LIVING Those New Year resolutions feeling a little less viable this year? Peter Minkoff shares his advice for achieving your goals, and getting ahead in 2021
We’ve had a stressful, exhausting year in 2020, and since most of us have greeted 2021 with our families only available on Zoom or with the same two, three people with whom we share our existence, this year doesn’t seem too promising. It’s difficult to enter this so-called clean slate with any amount of excitement if we know that we have a few more months of insecurity, anticipation, and not knowing what is going to happen in terms of our livelihoods and well-being.
Suddenly, our resolutions don’t seem as viable or even as inspiring as in the earlier years. One thing is for certain: you can use this year to drive your career forward, pursue your dreams, enrich your professional life and thus ensure your security and stability in other aspects of your existence. You can focus on what you can do as opposed to what you cannot change. In the spirit of perseverance, here are a few tips to help you manage this year’s completely unique circumstances and stay true to your goals.
Baby steps towards health and self-care
One major goal you should focus on in 2021 should be work–life balance, achieved mostly through dedicating yourself to your well-being. After all, you cannot possibly expect yourself to work for hours on end without developing a headache if you don’t hydrate properly or have a trusted workout plan at home to keep you energized.
Take baby steps to make it easier to develop a healthier life: take 10 minutes to jump rope on Mondays, but reserve Tuesdays for a bit of yoga, and elevate your Wednesday slump with some HIIT. Prepare healthy snacks during the weekends to avoid reaching for fast food and processed goodies. This will help you keep your energy levels high, your immune system strong, and your mental capabilities growing.
Discover promising fields to make a difference
Many people have decided to switch careers or qualify for a new field within their profession, especially in the medical field, to make themselves more available as the pandemic is still affecting our lives. Fortunately, since on-site learning is impossible, there are online alternatives you can look into for your profession.
For example, nurses wanting to provide advanced or pediatric life support can get ACLS and PALS certification online during the pandemic to make the switch and become viable candidates to work with these specific patients. This increases your viability as a candidate for new job opportunities, but it also expands your résumé with new skills, not to mention that it will help give your profession a sense of purpose as you’ll make a significant difference in the lives of many.
Work on your communication skills
No matter if you want to be a fashion designer, a web developer, a nurse, or anything in between, 2021 will be the year for taking your interpersonal skills to the next level. Become a better communicator by developing your listening skills first and foremost.
Work on understanding body language better or communicating your own needs more effectively. Whatever your profession, communication is vital for success and growth, so it should definitely be on your resolutions list for this year.
Focus on the little things
Sometimes the greatest growth comes from the smallest of actions, so it’s time to look at what you do every single day that can contribute to your professional development. Create your own agenda for the week with detailed action plans for every day. Start your day with a mood-boosting ritual such as drinking a cup of tea while you read a book, or write your affirmations.
If you work in a high-stress environment, which goes for most medical workers and first responders, you should develop a stress-relieving system that can help you at a moment’s notice. Master simple breathing techniques you can practise whenever and wherever you are—it will help you reduce tension and anxiety while also boosting your mental resilience and focus.
Master the art of time management
We’re all prone to procrastination and succumbing to all kinds of distractions. How many times in a single day do you catch yourself scrolling down your newsfeed in the middle of a project? It’s too easy to grab the phone whenever we hear it ring, so we interrupt whatever we’re doing only to make it harder for us to go back to being productive.
This is especially challenging for people who have had to adapt to remote work in 2020, so time management has become a sore subject. You can focus on improving your time management skills by changing your behaviour one day at a time and then use the extra time on your hands to achieve more and keep your to-do list short and sweet.
Life will certainly not become instantly easier just because we’ve made another trip around the sun, but what you do with the time that lies ahead is entirely up to you—these tips can take your career forward and improve your essential skills in the process. Whatever you decide, these ideas can help you feel better in 2021 and make the most of the time at your disposal, hopefully to grow as a professional and a human being, too. •
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