1/8/12 “Resolutions”

Good day, team.

It’s a new year, and I’m happy to say that I’m feeling more encouraged and invigorated by 2012 already. I think 2011 will go down as a challenging year for most of us.

This past week, I had many thoughts about what resolutions and goals I wanted to make this year. I’ve often made the mistake of choosing things I can do for awhile, but then my resolve weakens and the goal is lost. This year, I’m taking some advice from an article a client sent to me about small things we can do at work that will be helpful. Although this article is already 4 years old, it’s still as relevant as ever.

Rod Kurtz, the senior editor of Inc.com, says workers tend to overlook office behaviors when making New Year’s resolutions. In his December 2007 article, “11 Ways to Make your Job Better: Office Resolutions for 2008”, Kurtz suggests the following resolutions to improve your workplace lifestyle:

  • Fight the tyranny of the urgent. Be more productive by finishing small projects. Block off a period of time each day to take care of small tasks, leaving more time to spend on larger projects.
  • Clean your desk. A lot of clutter makes it hard to be productive, and a messy desk can equal a bad day. Take a few minutes each day to organize the piles.
  • Don’t be self-absorbed. Try not to ignore others; it may rub co-workers and subordinates the wrong way.
  • Come in early, leave on time. This forces workers to plan their day rather than wasting time and putting tasks off until later. Staying late isn’t always the best method.
  • Go to the gym — or don’t. Exercising relieves stress, but the gym isn’t the only answer. Workers can dance or participate in other activities outside the workplace.
  • Don’t shoot from the hip. Read through your e-mails and text messages before sending them. Make sure you know what you are saying.
  • Spend more time with your family. Make an effort to be with your family. They are as important as clients (if not more so).
  • Thank people and give positive feedback. Try to reward a co-worker with recognition. A simple thank you can go a long way and make people feel better about their jobs.
  • Take time to vacation. Taking a break from work can be good for our bodies and minds, a mental break for our batteries to charge. Bringing work on vacation doesn’t count.
  • Develop yourself. Be in charge of your professional development. Taking a new course or asking co-workers or outside professionals for help can increase your knowledge.
  • Acknowledge your shortcomings. You need to realize that you aren’t perfect. Recognize your weaknesses and ask others for help. Identify your strengths and be willing to help others where they are not as strong. This will help strengthen work relationships.

Kurtz also suggests that the more specific you make your resolutions, the better chance you’ll have of continuing the behavior. So, for example, instead of saying, “I’ll keep my desk clean,” it would be more effective to plan to spend 10 minutes out of each day cleaning your desk. Write down your resolutions and review them. This will help remind you of what you resolved to do.

Your challenge this week is to choose resolutions and goals that are achievable. Be honest with yourself. If you resolve to lose 10 pounds, what are you willing to do each day to lose that weight? Expecting yourself to lose it all within a month is probably unrealistic. Cut yourself some slack when it comes to holding yourself to your resolutions. Consistent, small steps generally get us to our destination even if we don’t arrive there as quickly as we’d like.

Have a good week!


Note: Many thanks to my friends at Reclaiming Futures for sending me this article!

© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

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