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6 minute read

Preparing for a Better Work Year Ahead? Here Are 7 Mistakes to Avoid

Yearend is often a good time to set goals and make positive changes for a more successful work year ahead. However, be careful not to make these mistakes while you’re doing so!

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As the year comes to an end, many of us are excited to clear up our desks in preparation for some much-needed time off. At the same time, we’re probably also psyching ourselves up for a new and better year ahead. 

As such, resolutions are probably underway, too. 

However, while they are easy to make, resolutions are often tough to keep. In fact, a study by Scranton University found that only 19% of people successfully keep their resolutions for two years, while most would have given up their goals by the middle of January. 

While you’re wrapping up the current year and contemplating what goals to set next, here are 7 mistakes to avoid and set the right momentum for a more successful year. 

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Mistake 1: Procrastination

Probably the number 1 mistake many of us make, we reckon. It’s tempting to put things off until the new year because everyone else is also winding down, right? It is precisely because things are easing off that you have more time to get your own things done, especially when it comes to setting goals and coming up with ideas. 

Putting things off too much will probably see you coming into the new year with a mountain of work, which could affect your motivation and performance. 

Mistake 2: Overpromising 

At the end of the year, new requests often start to ramp up as people plan for the results they want to drive in January. You might be rather optimistic about what you want to achieve in the new year, and as a result, you may overcommit. 

It’s great to be positive, but it’s equally important to be realistic about what you can accomplish so you don’t set yourself up for failure.

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Mistake 3: Failing to turn off

Admit it, you’re probably guilty of this, too. One of the biggest mistakes many of us often make is not totally disconnecting ourselves from work. As a result, we’re not able to truly refresh and rejuvenate ourselves to start off the new year right because there was no end in the first place. If you’re out of the office, shut down your work platforms and schedule time for yourself. Meet up with friends, read that book you’ve been wanting to pick up, put away your work devices and take time to chill. 

Mistake 4: Establishing unattainable goals 

There’s often that initial excitement of what we want to achieve in the new year. This propels us to set great goals that are, in actual fact, unattainable when the excitement dies down. It then becomes unmotivating and discouraging when the target is too large to handle. 

Remember: Keep your goals smaller and more reasonable with a short-term objective, so you can see yourself moving forward in small but sure steps. 

Mistake 5: Lack of clarity

Ever heard someone say things like “My new year’s resolution is to be happy” or “My aim is to be healthier next year”? Such goals are too vague and only set things up for failure. Because how would you know if you’ve truly reached your target? What would count as success? 

It is important to define what success means and put measurable goals in place so that clear action steps can be planned. Be clear on what you want to achieve and create a plan by working backwards on what you need to do to get where you want to go. 

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Mistake 6: Not reviewing the past year

Sure, the past is the past, but it still is important for us to learn from and make corrections if necessary. Take a look at what happened in the past year and review what could be done better. List new skills you’ll need to move ahead and adjust your goals. If you find that you are heading in the wrong direction or not quite moving forward, correct the course. If needed, ask for assistance on how to best take that next step. If there was something done that didn’t quite get the results you wanted, try a different approach to avoid repeating the same mistakes. 

Mistake 7: Focusing on 1 January 

Yup, we’ve all been there. We all set ourselves to start working towards our resolutions from 1 January onwards. That was THE date. But here’s the thing, there’s nothing magical about 1 January. That date doesn’t necessarily work for everyone because you may not be ready to work towards your goal then. 

Instead, start working on your goal when you’re ready to make the change. How do you know when you’re ready? Make a clear plan for yourself by working backwards from when you want to achieve your targets. Make some preparation to ensure the action you’re taking is effective, which will impact whether you attain your aims. 

Whatever goals you set, stay focused and energised on what you want to achieve. That said, don’t forget to also make time to clear your head, enjoy time outside of work and celebrate the small wins. 

Here’s to a much better tomorrow!

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