The new year is a time to resolve to make improvements, both personally and professionally.
To help inspire you, here are some resolutions of successful business people, along with some smart motivational strategies.
Always keep learning.
One of the smartest things you can do for yourself is to have a “growth mindset” and continue learning new things throughout your lifetime. Learning keeps the mind sharp and benefits the aging brain.
At the end of 2016, About.com CEO Neil Vogel told Business Insider that he resolved to learn guitar because his then 3-year-old son was obsessed with the instrument. Whether or not he succeeded, but it’s the right kind of resolution to make. It’s always easier to teach yourself something that you’re interested in rather than something you only want to learn to advance your career.
To integrate learning the new skill into your routine, think about all the other non-work-related tasks you do every day. Pairing one of these activities with your new hobby will condition you to stick with your goal for the long haul.
Using one everyday task to prompt you to take time to practice your French, for instance, will help you make a habit out of learning something new.
Pay it forward.
When it comes to goals, consider the impact that you have on other people—service to others truly is the best way to feel useful and good about yourself.
People who work toward some purpose beyond themselves are not only 64 percent more satisfied in their career, but some findings indicate they may even live seven years longer than those who don’t.
Consider where you excel and find opportunities to channel that into something altruistic. Try volunteering with a nonprofit, starting a side hustle that meets a community need, or even getting your business involved in giving back to a specific cause. Make this easier by keeping your resolution broad.
You’re just working toward making a positive impact of some kind on the world around you. That’s the approach taken by TED curator Chris Anderson, who describes his resolution in a Fortune article as: “To help turn the tide, just the teensiest little bit, in spreading reason and generosity in place of meanness.”
Finally commit to work-life balance.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d come home from school and the last thing you wanted to do was dive right into homework? As busy as you are now, there’s a reason to embrace a balanced life. Dry Bar founder Alli Webb made this her resolution for 2018, according to Business Insider, saying she wanted to work toward being a great mom, founder, mentor, and wife.
The trick is to develop strict boundaries between work and play. Obviously, you have to work when you’re on the clock, but consider designating time right after work to unwind. If your go-to fun activity is playing board games with your kids, then put your phone on silent and reserve 7 p.m. for just you, the family, and the Monopoly board.
No matter what resolutions you choose, keeping them can be daunting. There are countless ways to improve your life, relationships, and career, and regardless of the goals you set, it’s always possible you won’t follow through with them. Try focusing on one of the areas above, and you may see that this year’s resolution is more manageable than in the past.