New Year, New Resolve!
New Year’s resolutions: an age-old tradition that can either mark the start of a dazzling year or end two weeks later with you awake at 2am, binge-eating a bucket of fried chicken. Regardless of how they actually turn out though, resolutions tend to shine a light on the things we’d like to improve about ourselves – or our lives in general – and any effort towards betterment is better than none. Plus, they say self-awareness is the first step!
At Talent Point we like to take a more regular approach to improvement (why put off for tomorrow what you can do today!), but we still love the idea of a new year and a fresh slate as much as anybody else – and so we asked around the office to find out what everyone’s resolutions were.
The responses were many and varied, but here are just a few of them that help encapsulate where Talent Pointers’ minds are – or at least where they’d like them to be by 2020! Hopefully there’s something here that resonates with you, and maybe even gives you an extra little push to keep for your own goals!
Talent Pointers' 2019 to-do lists
I want to eat less meat and switch to #vegangains. I’d also like to plan my day better so I can go to the gym at lunch!
I want to give up smoking (again) and get better at keeping my spreadsheets up-to-date!
My resolution is to improve my work-home balance, because I get too caught up at the office! My new aim is to leave work no later than 6.30pm.
I want to relax more, including putting into practice meditation techniques (even basic ones likes counting to 100 if stress levels start to rise!). That will hopefully make for a calmer home and work life.
I want to get more organised!
My goals are to quit smoking, eat less takeaway, cook more fresh food, and do more activities in London outside of the pub. At work, I’d like to focus on more accurate daily planning, and get into the habit of taking lunch away from my desk!
I tend to get moody when I’m stressed, so my aim is to change that. I also want to focus on putting team reviews ahead of anything else, giving them the priority they deserve.
My mantra moving forward is “more important work, less urgent work!”.
I want to ensure my team are fully aligned with our overall vision and champion their own personal growth – as well as each other’s! And as a personal goal (though it is still work-related), my New Year’s resolution is to get promoted.
My resolutions are to quit smoking and to focus on improving how I communicate with my teammates.
That’s a lot of interesting goals and challenges, but it’s even better to see so many people wanting to rethink their office habits as well as their personal ones. Setting public goals at work can have some real benefits, including making you more accountable; after all, if your managers know about your new work ethic, they’re likely to support you and help you succeed! Sound interesting? Great, because we were so inspired by the responses of our office survey that we’ve put together five examples of actionable goals that you can focus on around the office – just in case you’re still looking for inspiration!
1. Get to know (more of) your colleagues
It’s only natural to grow more comfortable with the colleagues within your direct proximity, but don’t let that stop you from connecting with new people! While getting over that awkward small talk phase is benefit enough, gaining a better understanding of the other people in your organisation can help develop a more holistic view of how the business functions – which in turns helps set better deadlines and promotes efficiency. Plus, you’ll get a feel for how different people handle tasks, providing the opportunity to develop new, stronger work processes as a result!
Start small – whether it’s socialising with people you don’t speak to often at company events, or even switching up where you eat lunch every day! A little bit of effort can go a long way and help pull a company together, fostering collaboration and a happier work environment in general.
2. Be on time, all the time
The importance of punctuality is something that’s drilled into us time and time again by organisations from every industry on all corners of the planet – and rightly so! Reliability and professionalism are vital qualities to possess, but consider this as well: being on-time makes your entire day more pleasant. No more stressing over the traffic or train delays, no more hobbling into the office having just sprinted for half a mile, and no more being drenched in sweat for either reason!
An easy way to make sure you’re always on time is to calculate how early you’d need to leave home in order to arrive fifteen minutes prior to your office opening. You can then take your own time commuting to work, and even the odd delay should have you unphased! Plus, if you’re worrying about your commute in general, we’ve already got some great tips and ideas to help you take back control.
3. Learn one new (small) skill
We’re not talking about something complicated like playing the cello – or even picking up Duolingo for the 27th time – but something relatively straightforward that will still make your work easier. Whether it’s learning a new function in Excel, or setting up some inbox rules to streamline your daily emails, figure out what could help relieve some of the hassle you face on a regular basis.
Once that’s identified, setting aside half an hour or so every day to dedicate to this resolution is probably the most time you’d need to quickly pick things up! You can even combine this with our first suggestion and go ask a colleague for any tips; it’s a great icebreaker, but it also helps share knowledge around the office!
4. Achieve a better work-life balance
A new year is a great time to evaluate your priorities and determine what parts of your daily schedule actually matter to you. For some people that might mean making their mornings a little more productive (perhaps cut out one of your ten coffee breaks?) to ensure they can be back at home in time to cook a tasty meal. For others it might be seeking permission to work remotely more frequently, giving you further flexibility on what you fit in around your job. Or just use your lunch break more proactively: read a book, practice a new hobby or catch up on a favourite TV show, rather than the standard 50 minutes aimlessly wandering through social media.
But it’s not just about reducing the amount of time in the office! Work may top out your priority list, maybe so you can diversify your personal skillset, or because you’re aiming for a promotion. In that case, you might decide to spend an extra hour in the office occasionally instead of heading down to the pub or jetting off home as soon as the bell rings. Extra little bits here and there will help you get to where you want to be sooner, and relax there for longer as a result. Just make sure you aren’t overdoing it – burnout is a real thing and simply working longer doesn’t mean you’re working better.
After all, a proper work-life balance is a crucial part of living healthier in general, with Forbes reporting that chronic stress is one of the most common health issues plaguing the workplace, leading to issues ranging from hypertension to heart problems. So identify where that stress is originating (late nights, commutes, disorganisation, stretched budget… whatever!) and make fixing that a personal goal!
5. Tidy up your desk
It’s a simple one, but sometimes the simple things make some of the biggest impacts. We’ve all been there: a couple of folders begin to pile up, then someone leaves you with some hastily scribbled notes from your last meeting, and before you know it there are papers everywhere, partially buried mugs and a smorgasbord of semi-random knick-knacks, postcards, curios and snacks covering every inch of available space.
Make some time to grab those piles of paper and ruthlessly sort them into “genuinely useful” and “for the shredder”. Particularly for documents that have digital counterparts on your company’s network, there’s no need to keep them hanging around. As for those assorted odds and ends, take some home and chuck out a few more until you have a bit of order. Most people spend upwards of 30 hours a week sat at their desk, so keeping it clean, tidy and ordered can help you to stay sane – and even focus better! Neuroscientists at Princeton University found that people’s task performance was superior in an organised environment than a disorganised one. Effectively, de-clutter your desk to de-clutter your mind!
So hopefully those have given you some ideas for personal goals. As we mentioned at the start of this article, any day is a good one to focus on self-improvement or take up a new challenge, so just because a couple of weeks have passed doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a resolution of your own!
That’s something we truly believe, which is why we made some big changes as a company near the end of last year, taking a hard look at our internal company values and redefining our main mission to be more in line with our current product goals. For 2019, Talent Point are resolving to actively use our learning from 2018 to become a smarter, more productive, and more collaborative workplace moving forward. We also want to embody our (newly revamped!) company values in a way that is consistent and visible to both people inside and outside of the office.
The first step to making these a reality? Planning it all out! That’s why you can expect a new blog about our values very soon, with more initiatives to follow after. And remember, a broken New Year’s resolution doesn’t automatically become a lost chance. There are 365 days in a year – each one can be a fresh start!
Top illustration sourced and created with: Vecteezy