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50 New Year’s Resolutions to Boost Your Career

Topics: Career Advice

About 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, but most of us don’t make it to February with our goals intact. The secret to keeping any New Year’s resolution is start small — and focus on incremental change.

new year's resolutions
Image Credit: Morgan Sessions/Unsplash

“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD, tells the American Psychological Association. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”

The good news for folks who are focusing their resolutions on their careers is that there are plenty of opportunities to make small changes at work. You never know what will have a big impact on your career.

Don’t know where to start? Pick one of these:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

  1. Sign up for a class
  2. Develop a skill
  3. Apply for a job
  4. Read a book
  5. Find out how much you should be paid
  6. Talk to someone on another team
  7. Say yes
  8. Say no
  9. Ask for more
  10. Update your resume
  11. Update your LinkedIn profile
  12. Email a former coworker and set up a coffee date
  13. Connect with an influencer on social media
  14. Tidy your workspace at the end of the day/week/month
  15. Do one thing every day to further your goals (not the ones your company selected)
  16. Ask for help
  17. Try to understand a coworker’s perspective
  18. Unplug for an afternoon or a weekend — or commit to going offline at X time each day
  19. Plan a vacation
  20. Take on a new project
  21. Keep a time diary, and find out where the day goes
  22. Think about your dream job…
  23. …and then look at what’s stopping you from having it
  24. Set up an informational interview to learn more about a job/employer/career path
  25. Bring your lunch to work…
  26. …and eat it somewhere other than your desk
  27. Get up 15 minutes earlier
  28. Pick a quitting time and stick to it
  29. Change up your to-do list
  30. In your calendar, block off time for heads-down work
  31. Volunteer (as in, donate your time and money)
  32. Volunteer (as in, raise your hand at work)
  33. Talk a walk outside every day
  34. Sit less
  35. Attend a function where you’ll meet new people
  36. Send a thank-you note
  37. Write a recommendation or reference
  38. Endorse a colleague on LinkedIn
  39. Make a personal budget
  40. Find a side gig
  41. Update your interview uniform
  42. Update your professional attire
  43. Change your social media head shots
  44. Work on your elevator pitch
  45. Identify your personal brand
  46. Be a mentor
  47. Find a mentor
  48. Join a Lean In Circle/professional association/group
  49. Ask for an introduction
  50. Replace “sorry” with “thank you

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your New Year’s resolution for your career? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation with Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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Some of us cannot use Linked-In due to personal exposure / experience with narcissists/sociopaths. They would be able to track us and try to get a job where we work (it happened to me twice). An evil woman from one job (where I worked) was able to find me at my current job and she went directly to H.R., my supervisor, and another woman who worked at the same place. She asked H.R. about my position…and if things had worked… Read more »

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