It is that time of year again where we take stock of our life; reflect on the past year and plan for the new year. Most people have dabbled with the concept of New Years resolutions but find themselves to be inconsistent at best and having forgotten them by February 1st at worst. It has been a strange few years for us all and every time we start to think see the light at the end of the tunnel, we get with news of a variant or a restriction. A better 2022 is something we could all do with and New Years resolutions are a way of influencing this. You can group resolutions into themes but health and one’s professional life tend to be popular areas for improvement. Below are a few examples which will get you started.
Drink More Water
This is a common one: one you will likely have put on your own resolution list before even? But it is an important one so it is worth persevering with. It very well could facilitate other goals such as becoming more physically active; more productive and assisting with weight-related goals.
Nobody tells you that one day that things start to ache… To twinge. Back, neck, ankles, knees… If the human body was a car, essential parts would start to rust in your late 20s. Prevention is better than the cure but we all choose to ignore that fact and that is why the word “ache” is the third most popular word for people in their 30s and second for those in their 40s (maybe). Incorporating some stretching into your daily routine should not be difficult: you could do 10 minutes in a morning, or 10 minutes of an evening, or even both if you are feeling especially fruity. Youtube yoga here you come!
Reduce Sugar Intake
The sugar tax is a national topic for debate and can definitely be held responsible for the phrase “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”. It doesn’t help that porridge and blueberries taste so much better a spoonful of sugar and it supposedly even “makes the medicine go down”. But there are some reasons why reducing your sugar intake can have a positive impact in your life.
- High sugar content “snacks” often have a corresponding high calorie content too with little-to-no nutritional value.
- It has been linked to depression (1) and there is enough badness in the world.
- It may accelerate the skin aging process (2).
You will notice that none of these resolutions are quantified, which is deliberate. By assigning an arbitrary figure whether it is time, weight or nutrition, it is easy to fall into the trap of not hitting a particular resolution, feeling like a failure and then giving up completely… Like a tumbleweed rolling down a hill and picking up more debris as it goes. By focusing on the direction i.e. more or less, you are able to see success and thus have more chance of sticking to it.
Document Everything All The Time
The workplace is populated by humans… And no human is perfect or infallible to making mistakes. Despite this fact, it seems like the workplace has not quite caught up with society and you cannot assume you will be believed when reporting bad behaviour. If you find yourself victim to inappropriate behaviour at work, unfortunately you will need to provide evidence and this can be so very simply done by recording events: document and date. You may be lucky enough to enjoy your job and have a nice workplace, you may even be starting a new job this year… It does not matter. You may never use the information you record, but it is better to have it and not use it, than not have it and need it.
Listen To Yourself
Too often do we find ourselves thinking “that isn’t right” or “that wasn’t ok” but then don’t say anything. Not only do we not say anything, we brush it to one side and try to see the best in people, rationalising their behaviour internally. You may even tolerate it because it is an accepted part of the culture you find yourself in but sooner or later, you conclude you were right. Whilst immediate action isn’t always necessary, always listen to yourself; trust your gut and record it if necessary. Getting into the habit of listening to yourself is necessary on the road to leadership.
Do you apologise for everything at work? Here are some examples:
- An unreasonable customer has called you to shout at you over something they have caused and you have apologised.
- A colleague has arrived late or dropped the ball and you have apologised on their behalf.
- A teamleader has given you an impossible task to finish and then you’ve apologised when the inevitable did happen.
If you are apologising, you are taking blame. You are suggesting you are responsible and it is indicative of a guilty mindset. Adopt a positive, leadership mentality instead.
You will notice that these resolutions are completely binary and have immediate start dates; in the words of Yoda “do or do not, there is no try”. When it comes to the workplace, it is critical to both look after yourself and believe in yourself if you want to progress.
Finally, the new year is a new start, a chance for you to start again. But don’t forget… So is each new day.
Happy New Year xoxo
- X. Guo, Y. Park & N. D. Freedman (2014). Sweetened beverages, coffee, and tea and depression risk among older US adults. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24743309/ (Accessed on 30.12.2021)
- P. Gkogkolou & M. Bohm (2012). ‘Advanced glycation end products’, Dematoendocrinol, 4(3), pp. 259-270. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583887/ (Accessed on 30.12.2021)