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Five Tips For Making New Year's Work Resolutions

Do you know that today is the 300th day of 2015? This means we have only 65 days left to plan our 2016 work resolutions. Quick, let's call a strategy meeting!

Maybe you had Big Plans last December (which is right around the corner again, by the way...) to make this year the Best Year Ever In the Entire History of Your Career. Here's what we were telling CareerBuilder around this time last year, in 2014.

No word on whether these workplace resolutions actually worked out, but perhaps your 2015 workplace resolutions have all come true, and how. If so, good for you!

Maybe like the rest of us, however, you're 300 days deep into this thing and looking to 2016 to be the Best Year Ever In the Entire History of Your Career. (Again.) You're going to get out there and network, get a new job, get a raise, get a new office, get it together! Before life gets in the way. (Again. Just like it always does.)

The question is, how on earth can we make realistic workplace resolutions that are focused, and attainable? Here are five, basic tips for making our new year's work resolutions actually work:

1. Start small. Of all the work-related resolutions you can make, which one -- and I mean only one -- would have the greatest short-term impact? Pick one thing to focus on for 2016, and be very specific in your wording. I want to have better follow through on that one task. I want to set a few much-needed boundaries with a very demanding client. Look for easy goals that would have the biggest net positive effect on your professional and/or personal life, and confidence level.

2. Be realistic. A big risk with planning any goal is going too big. I know, I know: Go big or go home! But you're at work, where you'll need to keep your new year's resolution manageable. Factor real life into it. If you want to network more often but have a 5:30 p.m. daycare pickup time to meet, then you're going to have to work around it. Look for things that can realistically be accomplished, or prepare to feel frustrated.

3. Have one-on-one meetings. With yourself! Once a quarter. Put it on your calendar. Measure your progress toward your resolution. Maybe you haven't achieved your goal yet, but you're seeing some progress. It's only March, too. Good job, you're actively working toward your goal!

4. Find the happy. It's very easy in our "where do you see yourself in five years?" work culture to focus on lofty, nebulous, long-term goals that will please other people or look good to them, but your personal happiness is important, too. What small, short-term change would make a big difference for you? Don't leave yourself out of the equation; it doesn't work without your input.

5. Pace yourself. It may take more than one calendar year to achieve your goal, and that's just fine! Attaining some goals can be a marathon, not a sprint. Good things take time. Plus, you can recycle the same resolution for 2017, saving both time and energy! Most importantly, you're working (slowly) toward something that's important to you. Just keep going.

65 days, everyone. That's a little over eight weeks of planning time left, so let's get our 2016 workplace resolutions in order now! Hmm. I'm sure there will be some good deals on annual gym memberships soon.


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