidence to set and achieve more goals. This is instead of breaking the no junk food rule at 3am on the first day of January and giving up altogether.
For most of us, next year is probably going to be much the same as the last. With that in mind, make a list of small and achievable work-related goals that you can keep to significantly enhance the year ahead. Here are some suggestions...
Reach out to two new connections a month
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have theoretically made connecting with people easier, but often these connections are shallow. Look at your friends list and determine how many of these connections you would be comfortable asking favours or advice from? Work to grow deeper and more meaningful connections that can enrich your working life.
Check in with the 10-year-old you
Have you forgotten why you do what you do? Remind yourself of why you strived to get where you are and celebrate your successes. Indulge in the fun or satisfying aspects of your industry with relish.
Use your commute
A woman who catches the same train as me most days has recently had her first novel published that she wrote entirely on the train on her way to work. While I’m not saying this is a goal for everyone, we do tend to see travel time as wasted time. Resolve to use your commute more wisely to set yourself up for the day. Use a phone app to learn a language. Read or even write a novel.
Make 2018 the year for questioning the status quo and seeking answers for the little things you’ve always wondered about
If you use your commute to scroll mindlessly on Facebook, make that your dedicated time for it so it doesn’t creep into all hours of your day. If you drive, discover interesting podcasts or audio books. Squeeze your buttock muscles or pelvic floor at every red light to increase your incidental exercise.
Broaden your horizons
Subscribe to at least two online and two print publications. Make one work-related and the other something totally out of left field. We can easily get absorbed in our own world, especially in this age where all our news is curated. Niche publications break through your bubble and widen your horizons. Allow yourself to be continually curious and open to learning.
Ask more questions
Some things we have been doing for so long in the same way that we no longer even question them. Make 2018 the year for questioning the status quo and seeking answers for the little things you’ve always wondered about.
Identify at least one Black Hole
We all have one. The one task that sucks time and energy in a way that is hugely disproportionate to outcomes and satisfaction. Identify it and resolve to look at why this task is so painful for you and try to tackle it in a different way. After all, goals and resolutions are just promises to ourselves to spend our own time in a better way. Acknowledging and articulating these goals ensures we don’t give in to laziness and self-sabotage.
Related: Five daily ways to practise mindfulness at work
Whether it’s on the train or at your desk, mindfulness expert Sarah Salas shows how taking regular daily short breaks for mindfulness practice can lower stress and help you cope better.