Ah, the new year!
You’ve said goodbye to house guests. You’ve put away the decorations (and probably way too much food and drink). Maybe you’ve made a list of personal resolutions – or “revolutions,” since we seem to go through the same ones over and over, year after year.
But have you made a list of office resolutions?
Here’s our Top 10 for your consideration:
Whatever gave you that idea?
When someone in a meeting exclaims “I have an idea!” do you cringe, maybe do an eye roll, or think, “Oh please, not again”? You might be pleasantly surprised to learn you’re not the only source of great ideas. Resolve this year to listen and consider, instead of chucking new ideas like last week’s leftovers.
Shake your footy
Sitting at your desk for long periods not only numbs your… well, almost everything… but also numbs your brain. Wake up those neurotransmitters every hour or two with a walk down the hall (but not to the vending machine) or up the stairs. Stand up and touch your toes a few times (they’re down there, you just might not be able to see them). Resolve this year to move a little more.
Speak up without talking down
There they go again, doing that thing that annoys you so much. You want to give them a piece of your mind, tell them to knock it off, set them straight. Whoa, cowboy. Before deputizing yourself to rid the world of all things perceived to be annoying, hold your horses. Resolve this year to be more respectful when discussing difficult topics with others.
That’s not funny!
Do you spread your trials and tribulations around the office like a bad cold? We all have an occasional bad day, but a chronic complainer can ruin a good mood faster than a sick child on parent date night. Instead, make an effort to laugh more and complain less. Resolve this year to lighten up.
Loose lips sink careers
If you look forward to daily office gossip with the ravenous excitement of a hyena racing to the zebra carcass, you might be going to work for the wrong reasons. Set yourself apart from those who prefer to talk behind backs rather than eye to eye. Show you can be a trusted, confidential person. Resolve this year to open your mind and close your mouth more often.
You talkin’ to me ?
If you’re the strong, silent type at meetings — preferring to sit quietly and not speak up — how will anyone hear those great ideas teeming inside your brain? The next time there’s a call for ideas, be bold and raise your hand (resisting the urge to squeal “ooh, pick me, pick me”). Resolve this year to speak up.
Do I have a volunteer?
If your mantra is “I can’t possibly do that,” you probably can’t. If your mantra is “I think I can do that,” you probably can. See a pattern? Volunteer to be part of a special event or project in which you have a genuine interest (i.e., do not offer to head the employee fitness challenge if your idea of an exhausting workout is tying your shoes). Resolve this year to volunteer for something.
All work and no play … stinks
Do you think the office can’t possibly get by without you for a day, a week, two weeks? That your job is so important there’s no way you can take all the vacation days you’ve accumulated from years of dedicated service? Think again. Your vacation is part of your compensation. Take it. There’s a good chance the company won’t fold in your absence. Resolve this year to use your vacation time.
Do you see the coffee pot as half empty?
That may have less to do with negative thinking, and more to do with common courtesy. Don’t pour the last cup without starting a fresh pot. Mind your manners and be considerate, always. See our blog on cubicle etiquette for a quick refresher. Resolve this year to be a good neighbor.
I’m not lovin’ it
Do you dread going to work more than having the in-laws for a week-long visit? That might be a sign you’re not loving your job. This year, evaluate why you do what you do and why you work where you work. Then ask yourself what you really want to do and where you really want to work. Be honest, and be open to opportunities. It might be time for a change. Resolve this year to do what you love and love what you do.