Skip to main content

New Year's Resolution Ideas: 10 Simple New Year's Resolutions for Your Career

Making New Year's resolutions for your career, it's important to understand what works and what doesn't. This is because many resolutions don't make it to Valentine's Day. So without further ado, here are 10 simple New Year's resolutions for your career.

Learn a new skill

Make it your personal goal to learn something new this year. Consider signing up for online courses for a more flexible academic schedule. This will make you more competitive in the job industry and boost your professional development. For example, consider learning a new programming language if you're a computer programmer. And, for best results, study the job market to choose the kind of skill that's in demand. 

Revamp your social media

When you apply for a job interview, most recruiters will go through your social media before deciding whether to hire you. Even if you have an exceptional resume, employers may check your social media profile to find out the kind of person you are. This is because what you post or share on social media reflects who you are as a person. Although social media is your personal space, you may want to get rid of those embarrassing photos or posts and share something more refined. 

Start networking

Networking allows you to learn from other like-minded individuals. Above all, it gives you much-needed exposure to information and connections you won't have access to when you spend the whole year sitting in your office. As you network, start building professional contacts, attending networking events, interacting with individuals or entities above you, and learning from them.

Be realistic with your to-do list

You have to be honest with yourself if you care about your career advancement. Having a long list of to-dos doesn't necessarily mean you'll be productive. Studies have shown that most people set up to-do lists but don't achieve half of the tasks in the list. Why? Because they're never honest with themselves during the goal setting process. Create an attainable to-do list if you ever want to be more productive. Start with around five achievable tasks per day and then increase the number as you become more efficient at work.

Practice time management

Failing to manage your time means you're basically setting yourself up for failure in your career. Most successful people will tell you that once you've figured out how to manage your time and get the most out of it, success comes naturally. The first thing you need to do is to stop procrastinating. For best results, plan your day in advance and ensure each minute is accounted for. 

Build your portfolio and references

It's time to stop telling people what you do and actually build your personal brand. Building your portfolio doesn't necessarily mean creating something fancy; it could be as simple as collecting professional references. These are people who can verify what you do and recommend you when the need arises. To put this into perspective, if you had five minutes to request five people to be your referees right now, who would you call? If you can't think of more than two people, it's time to build your portfolio and references. 

Update your resume

Most people update their resumes only when it's time for a new job search. However, it's always a good practice to update your resume every year. This not only makes the whole process easier, but it also shows your progress in your career. When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? If you can't remember, then that's where you should start. 

Develop a routine

Don't just start your day randomly or work on random tasks and goals when you clock in at work; that's not what successful people do. Have you ever heard of the saying 'if you don't plan, you're planning to fail'? Instead, spare around 30 minutes at the end of your shift to evaluate your to-do list for the following day. 

Balance your life

One of the most common reasons people fail to achieve their New Year's resolutions for their career is the lack of balance. To achieve a positive balance between work and life, you'll need to treat the two as different worlds. For example, stop clocking out at work to go work even more at home. When you clock out from work, leave everything behind. When you're at home, focus on relaxing and interacting with your friends, family, or even yourself. Unless it's an emergency, your responsibilities at work can wait until your next shift. 

Get more sleep

The amount of sleep you get every day influences your productivity. Studies show that your body needs at least 8 hours of sleep every day to rejuvenate itself. As you work hard, remember to play harder and sleep hardest. Without adequate sleep, your body naturally shuts down, losing the kind of focus you need to achieve any of the goals we've discussed in this article. So, create a sleep pattern and stick to it for the best results. And, while at it, avoid using your phone or anything that would distract you while in bed. 

Common reasons why most new year's resolutions fail

The 10 New Year's resolutions for work we've discussed won't work if you don't see the other side of the coin. If you ever want to be successful in your career, learning how to be successful is never enough. Instead, you also need to understand what prevents you from being successful. This lesson will help you avoid or prepare for such things, making it easier and more realistic to focus on what you need to do to excel in your career.

So if you want to be successful in your career, let's discuss some of the reasons most people fail to keep up with their New Year's resolutions. 

Setting unrealistic goals

New Year's resolutions aren't the easiest to keep up with; you're talking about 365 days of staying committed to a particular goal. For this reason, you need to be honest with yourself in terms of the things you want to achieve and the timeframe to reach your goals. While it's good to be ambitious, avoid setting unrealistic goals. Instead, start by making simple goals and keep raising the bar a notch higher every time you achieve something new. 

Being too hard on yourself

Let's face it - you're not going to achieve incredible results in the first month of the year. You'll probably spend this month trying to adapt to your new lifestyle, and that's okay. Most people consider January a trial month when practicing their New Year's resolutions. So it's okay if you don't achieve certain goals in the first month of the year. It gives you the chance to evaluate your resolutions and fix the challenges along the way. 

Working too hard

Yes, hard work pays. And, yes, most successful people work hard. However, there's a difference between working hard and working too hard. When you work too hard, you won't have enough time to take breaks which eventually leads to burnout. This usually happens within the first few months of the year when most people are too excited to achieve their goals and forget that their body needs to rest and recharge. 

Not rewarding yourself

You deserve to reward yourself for every milestone you achieve in your New Year's resolutions. So don't wait until the end of the year to go on that one vacation you've always wanted. Instead, challenge yourself to achieve a particular set of goals and reward yourself in return. This keeps you motivated to reach the next goal, and before you know it, you'll have covered everything in your New Year's resolutions.

Not measuring your progress

One common mistake most people make when working on their New Year's resolutions is not measuring their progress. Don't wait till the end of the year to analyze your performance. Instead, consider breaking down the year into four measurable quarters. Then, raise the bar a notch higher every quarter. 

Not outgrowing your circle

You need the right circle of friends, colleagues, or even family members around you to achieve your New Year's resolutions. The truth is, you'll experience a significant change in your lifestyle when you decide to pursue these career goals. For this reason, you need to be surrounded by supportive people, and not those who'll make you feel guilty for trying to improve yourself. For instance, you'll probably show up at parties less often or go to bed earlier than usual. 

It's impossible to achieve most of these goals without sacrifice. But the reality is even if you're mentally or physically prepared to pursue your resolutions by the end of the year, you may not achieve anything if you don't surround yourself with the right people. You need to understand your worth and choose people who won't make you feel bad for improving yourself. Worst case scenario, you may need to make new friends who support your professional life. 

Doing it alone

You're not going to achieve your New Year's resolutions for your career when you decide to travel this path alone. It requires teamwork; you just need to know the right people to invite to your team. For instance, you'll need career coaches or colleagues who share similar goals at the career level. Away from your career, you'll need supportive friends and family members. This is not the time to go around cutting people off unless necessary. In fact, most successful people will tell you that some people still deserve a place in your life, but not at the front seat. 

Giving up too early

Spoiler alert: the journey to achieving your New Year's resolutions for your career won't be easy. You'll face numerous challenges along the way when trying to achieve the set goals. It's also possible that you'll begin to doubt yourself. When that happens, you need to stay focused more than ever. 

Learn to find ways to focus and relax your mind when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Think about things you love doing when stressed and practice them, as long as they are good habits. For example, if you love to eat when stressed, chances are you'll bump into a bigger problem a few months down the line, and you won't feel as excited about working on your career goals. So instead, choose healthy ways to deal with your stress, such as meditation, yoga, taking a break, listening to motivational and inspirational content, etc. 

Thinking more, doing less

Don't be that type of person who spends months planning but never actually practices anything in their plans. You learn some of these things by doing them. Start working on your goals right away and learn from your mistakes - a mistake teaches you one way of not doing something. Most successful people have made plenty of mistakes in their careers. 

Not accepting change

Many things will change along the way, including some of your goals. The sooner you accept this truth, the better for you. Think of your journey as a boat sailing down a river; there'll be many twists and turns. The river might change its course at some point, but that doesn't mean the end of the journey. As long as you're traveling forward, that's progress. 

Katy Boyles |
Categories: Career Advice
Katy is our Social Media Manager at Snagajob, where she loves talking to hourly workers and employers all day long. Her first hourly job was as a hostess.