Archive | December, 2017

15 Small Steps that Can Make a Big Difference in 2018

December 28, 2017

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When it comes to new year’s resolutions, we tend to make grand plans. And it’s ok to dream big. In fact, you should! But sometimes big changes start with baby steps. Don’t forget the small changes that can have a drastic affect on your day-to-day successes. Here is a list of just a few ideas that can help you get started. What else would you add?

  1. Bring your lunch to work every day.
  2. Buy noise-cancelling headphones.
  3. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
  4. Switch from coffee to tea.
  5. Eat breakfast every morning.
  6. Change your desktop background to an inspiring quote.
  7. Buy a new agenda that you really like.
  8. Switch to a stand-up desk or exercise ball chair.
  9. Add a small plant to your desk.
  10. Get up 15 minutes earlier.
  11. Workout during the lunch hour.
  12. Add a lamp to your desk.
  13. Go for a walk every afternoon.
  14. Stand up and stretch once an hour.
  15. Listen to an educational podcast or audio book during your commute.

Image S Demmer/Flickr.

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Can’t Make a Decision? Remove Yourself from the Equation.

December 26, 2017

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Should you quit? Should you go for that promotion? Should you take that job offer? Should you say something? Should you go to the gym right now? Should you eat that donut? Some of life’s biggest and smallest decisions can put us in a stupor. We literally can’t see clearly and aren’t sure which way to turn.

After all, it’s hard to give yourself advice. What if you’re wrong? Then it’s all your fault. No wonder we don’t have confidence in our opinions sometimes. Luckily, there’s a way to get to the best answer, and fast–remove yourself from the equation.

So what does that mean? Simply pretend you’re giving advice to a friend. You’re in a conundrum, and you don’t know what to do. But if a friend asked you that exact same question, what would you say to them? If a family member presented this exact situation to you, what advice would you give them? This strategy may help you see the pros and cons more clearly and decisively. Your reasoning skills may become sharper as soon as you distance yourself from the problem. Give it a try and see what you think!

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How “If…Then” Can Make Your Life Easier… and More Successful

December 21, 2017

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We all know how rewards work. If I work out, then I get a cookie. If I get my work done, then I can play a video game. If I get a promotion, then I can buy myself a new iPad. But what about using “if…then” in a better, more productive way?

A Psychology Today study found that an “if-then” strategy can make you two-to-three times more successful in achieving your goals. “If-then” statements are not about rewarding yourself for getting tasks done. It’s all about setting an action that corresponds to a cue. That action should be a desirable one, and something that you’d like to turn into a habit. Here are some examples you can follow:

  • If it’s time for lunch, then I take a 20-minute break and step away from my computer.
  • If I’m asked to do something I don’t want to do, then I say no.
  • If it’s a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I will go to the gym.
  • If I’m not being productive, then I go for a 10-minute walk.
  • If it’s 10 PM, then I move to the bedroom and begin my de-stressing process.
  • If I’m at home, then I don’t open my work computer between 5 and 8 PM.
  • If I’m offered a dessert, then I say no.

These “if-then” statements create an automatic response or rule that you must follow. It takes the guesswork or the risk out of your bad habits–and hopefully breaks them! What “if-then” rules will you set for yourself?

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A 2018 Career Resolution You Can Actually Achieve

December 19, 2017

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Instead of creating a long list of resolutions, why not create a different approach for the new year. One that’s more achievable and one that you can’t ignore. The key word here is one. Simply choose one career skill that you’d like to improve. Then outline a small step you’ll take each month to improve that skill. Here are some examples.

  • Goal: Become a better public speaker.
    • January: Join Toastmasters.
    • February: Give a public speech to a small group.
    • March: Write a speech about something I care about.
    • etc…
  • Goal: Manage my time better.
    • January: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier and wake up 30 minutes earlier.
    • February: Work in the morning 3x/week.
    • March: Sign up for a hobby class that meets once a week after work.
    • etc.
  • Goal: Learn how to code.
    • January: Sign up for a class.
    • February: Build a 3-page website.
    • March: Offer to build a website for a friend.
    • etc.

What’s your big goal for 2018?

Image via john.schultz/Flickr.

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How to Close out the Year Strong…and Welcome the New One

December 12, 2017

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The end of the year is significant in so many ways. A time for goodbyes as well as hellos: to a fresh start and a new beginning. If you’re looking for some closure in 2017 so you can fully welcome the good vibes of 2018, here are some great tips.

  1. Clean up your office before you leave for the holidays–that includes your desktop. That way you’ll get a fresh start in the new year.
  2. Flip through your agenda for the past year and reflect on your achievements and the obstacles you overcame.
  3. Purchase a new agenda that’s ready to go for the new year.
  4. Revisit your goals for the past year. Which ones did you meet? Which ones fell to the wayside? Did you make any progress? Which ones do you want to re-visit in the new year?
  5. Make one small change right now. Maybe it’s just a new plant on your desk or a new desktop background but the difference can signify a fresh beginning when you return to the office.

Image via Hitchster/Flickr.

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Holiday Gifts at Work: Yay or Nay?

December 7, 2017

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Should you give a holiday gift to your boss? What about your coworkers? Where do you draw the line? And what’s an appropriate gift? Gah! The season of giving sure does come with a lot of stress. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that may help you determine who deserves a gift at work and what you should get them.

  1. Does your boss usually get you a gift? If so, you may want to consider returning the favor with a small gift. It doesn’t have to necessarily match in cost, but it should match in thought.
  2. Is there a Secret Santa gift exchange at work? Since your coworkers are already exchanging gifts via this method, you’re off the hook for individual gifts.
  3. For whatever reason, would you just feel “better” if you did give a gift to someone? Then do it! A card with a small gift card to their favorite tea or coffee shop is a thoughtful and reliable gift.
  4. Still not sure what to do? Holiday or New Year cards with a thoughtful message are always appreciated.

Image via Jason Devaun/Flickr.

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Make Time For Yourself this Holiday

December 5, 2017

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Mix the holidays with the end-of-the-year rush and you get a recipe for disaster: less sleep, less working out, and unhealthy eating. Do any of these sound familiar to you? I’d say so! So how does one survive the season without turning into a zombie? Prioritize Y-O-U.

Sure, it’s the season of giving back and showing your love for others. But you can serve others better when you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. You need to focus on your health even more during these busy times. Here are some ways you can incorporate healthy habits even during the most stressful days:

  • Bring your lunch to work. Even a pre-made salad from the grocery store or a pre-packaged tub of hummus and veggies is healthier than going out to eat for weeks in a row.
  • Squeeze in a mini-workout. Go for a 30 minute walk over lunch even if it’s on a treadmill. You won’t work up a sweat but you will be able to walk off some stress–and burn some calories.
  • Set an alarm reminding you when to go to bed. Don’t make any exceptions. Bedtime or bust!

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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