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15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

With the new year quickly approaching, it’s time to make our resolutions once again.

If you’re like most people, then you have a recurring pattern of creating a resolution, and forgetting about it in less than a month. Studies show that the reason why 92% of people[1] don’t follow through with their resolution is simple — the resolution isn’t exciting enough to get them to take the actions required.

We’re going to help you break this pattern today, because we’ve curated the top 15 new year’s resolution ideas that will put some fire into your belly. We recommend that you choose a few of these, and test them out in the next few days. The biggest mistake people often make is when they try to take on too many goals without having a specific direction to guide them.

Without further ado, here are 15 new year’s resolution ideas.

1. Travel to a country you’ve never been to

One of the biggest personal growth opportunities comes from discovering new cultures and locations that you’re unfamiliar with. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world alone, and it’s one of those rare situations that pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

    2. Less tech, more nature

    As we become a more connected world through technology, it can feel impossible to disconnect. This brings with it more stress, baggy eyes, and lack of connection (no pun intended) with the people we love most. You can use free productivity apps to help you block out the distraction and unwind.

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      3. Learn a new language

      If you’ve been putting off learning a new language, this is the year to make it happen. As the world is becoming a more globalized place by the minute, having a foreign language under your belt is transitioning from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ skill in life, and in the workplace. Check out websites like Rype to get live 1-on-1 daily lessons online with professional teachers, anytime of the day.

        4. Invest 10% of your salary/income on yourself

        Warren Buffett is famous for sharing that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Whether it’s $100 or a $1,000, allocate a portion of your salary to invest in yourself. This could be your education, your health, your love life, whatever you want to improve in your life.

          5. Explore a new career opportunity

          If you’ve been in a career that is not maximizing your full potential, it might be time for you to take that leap and explore new options. There are limitless options out there, and you can start looking at popular job boards like Indeed, Monster, or even Craigslist.

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            6. Rekindle an old friendship you lost

            Is there someone in your life who you haven’t been able to keep in touch with? Perhaps it’s a friend from high school, or it may even be a family member. One of the biggest regrets people have at the end of their lives is leaving incomplete relationships that should have been fostered. Take that step today and rekindle an old friendship before it’s too late.

              7. Commit to getting in shape

              No amount of money or success is going to matter if your health isn’t optimal. Getting in shape should be your number one priority, because it’s the foundation that will not only help you become more successful, but enjoy your success once you get it.

                8. Develop that skill you’ve been putting off

                Do you have a skill that you’ve been wanting to learn, but have been putting off? You may have been discouraged in the past because you weren’t picking it up fast enough. Try following some of these strategies to master a new skill faster.

                  9. Read one book every week/month

                  The more you learn, the more you earn. Kick-off the new year by committing to read one book per week (or per month if you know you can’t commit to one week).

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                    10. Quit smoking

                    I recommend you read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking[2]. Published in 1985, this book has helped millions of people, including celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, quit smoking after implementing the strategies outlined in the book.

                      11. Go 80%

                      Everyday we huff and puff, trying to squeeze in that extra minute, paragraph, or meeting. But if we can work smart, it’s completely possible to get 95% done by putting in 80% of the effort in, and avoiding the unnecessary stress. The key is to choose strategically what you want to be working on.

                        12. Say ‘Hell Yeah’ or ‘No’

                        Derek Sivers has a famous saying of either saying ‘Hell Yeah’ or ‘No’. This means that unless you’re incredibly excited about a new opportunity and willing to give 100% of your effort, you should practice saying no. It will allow you to focus more of your time on what truly matters.

                          13. Give back through volunteering

                          We’re incredibly fortunate to have the lives we lead, no matter where you are right now. If you’re able to read this using a smartphone or a laptop, you’re more fortunate than the majority of the people around the world. Giving back through volunteering will not only give you perspective on how grateful we should be, but it will help you contribute to the community.

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                            14. Become a digital nomad

                            The rise of digital nomads has arrived, and it’s here to stay. Our entire company at Rype is fully remote at the moment, including our language teachers, and we plan to stay that way.

                              15. Review your goals every month (not every year!)

                              The most impactful New Year’s Resolution may be to actually review your resolutions more than once a year. You can make adjustments based on how far you’ve actually come, and you’ll feel more motivated by reviewing it every month (or even every week).

                                Reference

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                                Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                                I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                                I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                                Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                                Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                                Create a Positive Experience

                                Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                                When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                                What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                                Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                                As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                                Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                                Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                                Help Leadership Skills

                                It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                                Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                                As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                                Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                                If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                                Build Better Teams

                                Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                                In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                                If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                                When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                                Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                                How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                                Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                                1. Listen

                                Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                                Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                                People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                                Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                                Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                                2. Know Your Audience

                                Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                                Here is a good way to think about it:

                                Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                                You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                                3. Minimize

                                I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                                He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                                Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                                State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                                The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                                4. Over Communicate

                                So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                                What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                                Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                                Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                                Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                                There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                                5. Body Language

                                The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                                When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                                In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                                When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                                Conclusion

                                Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                                Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                                There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                Now go communicate your way to success.

                                More Resources About Effective Communication

                                Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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