Finish the year on a productive note, and prepare for 2013

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Hard to believe, but this year is almost over already. It seems like just the other day we were enjoying the warm sunshine. Now we’re bundling up—at least those of us in the northern part of the country are—and preparing for New Year’s Day.

The end of the year is always a good time to evaluate your year, both personally and professionally, and make adjustments so you enjoy an even better new year.

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Goals achieved?
Along with promises to lose weight and exercise more, we also strive to enhance our performance in order to raise our salaries. Whether scratched on a Post-It® note and stuck to the computer monitor or recorded in an electronic device, we set many personal and professional goals. How many did you achieve? How many were missed by just a smidgen? How many do you now realize were unattainable?

Use that knowledge to set reasonable goals for 2013. If you’re having trouble achieving a certain goal, it could be that it is too immense from the outset. Break it down into small components–say, monthly objectives–to keep you from losing faith and giving up.

Take stock of your successes
Sometimes we dwell too long on our failures, forgetting that we can’t hope to be successful in every endeavor. We are imperfect, after all. Everyone has particular strengths and weaknesses.

While it’s good to try to overcome deficiencies, make sure you relish the successes. Pat yourself on the back when you do something right. Leverage what you learned during those exercises to help you through the challenging times. Perhaps you developed a particularly strong ability to close a sale, manage a group or solve a problem. Along the way you realize that you have uncovered new or additional talents. Take advantage of those.

Clean out the closet
Just as you clear out old and unused clothing, review your work-space and computer for old files and materials you can dispose of. Make liberal use of the recycling bin, delete button and shredder.

Newspapers, magazines and other printed documents collect like dust. If you haven’t used or read a piece in three months, you probably won’t again. Toss it. Ditto for files and e-mails on your computer. If they’re really important, transfer them to long-term storage. The fewer old files and messages you have at your fingertips, the less likely you are to be constantly dwelling on them or reviewing them.

Incidentally, this is a good time to review your disaster plans. Are your files backed up and stored safely? Imagine if a fire or flood were to hit your office. Could you resume operations quickly? If not, make the necessary adjustments. I have more to say on that topic in this blog post.

Make time for self, family
Remember to set aside time for yourself and your family. There are more important things in life than being successful at work. Too many people get so wrapped up in work that their personal lives suffer.

Take a break with your family on occasion. It need not be someplace fancy: A weekend getaway at an area hotel works wonders. Indeed, there are lots of nice places close by that allow you to escape the office routine. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing a three- or four-day weekend can be. Leave the iPad and similar gadgets at home so you can truly enjoy the time together. Don’t spoil those special moments by constantly checking email.

You work hard throughout the year and deserve an occasional break. More importantly, your family de-serves some quality time with you. The world won’t stop spinning if you step away for a few days or even a week. Take some time off. You will be a more relaxed and productive person afterward.

Are you involved in an MLM business? You may find this column valuable as well.

What goals were you able to achieve this year? What is on your list for 2013? Feel free to comment below. Also, if you enjoyed this column, could you do me a favor and share it with others? Thanks, and happy New Year!

<Tom Fuszard, content writer, blog writing, pr writing, web copy

 

 

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