By Kim Read, SVP, Operations, RetailMeNot
All too often, we start the year with clarity only to lose our focus and intention in the “go, go, go” of everyday life. So as this year draws to a close and you pause and reflect with an eye toward 2019, it’s a good idea also to think about how you’re going to stay directed and energized. Here is what has worked for me.
Kick off 2019 by deciding what you want to achieve. Write it down so that you can go back to it. You are the CEO of you. You owe it to yourself to give time to defining what success looks like for you. If you don’t know exactly what that is, that’s OK—make your goal the discovery process. There are lots of resources to help you. Taking action is important, but the key is trusting that your action is moving you in the right direction. That’s what will energize you.
Once you have your intention, write it down and place it somewhere you can see it regularly. Look for fun ways to remind yourself of your goals. For example, if you aim to speak up more in meetings, change one of your passwords to something that encourages you to make your voice heard.
Learn something new.
Investing in yourself pays big rewards. And learning is one of the best investments. As Warren Buffett has said, “The more you learn, the more you earn.” Think about the skills that could boost your career. Some general skill sets that I find valuable to study include habits, communication, public speaking, time management, executive presence, emotional intelligence, strategic planning, career planning and leadership.
Books are a great resource, but don’t pressure yourself to finish them. Cut yourself some slack. If you lose interest, move on! You may find it opens you up to a whole new world of inspiration.
Recognize the positives.
Many women tend to focus on what they should work on and do better. However, it’s just as important to acknowledge and celebrate your wins — big and small. I see many who are uncomfortable talking about their successes. But celebrating what you’re doing right does not equate to being in denial about your areas of improvement. Keep track of the wins that mean something to you. File those email shout-outs in a folder you can revisit whenever you need a confidence boost.
Step up your self-awareness.
Defining and understanding your strengths and how to leverage them can inspire you. Keep a list of your strengths handy so that you can identify new opportunities that are the right fit. Often our confidence is rooted in a clear awareness of our strengths. Making your work more rewarding can start with better leveraging your strengths.
For help identifying your strengths, check out some of the different personality and strengths tests that are available. Several of them provide reports with recommendations.
Let go of something.
This can be just as rewarding as adding something new. We think so much about our to-do lists that we can lose sight of what we shouldn’t do. Identify something weighing you down and think about how to move past it. Think about what no longer serves you well. Maybe it’s a habit, a perspective, a phrase, a fear. It can even be as simple as a phrase to leave behind. One to consider: “should have.”
As you plan your 2019, consider picking something from this list as a place to start. Your energy is critical to your success. Find a spark! Invest in it. Invest in you. You owe it to yourself, and it will pay you back.