5 Simple Office Resolutions to Help Make 2016 Your Year
It’s another New Year, and we are all faithfully planning those New Year’s office resolutions. Whether you’re set on getting that promotion or going to the gym or perhaps you haven’t gotten around to thinking about any yet, here are some quick tips on how to make your office resolutions last longer than a couple weeks (we’re speaking from experience here), and some simple ideas on how to make 2016 YOUR year!
1) Limit your goals.
Ok, we know at first glance this looks depressingly cynical and not very much like advice-worthy material. We’re supposed to say: You can do anything if you put your mind to it! But please let us explain. Most of the time our brains have trouble pinpointing the correct behaviors and attitudes needed to resolve larger, broader goals, especially if those goals are outside of our current experience. For example, we might want to move into a management role over the course of the year, but if that process is something that we aren’t familiar with, there’s a good chance that while we have the vague ambition, we won’t be able to coordinate that transition. The key is to set one achievable goal, and then add more achievable goals as you go. It is much easier for your brain to lock onto a goal that is achievable, even if it’s difficult. And on the plus side there’s a better chance that you won’t procrastinate when you have a path that is clear to you. So what’s the secret to getting that promotion? Well, it’s setting a series of achievable goals over the year, and after each victory, tweaking those short-term goals as you gain more information, experience and confidence.
2) Make some new friends at the office.
Most of us aren’t re-living the industrial revolution, but office work can still be stressful! You know, swiveling in chairs all day, reluctantly making a note to stop putting off that fitting for contact lenses. But if we told you there’s a way to make it just a little better? And all you had to do was…. hang out with someone new? Look, getting in the habit of making friends is a great way to operate. And going so far as to remember the name of the person who cleans up, or that new temp who’s only going to be here for a month, or maybe asking to go see The Force Awakens with the IT gal who has those Chewbacca figurines all over her desk are all things that can all go a long way to improve the everyone’s day at the office, especially yours. We all know people who complain about the culture, so as an antidote to that, help create a new culture. Meet someone new, grab someone a coffee on a whim, or go ask that person you haven’t met yet to lunch!
3) Get out of the chair.
This one is easy. Get out of your chair! We’ve all read studies saying how bad sitting all day long, even if you are one of those who bought that $4000 Italian leather and brushed Finnish steel ergonomic chair. We’re not saying that the office has to transition to big red exercise balls (yet), but making sure that you get up and walk around for a few minutes every two hours means that you will stay stronger, live a little longer and feel better. Companies are realizing this too, but not as quick to catch up. Many are installing standing desk sections, or offering employees their own, so it’s worth checking out. And another way to walk a bit more: Park far. All right… we know that after years of under-appreciation you have finally scored that coveted spot right by the entrance. Great job, but listen up. What if Fridays are now the days to offer your spot to Janice from accounting, who is 70 and has been working the same job for 20 years? (Note: This is also a good way to fulfill office resolution 2. See above.) Parking close doesn’t have to be a status thing. Walking is good for you!
4) Be a little more green.
At Shoplet, we are passionate about respecting the environment. We’ve started a Rooted in Change initiative and sell thousands of green products to prove it. And we are always looking for new ways to make office work friendlier for the environment. Did you know there are a lot of things you can do at the job that can make a big difference for the world? You can use a water bottle and a reusable mug for your coffee, or make sure to shut down your computer at the end of the day to save on power, or turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. Pack your own lunch just a little bit more, and make sure to do so in reusable containers. If you are responsible for stocking supplies, consider eco-friendly products; many products are the same price as the non eco-friendly ones! Not all of us work in offices that use solar power, or have light sensors that turn off the lights when someone leaves the room, but we can all make a difference. If we all start doing the small things, it really adds up.
5) Work on being more open.
This sounds like one of those vague office resolutions that you maybe tell yourself you need to be better at, but you either forget or don’t care or don’t really know what it really means. Let’s clarify. One of the big problems with our New Year’s resolutions is that we fixate on a goal and don’t see the bigger picture. Maybe we’ve resolved to go to the gym 3 times/week and it’s something we really despise. That’s all well and good but perhaps we talk to a coworker who says that they are looking for a yoga buddy 3 times/week. Your goal isn’t actually to go to the gym, your REAL goal is to be healthier and feel better about yourself. This is the perfect opportunity to modify your resolution, and be sure that you stick to it. Buddy to go with, perfect, that’s resolution support! Opportunities like this happen all the time, and it’s OK to ‘break’ your resolution for something better all while sticking to the real goal you set for yourself. Look out for new opportunities at the workplace especially. Maybe you were working towards that marketing promotion, but after killing it at the latest project find yourself working on UX development more and loving it. Being open to new opportunities and not get fixated on one way of thinking is actually how we succeed and grow. Think about the last good thing that happened to you at work. Did you plan it out meticulously, or did you work hard to put yourself in the best place to advantage yourself of a new opportunity?
Good luck on those office resolutions this year. Remember, keep them achievable, and keep chipping away. Happy 2016 from all of us at Shoplet!