Oh, the joy of New Year’s resolutions. This year I’ve decided to document my 6 professional resolutions (except that I’m lazy and shortened the word “professional” to “profesh.” Why? Well, because I’m a millennial). For those of you who are really anal about making SMART goals, you may want to avert your eyes. These resolutions are not time-bound, and there’s not exactly a way to measure their success. Instead, these are so subjective that I dare say that if I’m doing them consistently, I will only feel the difference. Maybe one of my goals for 2019 should be to be less subjective.
Eh, there’s always 2020.
1. Expand my capacity for discomfort.
Challenging conversations, daunting tasks, and the daily grind. A trick that I have found to be useful is to change my language. I learned this from my work with The Leadership Circle. Instead of labeling an interaction as difficult, I now call it a courageous conversation. That one little word tweak has helped me take a deep breath, hold my shoulders back, and walk into what used to be a frightful situation with confidence and courage.
Tired of the daunting tasks that suck your energy? Guess why you have to do them….because you are the leader. You were chosen to do it. Leadership is a privilege and you earned it. You don’t have to do anything in 2019, but you will–you will because you can, and you care, and you are privileged.
2. Be honest.
For whatever reason, true or not, 2018 felt like a year of deception. I won’t go into details here, but I absolutely learned some valuable lessons. Most importantly, be honest. We are all allowed to make mistakes, however, would I be able to stand up and tell the world why I made the decision that I did, and not try to hide any details? In 2019, if I’m faced with a difficult decision, I will consider whether or not I would be able to defend my decision with honesty to whoever may ask. That will be my gut check.
3. Work hard for the people who work for you.
Don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself, and you had better work your ass off. This is always a good reminder, and one I put on my list every year.
4. Fill gaps.
In 2018 I did a skills analysis on myself. I found that I had lacked accounting skills. So, I took a class. Two months later I was offered a new position and I accepted. Guess what the most important skill has been thus far? Accounting, hands down. I am so glad I took that course, so in 2019 I will find another gap and attack it. Luckily, I’m nearly perfect, so the list of my gaps will be very short…
5. Maintain relationships.
I am so fortunate to have so many talented individuals in my life. I will work hard to maintain those relationships and will make sure to tell them all how talented they are. In leadership, we don’t get told that enough.
6. Find joy.
Sometimes things suck. The news, the client, the boss, the task. Step away, look at your life as a whole, and be thankful for how much joy is in your life. In 2019 I will make this a daily practice.
That’s my 2019 professional list of resolutions.