Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions & Focus on Improving Your Work Environment

In 2021, the top three New Year’s resolutions were exercising, eating healthier and spending more time with family or friends. Although millions of people will make resolutions for 2022, it’s highly unlikely that they will accomplish them. Typically, less than 10% stick to their resolutions.

I know I’ve done the same thing. I start the year off thinking I will accomplish everything I have written down. In the first few weeks, I’m excited and feel resilient. Then, as the weeks go on, life gets in the way and I stop prioritizing the goals I’ve set for myself.

In lieu of New Year’s resolutions, what if leaders looked for ways to help others around them?

Instead of writing down a list of unrealistic goals, consider these four questions to improve your work environment.

1. How can you continue to invest in your team members? Your team members are the life of your organization. Instead of searching for ways you can improve, ask each individual on your team how you can help them accomplish their goals. Are there ways that you can invest in their professional development through sending them to workshops or helping them pursue certifications? Make it a point to meet with them one on one and try to set aside enough time so they feel appreciated and not rushed to talk about their career objectives. 

2. What made your work culture attractive? In other words, why do people want to be a part of your team? I always thought that working for Netflix would be incredible. Netflix noticed that its employees kept irregular schedules, so to adapt to that, they implemented a change where their employees focus more on getting the job done rather than the time and days they work. I know that the majority of companies probably cannot implement a work schedule like that. But, it can give you an idea of a different approach to retaining employees. There’s something about your work environment that keeps people coming back.

3. What did your team accomplish this past year? Yes, there will always be something that you wish you completed. Rather than thinking about what could have been, write down everything that you and your team achieved – even the smallest goals that were attained. It’s easy to get bogged down thinking about what was left unfinished. When you take the approach of focusing on what was accomplished, it can help you go into the new year feeling invincible. It can also encourage your team to see how productive they were throughout the year.

4. What did others appreciate about your leadership? People can be quick to point out failures in others, especially when you are in a leadership position. However, there is a reason your team members stuck with you throughout the year. Let’s be honest, living in a pandemic brought on new waves of anxiety and uncertainty for everyone. But, if your team is still intact, it’s a testament to your leadership. Ask your team what they admire about you and continue to keep focused on how it makes you a respectable leader.

Kicking off a new year shouldn’t always feel like a season to write down tasks to fulfill over the next 12 months or looking for ways to overhaul your life. Alternatively, reflect on your team’s feats within 2021 and search for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. What would happen if instead of focusing on ourselves, we started to look for ways to improve our work cultures?

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