At this point the new year’s resolutions blog is almost a cliche in itself. And we could list off a bunch of generic ideas for resolutions about staying healthy or making more money or getting a new job. But let’s be more specific than that. Let’s come up with some very specific new year’s resolutions that will actually improve your daily life. We’d love to hear yours too. Please share in the comments section or on our social media pages.
So let's see if we can come up with some resolutions that might really apply to you:
1. Find common ground with the coworker who's been annoying you for weeks, months or even, grr, years. Some people are difficult to work with, and maybe you've been dealing with this person through gritted teeth. In 2013, extend the olive branch, take them out to lunch, offer to help with a project. It will make your life easier if you're not always aggravated.
2. If you're the boss, take time to remind your best employees on a REGULAR basis that you appreciate their work. Retaining employees can be a significant strength for your business. They understand the business better, they become more knowledgeable with whatever it is you sell or provide, and if they're treated right, they can develop a real loyalty to the company.
3. If you're an employee, ask your boss where you can improve. Don't wait for the review. It's a good time to ask what you should really be focused on and then you can present the results as the year goes on.
4. If you hate your boss, start applying for new jobs every week. Don't waste your time on anger and resentment. Chances are your boss isn't going to completely change his or her management style. Maybe it's just not a good fit. Don't get so bogged down in the situation you're not looking elsewhere.
5. If there are tasks you're managing offline, take them to the Cloud. Whether it's customer relationship management, payroll or document storage, you should have a system in place that backs you up in case something happens to your physical space. Don't let a flood or a fire ruin your business. And don't waste space when you can store most things online these days.
6. Use Google Analytics on your company website. Hopefully you have a professionally designed website. Now you should know how effective it is for you. How many visitors are you getting? How long do they stay on your site? Which pages do they go to? What's the most popular content? Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you understand all these things.
7. Build a social media page with a purpose. Whether you want to focus on one or all of them, it's time to use social media for more than just appearances. Everyone feels like they have to have a Facebook and Twitter page, but ask yourself why? Are you trying to drive business with it? Build awareness? Get out a specific message? Offer special deals? Focus on a goal and make sure you can maintain it.
8. Bring carrots with your lunch instead of chips. It's so easy to put on the pounds as we sit at our desks and munch away. Try to choose a snack that will fill you up, but not bring up your cholesterol.
9. Don't go out to lunch every day. It's not realistic to resolve to never eat out. And it can actually be good to get away from the office from time to time. But just not every day. It's expensive and usually unhealthy.
10. Stop eating at your desk. It's admirable to work and eat at the same time, but how much more do you really get done? You deserve a peaceful, clean space to eat in. You shouldn't have to drip mustard on your keyboard and stink up the office with tuna fish. Your coworkers will thank you, and you will feel better about working when you return. Think of your desk like your bed. Use it only for its intended purpose.
11. Consider pay-as-go workers' comp insurance. The old way of doing workers' comp, where you paid a big premium upfront is likely not the most cost effective for your business. With pay-as-go, you make bi-monthly payments and don't subject yourself to an audit later on that may result in another big payment.
12. Take a real vacation. It's important that you recharge your batteries throughout the year. Taking a day off here and there for the occasional long weekend may not be enough, though. You need to clear your head. It will make you more productive and a better decision maker.
13. Work in good lighting. Is that florescent bulb above your desk constantly flickering? It may be a distraction you can live with, but if you're going to spend 40-plus hours a week somewhere, you should have good lighting. It will help your eyes and concentration.
14. Be enthusiastic about the mundane. Inevitably there are things you have to do in business that are just boring. Or maybe you've done them for years and you're tired of them. But enthusiasm can take on a life of its own. Get excited about things that people wouldn't normally get excited about. Say things like, "My spreadsheet is da bomb!" It will add good humor to the office and that can be contagious.
15. Let go of the past, every single day. When you go to sleep at night, forget about the person who ticked you off or the mistake you made or the email you have to send (set a reminder though). Tomorrow will take care of itself, it always does. Start each day with a renewed outlook. Yesterday may have been a nightmare, but today you might have a breakthrough.
Ok, that last one might be a little cliche. Still, it's worth trying, and it might just change your life.