By Laura Gayle, Business Woman Guide
The start of a new year is a great opportunity for change, but whether or not you achieve success can often depend upon how you approach it. As 2019 is now in full swing, the 25% of people who have stuck with their resolutions past January are probably wavering — at least according to the same set of statistics, which suggest that just 8% of people who make it past the first 30 days actually achieve their goals.
Want to find greater success? Rather than get all wrapped up in resolutions that make you feel bad if you don’t achieve them, try another approach. As an alternative method, try setting goals and investing in yourself. Here is a list of six things you can do toward this end in 2019.
1. Learn a New Professional Skill
Unhappy in your current work situation? Maybe you’re bored — or maybe you aren’t yet skilled enough to get the kind of promotion you want? Whether you want to find greener pastures or simply make a lateral move to try something new, gaining new skills can help get you there. Here are some ways you can accomplish this goal:
- Take a volunteer position. Volunteering provides a great opportunity to learn new skills from other professionals while simultaneously helping someone else out.
- Pick up a side hustle. In today’s gig economy, you can gain additional work experience in a variety of fields.
- Ask your boss for a challenge. See if your boss will let you be involved with a project where you can work under a mentor.
Taking the time to learn new skills is an easy way to get you on the path to achieving both happiness and success in your career.
Tip: Don’t forget to network while you’re learning new things and meeting new people!
2. Obtain a New Certification
To help yourself secure a pay increase or climb the proverbial corporate ladder, try earning a certification or two. For example, getting a commercial driver’s license or a heavy equipment operator certificate can open all sorts of opportunities in the construction industry. Or, if you’re in the IT or project management fields, there are numerous types of other certifications you can pursue. These look great on a résumé and signal to bosses or potential employers that you’re always looking to up your game.
3. Experience New Travel Adventures
Is extended travel to an exotic or historic location something you’ve always dreamed about? Do you want to go exploring or experience new adventures? Does the thought of potentially missing out on these dreams upset you? If so, make the time to do it!
While you can retrieve many things in life once they drift away, time is not one of them. You can put your belongings in storage and become a digital nomad. Remote Year, WiFly Nomad, and similar remote work programs can handle a lot of the logistics for you and enable you to live out your dreams.
4. Start Your Own Business
Do you have an entrepreneurial itch you’ve always wanted to scratch? Or maybe you’ve come up with a great idea of a new invention. If so, why put off your career goals when you can make this the year you take the plunge?
There are numerous kinds of businesses you can start for under $5,000, such as landscaping, personal fitness training, photography, and event planning, to name a few. If you’re expecting a tax refund, when that money lands in your bank account, use it to start a business (or if you’re still not ready, you can always use it to help fund your exotic dream trip!).
5. Invest in How You Look
Sometimes a new look is all you need to feel successful. Get a new hairstyle or color, join a gym, or take a Zumba or yoga class. Maybe some new work, play, or leisure clothes are in order. Choose something that’ll make you feel good and, as a result, you’ll face the world with more confidence.
6. Stop Procrastinating
Many people quickly find out that procrastination is their biggest vice. It leads to tardiness, stress, and disappointment, distracting us from focusing on our dreams and goals. Make a pact with yourself to put an end to procrastination (or at least reduce it).
- Use an app such as Freedom, Stay Focused, or Zero Willpower to temporarily block websites that distract you for specific periods of time.
- Delete your Facebook account, or at least temporarily deactivate it to give you time to catch up on some of those wish-to-do items you want to tick off your list.
- Set a calendar with designated time slots for tasks you want to accomplish — and stick to it.
If you can reduce your level of procrastination, you’ll feel a much greater sense of accomplishment, and that can propel you forward to pursue your other 2019 goals.
6. Focus on Yourself to Feel Healthier
If you’re like most people, you spend a good chunk of your life at work while also balancing family, pets, or other responsibilities. You probably spend less time thinking about yourself than anything else. If this sounds like you, take a few small steps to change this mindset.
- Pack a healthy lunch daily rather than spending money on carry-out food.
- Add a 15-minute walk to your day. Or, if you’re limited on time, park your car in a distant spot in the lot or take the stairs whenever you can.
- Practice mindfulness through meditation or breathing exercises.
- Cut out the extra caffeine. Just take your daily boost if you really need it.
- Read a motivational book or two; they can change your perspective and help you see how change is in reach. If that’s not your cup of tea, read something related to your own professional development goals.
It doesn’t matter what you do: The key is to think small, put in a little effort, and watch how those little changes add up. Whether you decide to make minor changes (such as a daily visit to the gym or cutting out fast food) or go for the gusto (becoming an entrepreneur or taking that trip you’ve always dreamed about), investing in yourself one step at a time has lasting benefits that can bring you success in 2019.