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Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals

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With the end of a year (sorry, D-E-C-A-D-E!! How did that feel?) quickly approaching, it’s that time when millions of people stop to reflect on the past, and surrounded by the hype, find motivation to set goals for the future. Unfortunately, these resolutions are often made without thorough planning, resulting in resolution burnout and ultimately resolution failure. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’re counting down the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals and included an action plan to help get you there!

10. Achieve More

If you only make one resolution this year, let it be this one. Setting goals is easy, but achieving them has proven much harder. We all have professional and personal goals we are trying to achieve. It may be mastering a new role at work, learning a new skill, getting healthy, or earning a professional certification (like the PMP – more on that later!). When we truly commit to our goals and CRAVE them with our heart and soul, stress and fear dissipate, and we become more positive, more proactive and productive.

Action Plan:

Every PM would like to achieve more when it comes to team productivity and project success. Take strategic steps this year to achieve more with this engaging online course, CRAVE Your Goals! Motivate Your Team and Get Things Done, by Tricia Molloy worth 2.5 Leadership PDUs towards your PMI certifications.

9. Quit a Bad Habit

Many resolutions focus on letting go of nasty habits, like smoking or eating junk food. In an effort to follow through with this one, we’ll quote Denis Waitley, “You don’t break a bad habit; you replace it with a good one.” Let’s take it a step further than simply replacing Cheetos with carrots, and think about the root causes of a bad habit. How can we replace those with a positive action or behavior? It’s this mindset that will help us over the finish line.

Action Plan:

How often are bad habits affecting your projects? Your success of this resolution is based on your actions, not just your ideas. Tackle bad habits associated with project failure with our online course, 17 Top Reasons Why Projects Fail and What You Can Do to Avoid Failure, by Neal Whitten, worth 6 PDUs (4 Strategic and 2 Leadership).

8. Give Back

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” Ahh, wise words, Denzel. This has got to be one of our favorite resolutions, and should be one of the easiest to accomplish since the act of giving makes us feel happy and is actually good for our health (source). When was the last time you made a difference in someone’s life?

Action Plan:

Do you remember a teacher, a coach or a former boss who said or did something that changed the trajectory of your career? By becoming a mentor, you get to do that for someone else. Earn 3 PDUs (1.5 Leadership and 1.5 Strategic) with our online course, Effective Mentoring: Top 40 Q&As for a Successful Experience, by Neal Whitten, and get (or rather, give) the most out of the relationship.

7. Spend More Time with Family and Friends

Regardless of all the time you spend with friends and family during the holiday season, this one still seems to make the top of just about everyone’s New Year’s Resolution list. However, it can be hard to keep promises of more date nights, time playing with the kids, or nostalgic lasagna dinners at mom’s house when the work doesn’t magically disappear with the new year. In order to free up more of your time, something has to change. It’s not about how much time you have, but rather how you invest the time you do have.

Action Plan: 

As a project manager, we’re constantly pulled in multiple directions with varying items demanding our attention. Take control of your day by investing in our online course, Effective Time Management to Getting More Done Every Day, by Neal Whitten worth 3 Leadership PDUs, and get back to doing more with the ones you love. 

6. Be More Productive

There’s no surprise we’ve already seen a correlation with this resolution and accessibility of technology. How many fall prey to binge watching their favorite TV show or spending way too long scrolling Facebook (hey – are you following us yet?!). In fact, a study shows Americans check their phones on average 80 times per day! In this digital world, distractions and interruptions wreak havoc on your productivity. This resolution will take a conscious effort along with practical techniques to reduce disruptions, prioritize your responsibilities, and spend your time effectively.

Action Plan:

A recent study shows we waste 21.8 hours a workweek contributing little to no value to our company. It comes in the form of lost time and increased stress due to miscommunication, distractions and lack of clarity around task requirements and stakeholder expectations. Learn specific techniques and approaches to becoming more effective with our online course, Project Productivity Killers, by Dave Po-Chedley worth 4.5 PDUs (4 Leadership and 0.5 Technical).

5. Build Confidence

This resolution hits homefor so many, as it can affect nearly every aspect of your life from relationships, to your career, and your overall mood and mental health. It’s a hard truth that low self-confidence will hold you back from achieving your full potential. It can cause you to miss out on opportunities and upward mobility at work, leaving you with a less satisfying and fulfilling life. The good news is that self-confidence can be learned, practiced and become a core part of who you chose to be.

Action Plan:

According to a study, those with high self-esteem earn approximately $28,000 more annually than those who lack confidence (that’s $1.12 million of lost earnings over a 40-year career!) Don’t sell yourself short! Take our online course, 25 Actions to Build Your Self-Confidence by Neal Whitten worth 3.5 Leadership PDUs. Find your self-worth, rise to the top, and begin influencing others.

4. Break Out of Comfort Zones

If you’ve ever made a New Year’s Resolution, you know that it starts off with a full force declaration, and even some valiant actions, but inevitably most let doubt, or fear, overshadow the best of intentions. It’s scary to make big changes and step outside of your comfort zone. What’s not to love about your comfort zone? Even the term itself sounds comfortable… cozy. However, breaking out of your comfort zone is vastly beneficial to your personal and professional growth, and deserves a place on this list. Research shows that in order to maximize performance, we need a state of relative anxiety: a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal, which can be found right outside our comfort zone.

Action Plan:

Do you fear public speaking, presenting in board meetings, or networking? 50% of people are introverts and are highly uncomfortable in these scenarios. 4 out 5 introverts believe extroverts get ahead at work. When introverts learn to embrace and own their introversion, they can leverage their strengths in all kinds of situations where they need to create change, inspire others, provoke new ideas, and break through their comfort zones! Learn from Jennifer Kahnweiler in our online course, The Introverted Leader: Leading a Team in Today’s Extroverted World and earn 4.5 Leadership PDUs. 

Not an introvert? Apply the tools and strategies presented in this course to embrace, support and coach the continued development of your team and the people around you.

3. Travel More

A New Year’s Resolution list just isn’t complete without this one. Traveling does so much for one’s perspective on the world and comes with all sorts of profound benefits outside of a pretty picture. You get to meet new people, try new things, experience different cultures, enhance your creativity, be inspired, boost your happiness and health, and so much more. Tight on time or budget? Start with a neighboring town or a city within driving distance.

Action Plan:

Project Managers are often bombarded with tasks, meetings and projects. Where can you find the time to travel? Take our online course, Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance, by Neal Whitten and learn how to take actions towards a more balanced life today. Earn 2.5 Leadership PDUs and start planning for that dream vacation.

Not PMP Certified? Visit some of our newest PMP Boot Camp locations and tackle 2 resolutions in one.

2. Negotiate a Better Salary

If this resolution is on your list, you are not alone. Did you know that the average American is underpaid by 13.3% (source)? Sure, it can be a terrifying ask, but with preparation and practice it gets easier and more comfortable to do. Know your worth, build a case, and practice your negotiation techniques. If you become a better negotiator, you’ll see that nearly everything in life is negotiable, and it opens possibilities for a more fulfilling life. You’ll be strutting in your boss’s office ready to ask in no time.

Action Plan:

Are you hoping to increase your income next year? Maybe you hope to negotiate your benefits, a higher position, or even a different project team. Invest in your preparation and take our online course, Essential Tips for Effective Negotiation Skills, by Neal Whitten. Earn 2 Technical PDUs and walk boldly in the direction of your goals and standards.

1. Get PMP Certified

If this is on your New Year’s Resolution List, you have come to the right place! If not, did you know PMPs earn on average 20% more than non-PMPs? By earning this PMI credential, you stand apart in your job search, increase your success on projects, ensure job security and so much more. With the right, quality study resources and support, you can be ready to sit for the exam in 5-6 short weeks. The PMP Exam will be changing in July 2020, so you’ll want to hurry up and start creating a study plan right away.

Action Plan:

As a project manager, you will want to do what you know best – plan. Create a study plan and timeline to ensure you can complete this project on time (again, the exam will change on July, 1, 2020.) Determine your learning style and evaluate all your options. Velociteach offers instructor-led boot camps, self-study resources and online, self-paced courses through InSite. Contact us to learn more about the process and how we can help.

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