By now, most of you who intended to make personal New Year’s resolutions may have already done so….whether that be to start eating healthier, meet new people, get out of debt, get more/better sleep and/or take steps to reduce stress in your life. Whatever your resolutions, make them and stand firm when it comes to keeping them.

But don’t forget the professional side of the coin, too. Now is also the perfect time to make work-related New Year’s resolutions, as well. Think through your professional activities, and make thoughtful stretch goals to improve your work life.

Here are five resolutions to consider making, if they are right for you.

  1. Listen more…listen better. The first step in understanding others in the workplace – whether that means clients and potential clients, co-workers or vendors – is to first listen, really listen, to what they are saying. Note, of course, that includes verbal and non-verbal cues. For each of us to do better with our work relationships, we must listen to others to truly know and understand them.
  1. Be there. When you are at work, be there both physically and mentally. Pay attention to every work responsibility on your plate. Don’t invite boredom in and don’t gloss over those “darn dailies” that are a part of your everyday work duties. Be a productive, engaged member of your work team.
  1. Improve your time management skills. Procrastination is a word too many people know too well. Merriam-Webster defines procrastination as “putting off intentionally and habitually.” Yep, procrastination can easily become a habit. It’s up to our own self-awareness to first realize that we are procrastinating, then to tackle this bad habit. For some, simply being aware and having naturally the willpower to overcome it is enough. Others may need to consider taking a class, reading “how to” materials or seeking help from co-workers or friends.
  1. As Stephen Covey mentions in his “7 Habits for Highly Effective People,” sharpen the saw. That is, continuous self-improvement. Learn a new skill or brush up on an old one. Choose something that will augment your professional and/or personal life. Work at it and become proficient.
  1. Exercise – physically. Feeling better all around will make you feel better about yourself, boost your overall attitude and improve your attentiveness. All of that, in turn, helps make you a better professional, as well.

Good luck with your professional resolutions, and Happy New Year from the Rountree Group team!