As a corporate etiquette expert I am often asked for my personal New Year’s resolutions. As you continue to read you will see that I have my own struggles with New Year’s goals (see number 3.) I suggest setting a series of attainable mini-goals that you can actually achieve without a dramatic lifestyle change or large financial investment.
Here are five simple, bite-sized steps you can easily manage this New Year.
- Take a look in the mirror. What does your appearance say? If you haven’t updated your wardrobe in a while, it’s probably a good time to take advantage of the after holiday sales. Consult a store associate that will give you honest feedback on what colors and styles work best with your skin tone and shape. One fresh cardigan, a new wallet, and a versatile suit or business outfit can lift your spirits and give you a fresh look and attitude.
- Make one new connection each month. Get to know a coworker you don’t normally see during the work day. Join a professional organization where you will have the opportunity to broaden your contacts. Step outside of your comfort zone and place yourself in an unfamiliar environment where you will be forced to meet new people. Expand your circle with one meaningful interaction every 30 days.
- Update your makeup bag. I recently reached into my makeup bag and instead of grabbing my lipstick, pulled out a yellow highlighter and a sock! After a quick chuckle, it reminded me that it was time to de-clutter certain areas of my life in preparation for a new season. We all have a drawer, a closet, a briefcase or bag that would benefit from a thorough cleaning. As I continued to inspect my cosmetic pouch, I found empty candy wrappers and a few business cards from people I don’t even remember! It set the ball rolling… I am now newly organized and all of my socks are happily in my dresser drawer with their mate.
- Face a professional fear.
Is it speaking up to offer your ideas in a weekly staff meeting? Giving a strong presentation to a potential new client or asking for an opportunity to cross train into a new role in the company? Whatever it may be, do what is necessary to make it happen. My personal commitment (fear) is to travel by “private” jet if the opportunity presents itself in 2015. I am occasionally offered corporate transportation but I have allowed a phobia of traveling in a “private” plane to override my need to get to a location in a shorter amount of time, not to mention in comfort and style. I fly commercially on a regular basis and have even trained a very successful private jet company. My fear is rooted in a childhood scare and I vow to no longer allow it to influence my travel decisions. If the occasions presents itself in 2015 … I am packing my bags!
- Find an accountability partner. Whether you’re a successful entrepreneur or just starting your career, it’s important to have a trusted confidante to offer honest feedback. Agree to meet once a month to share your thoughts, goals, challenges and lessons learned.
Bonus Etiquette Tip:
Help someone else succeed.
Refer only to businesses that you are comfortable will do a good job. Just because a friend needs customers is not reason enough to send a client you value in their direction. On the other hand, if you feel the business is strong and the owner has a good work ethic, by all means support them by passing out their business cards or share their contact information through word or mouth. Helping other’s flourish is a win-win.