3 Ways to Help You Reach Your Career Resolutions in 2018

At the beginning of the year, resolutions for a better 2018 are at the top of everyone’s mind. While money and health goals are often the most popular topics, your career goals deserve some attention too. Resolutions are sometimes branded as a waste of time because, according to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of resolutions are abandoned by the second week of February. To help you keep resolutions that matter and are impactful to your career, read our 3 simple ways to help you keep your mind, body, and spirit focused on your resolutions well beyond February.   

Mind: Improve Your Productivity Levels

The procrastination bug can bite at any time and did so when I sat down to write this article. I opened a blank document and then continued to do everything but write. We all fall victim to procrastination, but there are a few productivity techniques you can try to help yourself break free from this self-sabotaging habit.

One popular solution is the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks your time up into 25 minute increments, or “pomodoros” with 5 minute breaks in between. After 4 pomodoros, take a 15-20 minute break to refresh your mind and keep you focused for your next pomodoro.

Another solution to time-wasting is to become aware of when and where you’re wasting your time. Install the RescueTime extension on your computer for daily reports of what you accomplished and where your all of your lost time is disappearing to. When you know where you’re being distracted (looking at you, Facebook), you can set up a list of sites to block to help you help yourself.  

Body: Dress for the Job You Want

When I’m feeling down in the dumps, one of my coping mechanisms for going about my day is to dress up more. It helps me feel better about myself and improves my day, and science backs up this technique. Research from the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal shows that wearing formal clothing helps the wearer feel better about themselves and like they were more in control and more creative. The solution is clear: feeling down? Dress up!

Sometimes dressing up means wearing smarter and better engineered clothing too.  To optimize success we must first be both comfortable and confident in our appearance, the tough part is finding the fine line between too comfortable while maintaining our own signature professional aesthetic. Men’s clothing company Tommy John has created a line of moisture-wicking and antimicrobial men’s underwear and undershirts (that won’t untuck) loved by professionals across many industries, their products help aspiring individuals feel both cool and supported during the high stress moments (interviews, big pitches, public speaking engagements).Check out this savvy infographic below filled with insights for overcoming physical discomforts we all endure, like fidgeting, sweating, and pacing.

Spirit: Learn How to Laser Focus through Meditation

Some individuals feel that they can never focus because they can’t quiet their busy mind. Your mind can be your biggest foe and research has shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, like mediation, yoga and deep breathing exercises can have positive impact on your focus and overall in your life. Try apps like Aaptiv  which offer  guided meditation sessions. Videos on YouTube are another simple way to learn how to meditate, stretch and control your heart rate to increase your focus while decreasing your stress levels.

The Ultimate Work Productivity Hack

There’s no substitute for hard work, but what if I told you there’s a hack to it?

Similar to athletes you and I want to “get in the zone” at work, but believe it’s not controllable.

It is.

Productivity is traced back to mental capacity and energy, but there’s a biological trigger for that: exercise.

Specifically: morning workouts.

Before complaining you’re not a morning person, listen to this: moderate to high workouts release endorphins which not only make you feel good, but boost your mood and energy for up to 12 hours after.

That’s why you’re in a better mood after it’s over and why working out at night before sleeping is counterintuitive (unless you want to stay up late).

Working out first thing in the morning (before breakfast) not only gets your body, but your mind right. Unless you slept less than 5 hours, worked out for the past 3 days in a row or are recovering from an injury disregard how unmotivated you feel. Get up and go to the gym (focus on how you’ll feel after).

Once you’ve completed it, take a shower and eat breakfast. Now your window for optimal work is open.

Take for instance my weekly workout schedule:

Morning workouts: Sunday, Monday and Thursday 7:30 – 8:30 AM

Basketball: Tuesday and Friday 6:30 – 7:30 AM

Rest days: Wednesday and Saturday

This gets me showered, eaten breakfast and working by 9 AM.

What morning workouts also unlock is your optimal working hours: when you’re the most alert and productive.

Since early morning exercise triggers it mine is: 9 AM – 3 PM.

Take it a step further: I do my best (alone) work 9 AM – 12 PM, so 12 – 3 PM is normally reserved for meetings, phone calls, video chats, etc.

I can get stuff done before 9 AM if I run ahead of schedule, but normally after 3 PM my focus drops considerably (use this time after for less-brainpower tasks such as: checking emails, planning your next day, etc).

Factor in I want to go home to see my family, but still this was true ever since sticking to a consistent workout schedule. The actual times will vary based on your lifestyle, yet the important point is to recognize the catalyst: morning workouts.

You and I tend to separate physical, emotional and mental states, but they are deeply connected. If you have time, read Harvard Business Reviews’s The Making of a Corporate Athlete. It completely changed my outlook on work.

Finding your optimal work productivity is simple: workout first thing in the morning and reap the benefits immediately after.