LIFE Those New Year’s resolutions feel a little less viable this year? Peter Minkoff shares his advice to meet your goals and move forward in 2021
We had a stressful, busy year in 2020 and since most of us have welcomed 2021 with their families only available on Zoom or with the same two or three people we share our livelihoods with, this year doesn’t seem too promising. It is difficult to step into this so-called clean slate with so much excitement when we know that we have a few more months of uncertainty, anticipation, and not knowing what is going to happen in terms of our livelihoods and wellbeing.
Suddenly our resolutions no longer seem to be as sustainable or even as inspiring as they were in previous years. One thing is for sure: you can use this year to advance your career, to realize your dreams, to enrich your professional life and thus to ensure your security and stability in other aspects of your existence. You can focus on what you can do as opposed to what you can’t change. In the spirit of perseverance, here are some tips to help you navigate the unique circumstances of this year and stay true to your goals.
Baby steps towards health and self care
A major goal to focus on in 2021 should be work-life balance, which is largely achieved by devoting yourself to your wellbeing. After all, if you don’t hydrate properly or have a trustworthy workout plan at home to keep you energized, you can’t possibly expect to work for hours without getting a headache.
Take small steps to develop a healthier life: take 10 minutes to jump rope on Mondays, but reserve some yoga on Tuesdays and add some HIIT to your Wednesday slump. Prepare healthy snacks on 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 abilities increased.
Discover promising fields to make a difference
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Many people have decided to switch careers or gain qualifications in a new professional field, especially in the medical field, to make themselves better available as the pandemic is still affecting our lives. Fortunately, since on-site learning is impossible, there are online alternatives to consider for your profession.
For example, nurses who wish to offer advanced or pediatric life support can obtain ACLS and PALS certification online during the pandemic to make the switch and become viable candidates to work with those specific patients. This will increase your viability as a candidate for new job opportunities, but it will also add new skills to your résumé, not to mention it will give meaning to your profession as you will transform many people’s lives significantly.
Work on your communication skills
Whether you want to be a fashion designer, web developer, nurse, or anything in between, 2021 will be the year you take your interpersonal skills to the next level. Become a better communicator by primarily developing your listening skills.
Work on understanding body language better or communicating your own needs more effectively. Regardless of your profession, communication is critical to success and growth. It should therefore definitely be on your list of resolutions for this year.
Focus on the little things
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Sometimes the greatest growth comes from the smallest of actions. So it is time to consider what you are doing every day to contribute to your professional development. Create your own agenda with detailed action plans for each day. Start your day with a mood-enhancing ritual like drinking a cup of tea while reading a book or writing your affirmations.
If you are working in a high stress environment, which is common to most health workers and first responders, you should develop a stress relief system that is always ready to help. Master simple breathing techniques that you can practice anytime and anywhere – they will help you to relieve tension and anxiety while increasing your mental resilience and concentration.
Master the art of time management
We are all prone to procrastination and succumb to all kinds of distractions. How often in a day do you find yourself scrolling down your news feed in the middle of a project? It’s too easy to pick up the phone when we hear it ring. That’s why we interrupt everything we’re doing just to make it harder for us to get productive again.
This is especially challenging for people who had to adapt to remote working in 2020, so time management has become a sore issue. You can focus on improving your time management skills by changing your behavior each day and then using the extra time to accomplish more and keep your to-do list short and sweet.
Life certainly doesn’t get any easier immediately just because we’ve made another trip around the sun, but what to do with the time ahead is entirely up to you – these tips can advance your career and improve your essential skills. Whatever you choose, these ideas can help you feel better about yourself in 2021 and make the most of the time you have to hopefully grow as a professional and person as well. • •
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