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5 Career New Year’s Resolutions
Mary Bedard

As the new year approaches, we reflect back on the lessons we’ve learned this year. And as always, we look to improve our well-being by applying the teachings from those lessons or make new commitments to better our life and selves. But what about our career? Shouldn’t we want to see what changes we can make there? From cleaning your inbox to staying healthy and work-life balance, here are five simple career New Year’s resolutions.

1. Read 3 career-related books this year

Regardless of what you do, there is a book out there to help you improve your performance, outlook, and habits. And, reading does wonders for your brain! It’s a win-win — better performance at work, better performance for the mind. If you don’t know where to start, Google your title or some responsibilities, or something you’d like to learn about your professional development, and see what titles come up. Read the reviews, too. Reviews are a great tool for discerning which book is going to be best for you.

2. Clean it out! Your inbox that is

In the modern age, email is the most used form of communication. However, emails can easily pile up, and before you know it, you have over 1,000 unread messages. Yikes! And looking at a pile of emails can feel exhausting. Treat yourself to a clean inbox this year — clean it out! Most of us probably have loads of useless emails, unread newsletters that we said in 2016 ‘we’d get to’, and most likely some emails we’ve forgotten about, which we should have responded to.

The best way to approach a good ol’ inbox clean is to see it as cleaning out a file cabinet: organize the emails in order of importance, family and friends, work, and even a ‘me’ folder. Treat your inbox like a virtual filing cabinet. And, of course, delete anything you don’t need. Once you’re done your inbox clean, you’ll feel digitally and mentally lighter.

3. Keep it simple, healthy

It wouldn’t be a New Year’s resolution list without a mention about healthy habits. We know how important health has become today, and don’t we all want to be healthy and happy people? Some people pick up running on their lunch break or drinking more water at their desk. The key to New Year health resolutions is to keep it simple, this way you can adjust as the year happens, and change or challenge your goals and habits.

Some simple ways to have a healthier-work-you are: packing a lunch, taking the stairs, getting out for a walk at lunch, stretching or walking around every couple of hours, and of course, drinking more water versus those two extra cups of coffee. Healthy habits don’t have to be complicated, keep it simple and see results.

4. Measure your work-life balance

Work-life balance has become a trend, and we’re glad it has. Not only are people happier when they have a work-life balance, but they’re also more productive and respected. But, how do you measure your work-life balance? One good suggestion is to take time each week to look at how much time you’re spending at or on work, what you’re doing for your physical and mental health, and when you spend time with family and friends.

Are you going to the gym? Seeing friends and family? Or are you spending two extra hours at work each day grinding out tasks that could be done the next day and then eating microwave dinners? Keep a log somewhere, either in an agenda or on a calendar, and track how often you see people, how often you work, how often you exercise, and how often you take time for yourself. Keeping your activities noted will make it easy to measure. If you’re having trouble or need a helping hand, ask a family member, friend, or co-worker for advice. We can all get stuck in tunnel vision sometimes, so it’s always good to have a trusted source to bring you back to earth!

5. Show us the new you!

Last but not least, and extremely important in today’s social media age, get a new professional photo done. Once upon a time, your LinkedIn or professional photo had to be done by a professional photographer. These days, that’s not necessarily the case, especially with smartphone camera technology. Of course, quality is important. You’ll also want to make sure the photo gives off the impression of an authentic you. Make it casual or professional, whatever you and your industry is comfortable with. For example, someone working at a creative agency might have a more casual photo while a lawyer might be in a suit. Once you’re done, update your profile and let the world see the new 2018 you.

Make this coming year your best one yet! Get on track early, measure your progress, and take care of yourself. Happy early New Year!

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