commitments-for-2016As we kick off the new year, everyone is looking to do better in various areas of their lives. Improving health, improving careers, and improving relationships take center stage as we all try to vault into 2016 positioned for better success. But you know what they say, insanity is defined by doing the same thing and expecting different results. While the specific goals of every individual will vary, the mechanisms for increasing the chances of success in implementing them are usually the same. Here are a few tips to help create an excellent foundation for success.

Improve Your Personal Organization Strategy

In my opinion, this is where you set the table. The way in which you are organized and your tools made available to you can increase your efficiency and allow you to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Find a way to utilize integrated tools that work together. This will reduce steps needed to maintain organization across platforms. For example, Google makes available a host of tools that all work together. Their email, contacts, scheduler, documents, and file storage tools all sync up to across your cell phone and computer to make for easy management. When you update a contact on your computer and it automatically syncs with your phone, and also shows you the last few emails transmitted between you and the contact, this is a very powerful tool.

Strengthen Your Professional Network
Most professionals do not spend enough time in this area. This is because the best time to nurture your professional network is in fact when you need it the least. There may come a time where you will need to access those in your network to provide a lifeline. But to do this with no good will in the bank will more than likely mean you will come up drive when you need help. This is why it is always a good long term strategy to reach out to those in your professional network to see what you can do for them at a time when you don’t need them. I have a client who wants told me that everything stops for him during a two week period where he does nothing but reach out to his professional network to see what he can offer them. No strings attached. This has resulted for him in a wealth of professionals eager to assist him whenever he needs it. Consider this as building a bridge for future use.

Add At Least One Skill to Your Skill Set

Hey, if you are looking to be bumped up in 2016, you cannot end this year with the exact same skill set you had in 2015. Seek out opportunities to expand on what you can offer your employer or future employers. If you employer offers free training, by all means take advantage of it. Are there certifications you can obtain that will make you more marketable? And then go after them. Make the commitment right now to identify one or more areas and you can improve your toolbox, set a date, and make it happen.

Commit At Least 5 Hours Weekly To Working on Your Long-Term Goals and Dreams

Remember the phrase earlier regarding doing what you have always done? Working sometimes for drain you, but if you are ever going to get out of the orbits of your old job and achieve that dream of yours, then it will take sometime. There is very likely somewhere your week where you can find + 5 – 7 hours to dedicate toward working on your dream. But do not look for these hours indiscriminately. Schedule them in advance, and do not let anything interfere with that schedule. At the end of the week, you should have those five to seven hours in the bank. Perhaps it is working on a business plan. Or maybe it relates to improving that skill set that was discussed earlier. Regardless of what it is, it is critical that you dedicate time that is top priority in getting this done. So, if you ever want to get away from that horrible 9-to-5 job that is raising your blood pressure, schedule time for your long-term goals and dreams NOW!!!

Get Your Resume and Cover Letter Ready for Opportunities

I am a resume writer, so of course you knew this was coming. Good opportunities really announce when they are coming. They are on you, and then they are gone. Never be caught without your resume and cover letter being up to speed. If you have a quality writer, then chances are that their schedule remains busy. You don’t want to be caught trying to get services for an opportunity that ends in a couple of days and your resume writer can’t get to your project in that window. Be proactive when it comes to this and keep that resume current. If you have more than one unrelated potential target, then you need more than one resume at the ready.

2016 is your year!!!