Fresh Ways to Start Your New Year
Welcome to 2019! We hope the New Year is off to a healthy and happy start for you and your loved ones. We know you have a list of things you’d like to do in the coming months, but check out this article for daily goals you’ll want to consider for your new year.


Focus
Minimize opportunities for interruption. If you get distracted by talking, wear soundproof headphones. Listen to motivating or relaxing music on those headphones. Many online music sites have playlists dedicated to helping you stay focused. Recognize your shallow work and contain it. Daily shallow work includes items like checking email or adjusting a monthly update slide. Dedicate a portion of your day to shallow work and try to refrain from shallow work at other times. Train your mind to use “trapped time” to work out the details of your priority project. Use repetitive tasks, like commuting, cleaning or exercising to brainstorm or conceptualize. Try backward planning to schedule your day. If you plan to stop working at 6 p.m., work backward to stay on task and complete projects. Compress your timeline. Try setting a fixed-schedule goal, such as 90 minutes to work on a task before moving to the next item. You might find you accomplish more when you compress your timeline.


Introspect
Identify your top two values.
Working to better understand ourselves and our motivators helps hone our focus amidst a challenge and creates opportunity for growth. Sticking to just two allows us to readily call on them, rather than trying to recite a lengthy list of values.


Connect
Improve your one-on-one conversations. Get to the point and be very clear.
Being unclear because you are trying to be polite is actually unkind. Recognize when silence is needed. Silence can encourage more meaningful conversations. “Silence can be a helpful space to evaluate emotions that can get in the way of productive conversations.” Clear your expectations about responses before beginning a conversation. This will allow you to truly listen and respond.


Strengthen
Anticipate change.
Adapt and view challenges with less anxiety. Call on experience. Consider the skills and strategies you’ve used to manage past challenges and enact them for current resolutions. Connect with others for support and insight. Being resilient means you have a strong network of positive relationships.

“5 Practices from Deep Work by Cal Newport That’ll Change Your Life,” Nina Semczuk, medium.com, Dec. 29, 2017.

“What Is Self-Determination Theory?” positivepsychologyprogram.com, June 21, 2018.

“How I’ve Started Having Fierce Conversations,” Tiffany Hoyt, naspa.org, accessed on Dec. 6, 2018.

“Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship,” mayoclinic.org, May 18, 2017.