Say no more, say “no” more. Too many of us are people-pleasers and sacrifice our own comfort, time and happiness for others, leaving ourselves overworked and unsatisfied with a heaping plate of responsibilities and asks. Take control over your time by being honest with yourself about your priorities.
Similarly, your business can practice saying “no” and emphasizing how it values itself and its employees by turning down projects or clients with lower margins. Have honest conversations about disrespectful customer behavior and draw the line. Especially in small firms, it’s important to consider how financially valuable someone’s time is, and consider saying “no” and outsourcing certain tasks.
Similar to an inability to say “no”, procrastination habits reflect struggles with self-control and taking charge of your time. Unfortunately for procrastinators, life rewards action.
This year, stop procrastinating– peep this Lifehack article for a full list of tactics to do this, because curbing procrastination is much easier said than done. One good rule to end procrastination is David Allen’s “Two Minute Rule”: if you think of an action that you really should do and it will take less than 2 minutes, do it now. NOW! Professionally, Rory Vaden (a personal favorite) writes that procrastination is the largest invisible cost for businesses. “Classic procrastination” and “priority dilution” leads to unproductivity and distraction. As an individual and a company, Vaden says you must encourage eliminating, automating, consolidating or delegating some tasks, and letting the others wait.
Too often, our own thoughts or a habitual phone reach can restrain us from being present. This can become a problem when we are in conversations– studies show that the average person listens with only 25 percent effectiveness, which is damaging for relationships. Luckily, as listening is a skill, it can be practiced and improved. This article found that the simplest way to advance your listening is to stop focusing on what you are going to say next. In your organization, improving communication does not just mean keeping the crew updated. Leaders who are effective listeners can leverage that skill to increase trust, reduce conflict, motivate others, and inspire commitment.
This year, challenge yourself and hang out with people who are different from you. Having friends with different talents and histories can be helpful, interesting and enlightening. Talking and problem-solving with people who think differently from you is often overlooked in the workplace.
Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of people arrive at a mediocre or dysfunctional decision because of conformity and a fear of conflict during the evaluation process. If you find yourself having the same conversations with people within your industry and arriving at the same conclusions, try exploring outside of your usual professional network. The world is moving too quickly for stale thinking!
Social media continues to play a large role in relationships, communication and presenting your identity, and 2018 will be no different. Curate satisfactory social media pages and stay mindful of your digital footprint, because it is more public than you think. Your business should stay on top of its online image as well. Continue to use the internet strategically to grow your brand and generate leads. Speculators believe that 2018 will see an increased emphasis on video content, user-generated content, live content and brand partnerships, so look out for those!
A new year is the ideal time to reflect on your current financial situation. Where do you want to be financially one year from now? 5 years? At retirement? Set realistic, measurable goals for yourself. Develop a system for getting where you would like to be, and stick to it! Likewise, your team or business should set financial priorities for the year. Put measures in place for how you will work towards those goals throughout the year.
Your life, family, and business are all nested in larger systems. In order to make better decisions and fully understand the relationships at play in your subsystem, it’s important to stay informed on what is happening in the bigger picture. This year, prioritize staying informed on and connected to the larger system!
William Damon’s book, Path to Purpose, highlights why so many young people find themselves struggling to find meaningful success. While Damon is a child psychologist and discusses the development of young people, he identifies why having clearly stated, fundamental missions can prove transformative for people of all ages. Maybe you don’t really need another short-term resolution that you’ll forget about in a month– this year, reinvigorate your relationship with your family and your career by exploring what connects you with your work!