Celebrating the New Year provides a time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Goals are varied ranging from a healthier diet, new adventures, more physical activity, and common resolutions are career advancement and work-life balance. These resolutions are vague because they lack action. In order to advance in your career or attain a better work-life balance, you must create and consistently follow a process. While the process will vary from person to person based on career, we have gathered a list of general practices to get you started.

  1. Write out your professional goal(s). In order to achieve your goals, you must clearly define them. Do you want a promotion? Are you wishing to acquire a new client or take on a new business venture? Maybe you want to get more done in your workday, so your work no longer comes home with you. Take the time to write each goal onto a piece of paper. Then, put the list in a place where you will see it, so it serves as a daily reminder of what you want to achieve.
  2. Get organized. Do you have an ever-growing stack of papers on your desk? Is your inbox overflowing with old emails? Take the time to get organized. Filing papers away and cleaning out your inbox will not only clear your workspace, but will also clear your mind and feel good, allowing you to be more productive.
  3. Regardless of the industry you are in, networking plays a huge role in professional development and success. When you attend networking events frequently, you become part of an influential “circle” of people. This circle can offer you a multitude of benefits, such as industry-related knowledge and information, client referrals, etc. If time allows, try to attend a networking event at least once per month. The more events you attend, the more professional relationships you develop, which means the bigger your “circle” of opportunities will grow.
  4. Make it a priority to pack a healthy lunch each day. This may sound cliché, but a nutritious, wholesome lunch can do wonders for your mind and body. Take the time each morning or the night before to prepare a lunch to take with to work. This will prevent you from grabbing fast food, mindlessly snacking throughout the day or skipping lunch altogether.
  5. Incorporate physical activity into your workday. Medical studies have found that spending seven or more hours sitting can lead to long-term health concerns. It has also been found that physical activity can stimulate the brain, improving memory and thinking skills. There are a variety of ways to get up and moving from your desk chair. For example, you could hold a “walking meeting” when you have a small meeting that consists of three to four people. You also could invest in a standing desk for hectic days when getting away from your desk in nearly impossible.
  6. Invest in new technologies to promote productivity. In today’s digital age, there is a plethora of technology to incorporate into your workday for increased efficiencies. For example, if you are constantly collaborating with coworkers or clients, project management software could be a beneficial tool to streamline your efforts. If you travel frequently for business, you should download a travel tool app, such as TripIt. The app allows you to easily organize your travel itineraries, so that you can have a successful trip.

While these tips are fairly simple and straightforward, it may take some time to make them a habit. Remember, professional development and success is a marathon, not a sprint. If you stay focused on your goals and work daily to achieve them, you will begin to see lasting results. Best of luck, and Happy New Year from the Pohlman team!