The end of the year marks the start of a new one. This is a perfect time to reflect on what worked for you in 2016 and what you want to do differently in 2017. We make big plans for our relationships and other personal goals, but it is important to include work in your new year planning. Here are four career resolutions for 2017.
Stop complaining. Have you ever been around someone who is constantly complaining? The type of complaining that is making you miserable just by listening to it? Chronic complaining can create a toxic environment for you and for the people who have to listen to you. If occasional venting about your job or boss has become an everyday thing, kill the complaining on Jan. 1. Press pause on the fussing and see if it makes any change in your mindset moving forward. If things remain the same decide if you’re willing to live with whatever is making you unhappy, change your circumstance or complain to someone who can do something about your problems.
Don’t take criticism personally. By default, it is easy to take criticism as a personal attack that what you are doing is not being appreciated. A defense mechanism goes up and you prevent yourself from hearing feedback that will help you in your career. Furthermore, a negative attitude towards receiving criticism discourages people from providing you valuable feedback in the future. Instead, try a different approach. Remember that although you might disagree with the critique, it is still valuable to for you to understand how your work is perceived and deal with it the same way you would any other business issue. At the end of the day, it is about business and getting the job done. It’s not personal.
Set two big goals and create a plan to meet them. Time waits for no man, and you don’t want to sit around thinking, “damn this year is already over.” It’s time to show and prove. Figure out right now what would make the new year a success for you and create a plan to make it happen. Set monthly and quarterly targets or benchmarks to keep yourself accountable.
Take a real vacation. It is important to recharge. Working for a full year straight without a real break is counterproductive and bad for your mental health. Make a vow to take at least a full week — two if possible — off from work in 2017. If you cannot afford to travel somewhere, spend time exploring your local area, relax at home, and unplug from work-related demands. Don’t feel guilty about going off the grid. Set an auto-reply and keep it moving. If you get vacation time as part of your benefits package, then that time is as much a part of your compensation as salary is. Plus, your employer should encourage you to take the time to recharge. Your career will thank you for it.