The start of a new year often brings a fresh perspective, newfound inspiration, and a long list of resolutions. However, few strategize how to feasibly achieve their goals. Start the new year off right at work by creating practical and achievable objectives designed to help accelerate your career and open up new opportunities for growth.
If you want to make this your most successful year yet, follow these tips for a prosperous new year.
1. Set Reasonable, Measurable Goals
Setting goals that you can reasonably meet by the end of the year can make you feel more fulfilled and help you achieve greater success in your professional life. Goals can be either short-term or long-term that you aim to achieve within a specified amount of time, such as a week, month, or year.
One strategy commonly used in goal setting is the SMART goal method:
- (S) Specific – Make goals as specific as possible
- (M) Measurable – Establish metrics for measuring the progress of goals
- (A) Attainable – Ensure that goals are reached in a certain timeframe
- (R) Relevant – Goals should align with your values
- (T) Time-based – Set realistic, ambitious end dates for motivation
2. Create a Plan
It can be difficult to get started on your journey toward professional success without a plan in place. Create a plan that outlines all of the steps required to meet your target goal.
For example, if one of your goals is to complete a major project, break down the project into specific milestones and assign individual activities to certain people or departments. A plan should spell out all tasks, deliverables, funding, milestones, resources, and other relevant information.
3. Talk About Your Goals
While thinking about what goals you’d like to achieve is a good start, talking about them out loud can get you more motivated to take action. In a phenomenon known as the “feedback hypothesis,” Gary Lupyan from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reveals that talking to yourself out loud can actually motivate you to move forward with your goals, combat self-criticism, and help keep you focused on the task at hand. While this can be applied to everyday tasks, it is also useful for long-term goal-setting in the workplace.
4. Set Aside Time for Your Goals
Day-to-day work commitments can often get in the way of people achieving their goals. Many people make the excuse that they “don’t have time” or that working towards goals would force them to sacrifice in other areas. In reality, most people have enough time during the day that they could dedicate to achieving their goals.
For example, you could go to bed a little earlier at night and get up earlier in the morning and use this quiet time to work. If you’re a night owl, consider staying up a half hour later at night. Instead of wasting time going out for lunch each afternoon, pack your lunch and use the extra time to work towards your goals.
5. Strategize How to Get New Skills
Developing new skills can help you work more effectively and achieve your goals faster than you thought possible. There are many things you can do to develop your skills, such as taking an online course or seeking out a mentor who can help you overcome some of the challenges you face. Study everything there is to know about the topic and accept new challenges that could help your skill level grow.
6. Keep Your Future Career Outlook in Mind
It can often be difficult to look toward the future and see what your career will look like in six months, one year, or even several years down the road. Make one of your new year’s resolutions to develop a career outlook that takes into account your new goals and any hurdles you faced in the past year. Keeping your future career outlook in mind can help you get off on the right foot and make it your best year yet.
7. Create a Calendar
Consider making a calendar that acts as a sort-of to-do list that helps you remember all that you must do in the year. Write down things like conference dates, events that you need to attend, and important milestones that you want to achieve. When you set goals, consider attaching each milestone to a time limit written on the calendar to help keep you motivated.
8. Document Your Successes
Most people rarely tally up their accomplishments at work but this practice can be more beneficial than you think. Just like an inspirational book, documenting your successes can provide you with encouragement to continue working towards your goals. In addition, sharing your successes can be advantageous when seeking support for a new project or initiative or when trying to impress attendees at networking events.
9. Refresh Your Space
Your workspace plays a key role in your overall productivity and motivation. A bad habit that many professionals have is working in a public place that does not cater to a productive work environment, such as a busy café where you are constantly getting interrupted. Over time, your workspace could impact your mental health and create discouragement.
Use the start of the year as a new opportunity to refresh your space. In fact, consider a new beginning in an entirely new environment. Get your fresh start at Roam, a comprehensive work, meet, and office solution that provides members with intentionally designed workspaces equipped with complimentary technology and other amenities. If you’re looking to simply update your space, but need some inspiration, Roam can provide consulting on design and build-out too!
10. Commit to a System of Organization
The start of a new year is the perfect time to get organized. A good system of organization helps you gain greater control of your time and complete the tasks needed to achieve your goals. Consider a resolution that involves organizing each area of your professional life to save time, reduce clutter, and effectively delegate tasks.
Organize files by priority and keep the most important documents within arm’s reach. At the end of each work day, spend about 10 to 15 minutes organizing your workspace and planning for your next day of work.
11. Get Active in a Group
Social media and similar online platforms can play a key role in helping professionals stay motivated to succeed. Consider creating an online profile and joining a group of like-minded individuals. Share your accomplishments and your drawbacks and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or just someone to listen and understand. Also, do your part to motivate others who may be facing similar struggles. Something as simple as writing encouraging Instagram captions can be inspiring.
12. Schedule Time for Yourself
Even when faced with a hectic schedule, it’s important to set aside some time for yourself each week. Spend a weekend at the beach, go to dinner with a friend or family member, or read your favorite fiction or non-fiction book.
Is there a public holiday coming up? Instead of working each holiday, take the day off and do something that you enjoy. Time away from work is important for practicing self-reflection and self-awareness, two areas that are often overlooked. Practicing self-care can also help boost your self-esteem and spark feelings of creativity and spirituality.
13. Say Yes to New Things
While the thought of trying something new can often conjure up complex emotions for different people, choosing to say yes to new things can be beneficial. Saying yes means you are making the most out of every opportunity. This often results in you expanding your comfort zone, overcoming your insecurities, and managing your fear.
It means being more open to whatever thing in your life evokes excitement, thrill, fear, or other feelings that you don’t normally encounter on a typical day at work. While you don’t need to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, make it a concrete goal to be more receptive to new things.
14. Get Help
Many people are reluctant to ask for help, especially in a professional setting. Whether it’s a new job or a difficult project, it’s normal to experience struggles in the workplace. It’s how you respond to these problems that dictate how successful you truly are or could be.
Start the new year by allowing others to help you. If you’re not sure how to ask for help, start by figuring out the goal you’re trying to reach and what obstacles you’re encountering. Then you’ll want to find the right people to assist you, such as a friend, coworker, boss, or someone in the local community.
15. Celebrate Your Success
Everyone wants to feel appreciated and recognized for a job well done. Celebrating your successes can result in greater satisfaction, improved morale, and an overall better demeanor. There are many ways that you can celebrate your successes, such as by rewarding yourself with an item you’ve been wanting to buy, tickets to a new movie you want to see, or a day off from work. Share your success with the people you’re close to and let them celebrate along with you.