Whatever your motivation is—fear, reward, or a fresh start, it’s never too late to change for a new year.
This is part two of the article. To read part 1, click here.
6. Stop eating lunch at your desk
I always tell my work colleagues that food eaten in front of the computer screen is not as delicious as the ones you eat outside the office. Lunch time is a sacred time that you should use for reenergizing and rebooting your brain for work in the afternoon. There are more benefits to eating outside your cube: a) you’re likely to choose healthier food (versus the convenient fast food), b) your networking opportunity increases by sharing a seat with someone at the cafeteria, and c) eating is arguably the best way to bond personally and professionally with your teammates. This 2015, be conscious of the number of times you eat lunch at your desk—you’re likely missing a lot!
7. Exercise, exercise, exercise
This is the year when people should start realizing that exercise has been too much associated with weight loss. More than wiping out your love handles, exercise also does wonders for the brain. Take note that your body feels “stressed” whenever you exercise and as a defense mechanism, it releases hormones that have reparative and resetting functions. Do you notice that you feel happy and able to think better after exercising? Hormones such as endorphine cause that, which is probably the reason why your energetic colleague beats you at work even if he spends more time at the thread mill. You have no excuse this 2015: ten minutes of exercise a day is just about okay, says experts.
8. Find a career mentor besides your boss
There are plenty of senior managers out there who are genuinely passionate to groom their own protégés because it feels rewarding to have one, and because great leaders are never insecure to share what they know. This 2015, find a mentor outside your department (i.e. not your boss) who can share career advice from time to time. Look for someone who can improve your negotiation skills. Request her to introduce you to more people (including the big wigs) in the company. Ask about her failures and mistakes as she climbed up the corporate ladder. Think of your mentor as your sponsor in the Hunger Games: they come and go as they please, but they’re necessary for your survival in the competition.
9. Power dress when the occasion calls for it
The saying that ‘form follows content’ is dead in 2015. As a marketer, I’ve always believed that the world is all about packaging whether we like it or not. Looks significantly matter: we choose products based on their wrappers and more beautiful people are promoted than their aesthetically challenged counterparts. What you write in your e-mails can be judged in parallel with how you dress so invest in clothes that can nail down that critical presentation for the VIPs. Sell yourself like a brand. Be consistent with an ensemble that can project a confident and sharp you. Your clothes don’t need to stand out (this is not about dressing up for a catwalk), but it should be able shout: “I’m ready for a bigger desk”.
10. Spend less time on Social Media
The numbers don’t lie: we are tempted to check our Facebook about 14 times a day and yet it takes us around 20 minutes to get back to work and finish a task after being disrupted. Seriously, how much are you really missing out if you don’t check Instagram for three hours? This 2015, be more self-aware that social media are the ultimate productivity killers that can make or break your much-awaited promotion. Try coldturkey.com or anti-social.cc which can help you temporarily block social media sites and achieve laser-sharp focus with your work. Take Mohammed Ali’s advice when it comes to social media starvation: “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”.
Onwards to a successful 2016
The key to all the resolutions above is discipline and grit. It will all depend on how you want change so bad. Some will be effectively motivated by fear, some by rewards, and some by the mere wanting of a fresh start. Whatever your motivation is, I wish you the best in 2016. May you all have a successful new year so go grab those dreams!