New Year’s Day! It’s funny… I used to reserve this date for my personal resolutions only. September 1st was my dedicated “Professional” New Year’s Day. This year however, given my role, my passion for my work and my resolute mindset, I’ve opted to meld the two and make my professional resolutions start effective today. One year, five resolutions and some tips on how I plan to make them stick beyond January 31, 2016.
- Read one book per week.
Why? I’m a firm believer that reading makes you more eloquent on paper and in person. Also, by cultivating the skill of writing, you will automatically learn to comprehend and enjoy the things you read more fully. This brings me to a very important point: reading and writing go together. They are inextricably linked. The more you read, the better you can write. The more you write, the better you can express yourself and better understand the things you read. The more vocabulary you have to pull from, the more you have in your back pocket when you might otherwise have nothing to say.
How? Make a list, buy the books and make time. In anticipation of this commitment, I’ve started a personal blog (which is on my bucket list see resolution #5) titled 52 Books – 52 Weeks and can be found here: http://52booksyearly.blogspot.ca/. I love reading and have made a habit of reading ‘a plenty’ ever since I was little. I think I have more Plum Rewards points than anyone I know! I refuse to only read certain types of books or make too many rules. Business, fiction, biography, any type of book counts!
- Show Gratitude via Instagram Daily.
Why? I’ve written before about my opinion on gratitude. I’ve researched the benefits (health, mental and financial) of practicing gratitude daily. I’ve had gratitude journals and I’ve done the 30 day gratitude challenge (send out one card per day to express gratitude for 30 days). This year, I’m looking to take it to a new level. What makes gratitude a professional resolution. I think being grateful impacts every aspect of your life whether they be personal or professional.
How? I feel like snapping a shot of something that I’m grateful for and posting it on Instagram daily will make for a great keepsake to look over at the end of the year, like a digital scrapbook. Look for the hashtag #365DaysOfGratitude or join along and post your own daily photos representing your reasons for being grateful. Feel free to keep me honest by following me on Instagram (I go by @MelMorin78).
- Complete my Competent Communicator Bronze in Toastmasters.
Why? This may seem like a shameless Toastmasters plug but I’ve seen exponential growth in my ability to have off the cuff conversations, listen when talking to potential customers and challenge myself to pitch our product in bigger venues with larger impact. It’s been one of those ‘stretch way out of your comfort zone’ years and honestly speaking, Toastmasters was a huge help when I first started in my current position.
How? The challenge is to give 8 more speeches from the “Advanced Communicator Manuals”. I’ve sought out the help of my Mentor (which I encourage every Toastmaster to have regardless of the level you’ve attained) and had an honest conversation about what I want to gain from my membership this year. I will be pre-booking all 8 speeches throughout the year and will stick to that schedule. For more information, visit www.toastmasters.org.
- Get more organized.
Why? Being more organized translates to being more efficient. I am a huge fan of being organized and feel that cleaning off my desk at the end of the day, keeping my inbox clean, keeping a running list of what needs to be done and prioritization is essential. Those are things I’m already doing. What I plan to commit to in the coming year is the following:
- Keep my drawers organized.
- Renovate and setup my home office.
- Be 10 minutes early to every single appointment.
How? I think the drawers need no explanation…Just Do It! A home office, on the other hand, is something I’ve been dreaming of since I’ve owned my home. This year is THE YEAR…it’s happening and I’m determined. I want to create a space that suits my needs but is somewhere I WANT to be! As for the lateness, I used to practice a 10 minutes early to everything rule. Working in the vocational world for 10 years, I used to practice what I preached about arriving early for interviews and for work. Lately, I’ve either been late or running to the wire for every appointment! I refuse to let that become a habit and vow to make it early to everything this year!
- Knock off 5 items from my bucket list.
Why? I have a bucket list with 100 items on it. I have friends, coworkers and a husband who’ve helped me strike out items (which also happen to be some of the best moments I’ve experienced up to date). Any experience that I challenge myself with not only provides me with personal satisfaction but also teaches me to stretch beyond my comfort level, which means a professional boost as well. I’ve never calculated it before but if I knock off 5 items from my bucket from now until 2036, I’ll have my list complete by the age of 57! That to me sounds like an opportunity to live life to the fullest until my ideal retirement age!!!
How? My 5 items to complete by December 31, 2016:
- Road Trip: Ontario to Chicago
- Wine Tour
- Learn to play the harmonica
- Start a blog and get at least 100 followers
- Go to an NBA game
There you have it! My 5 professional resolutions listed promising to push me and make 2016 even better than 2015 and trust me, that’s a tall order!