• Company culture

Top new year's resolutions for a better work life

Jazmin Lopez

It's almost that time again when you have to look for some new year's resolutions.

The year is winding down, we're headed into the holiday season and settling down for a bit before marching into a new year. Now is a time to reflect on the current year, as you look at some new year's resolutions.

For many people, this means setting goals in their personal lives, but what about our professional goals?

The average employee in the United Kingdom works 42.5 hours a week. With so much time spent at work, it's only fitting that you also set your sights on some new year's resolutions that will help you get better in your career.

If you want to thrive in your professional life in 2020, below we'll introduce some new year's resolutions you should set and keep.

The top new year's resolutions for a successful 2020 at work

Which of these professional new year's resolutions will create the biggest impact? If you start with these 12, your 2020 will be productive and filled with growth:

1. Adopt healthy habits at work

The studies are in, and they show that people in the United Kingdom aren't moving around enough -- and the effects are deadly. 

Studies show that one-third of the workforce in the United Kingdom is sedentary for at least 6 hours of their workday, more than 50 per cent walk a mile or less each day, and a sedentary lifestyle is leading to more than 70,000 deaths per year. 

If these points weren't alarming enough, sitting down for too long at work each day can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. 

Now that you know the dangers, it's up to you to set some new year's resolutions that encourage some healthy work practices that can keep you out of all of these statistics. 

One of the best things you can do is take time for regular breaks. Too many professionals give in to the temptation to just power through without stopping. 

Not only does this give your productivity diminishing returns, but it also keeps you sedentary and unhealthy, with a brain that struggles to focus. Schedule outbreaks so that you are getting up, away from your computer, and preferably outside for 10 minutes each hour. 

Take this time to walk, stretch and shake out your legs. These small breaks make a huge difference in terms of your health and comfort. In addition to giving your eyes and brain a rest, you'll get the blood pumping, ease pain and tension in your back and neck, and go back to work refreshed and energised.

2. Start meal prepping

Food is your fuel, so it pays to feed yourself healthy food that keeps you focused and energised.

The best way to make this happen is by including meal-prepping as one of your new year's resolutions. Nothing says quality lunch like a home-cooked meal. Besides, healthy food options in the workplace are scarce.

Most offices regularly have coffee, doughnuts, cookies and muffins to munch on, but very rarely have fruits and veggies on demand.

When you cook or prepare food at home to eat for your workplace lunches, you have more control over intaking healthy nutrients.

This also saves you money, so that you are not eating out and ordering lunch all the time. What's more, you'll stay productive since you're cutting out the decision fatigue of figuring out where you want to eat.

Since exercise opportunities are usually hard to come by in the workplace, the last thing you'd want is to double down on this by also eating poorly. Instead, pack some healthy lunches to compensate.

3. Learn a new skill

Just like your body, it's important to nurture your mind.

When you learn a new skill, you're continuously educating yourself. Pick one valuable skill for your career and dive head-first into working to acquire it at the start of the year.

Having these sorts of skills will set you apart and put you in line for promotions and opportunities. Adding this goal as one of your new year's resolutions not only improve and enhance the quality of work, but you'll also receive additional value as an employee.

Your job may even be willing to pay for you to get training or certification for a particular skill that is useful to your job.

4. Read a career-related book

We live in the era of information, so there are books and resources on absolutely any topic that you can think of.

There are books out there that can help you improve productivity, develop as a professional, and understand any topic of interest that you have. To really set yourself apart, make sure that you read a career-related book.

Set this as one of your new year's resolutions so that you can pick up the skills and information from that book that will help you advance.

You should make reading a huge part of your life in general. Get together with a book club or set the number of books that you want to read every month or year.

5. Sign up to a suitable blog

There are hidden gems for your career found in a number of blogs. Once you have found that blog that gives you lots of useful information related to your career on a regular basis, make sure that you subscribe.

By subscribing, you will get alerts sent to your inbox and can support someone that is enriching your professional life in the process.

6. Keep your resume updated

It's important that you be able to take advantage of employment opportunities when they come along. To do this, your resume needs to be updated.

When was the last time you updated your resume? Is the information correct? Are your skills up to date?

Even if you don't intend on applying for a new position, updating your resume keeps your information on track. This gives you an overview of where you are and helps you define steps to get where you want to be.

7. Update your LinkedIn profile

When you've updated your resume, it's important that you also update your digital resume. LinkedIn is your digital resume and your business card, so freshen it up as you go into 2020.

Take some time to see what your connections and others have done with their profiles so that you can get some ideas.

8. Increase your professional network

In order to move forward in your career, you've got to embrace networking as one of your new year's resolutions.

Networking with other professionals is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and put yourself out there. What's more, meeting other professionals will help you stay up to date with what's going on in your field.

You should also use LinkedIn as a tool to help you find networking events in your local area. Taking the time to go to a new networking outing every week or so will grow you as a professional exponentially.

9. Find a mentor

Mentors can help you develop as a professional and advance in your career. Because of this, you should be looking to find mentors that can help make your path a bit clearer.

If your company doesn't have a mentorship program, start looking for someone who can provide guidance into your career. If there's someone you highly respect in your company, reach out to them and ask if they're willing to be your work mentor.

10. Clean out your cabinets

It's important to know that a cluttered workspace not only makes it difficult to find things, but it also makes it difficult to focus and be productive. The answer to this is to start with your cabinets.

Get rid of all the clutter in your file cabinets and desks -- and don't be afraid to get heavy-handed with it. Clear out old papers that are no longer relevant or useful, and use file folders and organisers to make your desk and cabinet as clean as possible.

Including new year's resolutions that aim for a clean workspace will not only give you a sense of satisfaction but also help you to stay focused at work.

Apply the same principles to your computer, because digital clutter is just as bad. Create folders and organising systems for your computer so that you aren't holding onto old data just because.

11. Clean out your mailbox

Your e-mail box is likely the biggest case of digital clutter that you have. People lose a lot of time and focus by sifting through their e-mail box aimlessly each day.

Sort your e-mails by type and don't hesitate to delete the ones that you no longer have a need for. After checking off this task from your new year's resolutions list, you won't feel overwhelmed every time you log in.

12. Pay attention to your work-life balance

At the end of the year, get a log of the days you worked. Key indicators such as time off records, excessive overtime, or knowing you attended work sick will give you an idea of your work-life balance.

Several studies have proven that taking time off improves mental health. When you deprive yourself of vacation and time off to rest and relax, it not only negatively affects your health but also your company. Keeping an eye on your work-life balance is definitely to be included on your new year's resolutions list.

Ring in 2020 with some useful new year's resolutions

Apart from the new year's resolutions that you need to apply in order to have a fruitful work life in 2020. The points mentioned are useful no matter what industry you work in.

Keep checking back for all the HR resources and HR software products you need.


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