This post is contributed by Margie Zable Fisher, president of Zable Fisher Public Relations, which specializes in e-commerce and product P.R. and publicity. Her company offers free publicity opportunities and tips here.
January is a time to come up for air after the holidays and spend some time thinking about and planning for the year ahead.
At the start of each year, I look through some of the great books I’ve read, do some online research, and think about what I’ve learned over the past year. Then I put together resolutions that I believe will lead to a better life — for myself and others.
Read on to see which 2018 professional resolutions resonate with you.
This year, I will …
1. Schedule, in January, all activities for the year that support my health and family — including workouts, doctor appointments, vacations, and family events.
Without these, I can’t be productive in my business. I will be willing to shift my schedule to accommodate them, too. Yes, it can be frustrating to have to put aside a project to bring my daughter to kickboxing in the afternoon. But having the freedom of schedule to do that and support a healthy family makes it worthwhile.
2. Adopt the 5-Step Process from Ray Dalio’s excellent book, Principles, to get what I want out of life. This means:
- Having clear goals.
- Identifying and eliminating problems that stand in the way of achieving those goals.
- Accurately diagnosing the problems to get at their root causes.
- Designing plans that will get me around them.
- Doing what’s necessary to push these designs through to results.
3. Use the Triple Filter Test of Socrates when communicating with others.
I will ask myself, “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it useful?” If I’m sure the answers to all three are yes, I’ll go ahead and share the information. Otherwise, I’ll create a more tactful version or keep it to myself.
4. Spend four hours a day on my most important work and spend the rest of the time on exercise, relaxation, and more mundane tasks.
That’s the recipe for success for many well-known folks, including Thomas Jefferson and Stephen King. (You can learn more in a fascinating book titled, Rest – Why You Get More Done When You Work Less.)
5. Learn something new every day.
Whether it’s …
- Reading a newsletter (my favorite is from Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group)
- Checking out a magazine article (that’s how I found the overnight oatmeal recipe I’ve been eating for breakfast for a year)
- Or talking to a colleague
… learning is so helpful to my life. You may prefer watching videos or attending events. While it’s impossible to keep up with everything happening in the world, it’s important to make an effort.
6. Never put anything nasty in writing.
I was reminded of this after a scathing text from a client who didn’t want to pay me. That text (or email or letter) wrote in anger won’t go away. Think about it: if you had a bad day or decided to vent to someone, would you want that person to remember your comments forever? Probably not.
7. Keep in touch with my personal and business community through emails, social media, letters, calls, and visits.
Sometimes we forget about friends, family, customers, and fans and take them for granted in our quest for making new connections. The people in your life now are so important and shouldn’t be ignored.
8. Enhance my life through outsourcing and automation.
This frees me up to focus on more important activities. I save time scheduling business calls by using free tools like You Can Book Me. I automatically back up my files in the easiest way possible by using Carbonite. In my personal life, I outsource house maintenance projects. I will continue to look for more tools to help make me more productive and to improve my happiness and profits.
9. Get my most important business tasks done in the morning.
This frees me up the rest of the day and allows me to always get critical activities done. This is also what many successful, well-known folks do.
10. Continue to build relationships with my “competition.”
I know there’s really no such thing as competition. There’s enough business for all of us. And, in fact, my colleagues and I often refer business to each other.
Focusing on these resolutions will lead to a healthier, happier and more prosperous year. What are your 2018 professional resolutions? Let us know in the comments!