On the cusp of another new year, many of us are making resolutions. While some will choose to focus on traditional goals, such as hitting the gym more or eating healthier meals, others may be interested in digging deeper.
Here are eight resolutions to help you develop both personally and professionally in the coming year.
1. Enroll in a college course.
Just because you may have already graduated from college, doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop. Consider taking a college-level course about a topic you’d like to learn more about. It doesn’t even have to relate to your day job. With thousands of free and low-fee online courses offered through sites like Open Education Database and Udemy, you can find one that interests you and works with your schedule.
2. Create an online course.
We all possess unique knowledge and talents and the internet has made it easier than ever to share those with others outside of our immediate circles. To share your insights, you can create an online course and then upload it to several different publishing platforms. You can offer it pro bono or maybe even turn it into a lucrative side gig that provides additional cash flow.
3. Volunteer each quarter.
With so many nonprofits and organizations in desperate need of volunteers, commit to finding volunteer opportunities in the coming year and help sustain these organizations. It can be difficult to find the time, of course, but making a goal to volunteer at least once per quarter may serve as a gentle reminder.
4. Join a professional membership group.
There are thousands of professional membership groups in existence today, so finding one for your industry — or perhaps an industry you’re interested in transitioning to — is pretty straightforward. These groups usually provide professional development trainings, discounted rates for continuing education and products, and fantastic networking opportunities. Check out the searchable database on CareerOneStop to find the perfect fit.
5. Read 12 new books.
Dr. Seuss said it best: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” If it’s been a while since you set foot in the library or downloaded anything to your Kindle, look for recommended book lists online and then make a plan to read one book per month.
6. Organize your inbox.
Clutter and disorganization can undermine your productivity and serve as an unnecessary distraction and stealer of time. If your inbox is overflowing with unnecessary items, it’s time to get it cleaned out. While “inbox zero” might be unrealistic for most of us, we do need to be able to access our most important or urgent messages without worry that they’ll get lost in the chaos. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools to help you achieve this and lots of tips and tricks too.
7. Lay off the electronics.
This is probably a tough one for most of us to do since we have become rather reliant on our phones and devices — some data indicating we spend one-third of our waking hours checking our phones. But when our heads are buried and our fingers swiping, life tends to pass us by. You may overlook the beauty of the world and the wisdom of people who surround you and miss out on the personal connections that could evolve if we simply put down the dang phone once in a while.
8. Perform random acts of kindness.
Random acts of kindness (RAOK) don’t have to be elaborate or expensive endeavors. They can be as simple as taking the extra couple of seconds to hold a door for a harried mom with her hands full or extending a compliment to a passerby. There’s something about performing these small acts that restores your faith in the greater good. Not only will you bring joy into another’s life, you’ll find your own thoughts and feelings are transformed for the better too.
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