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8 New Years Resolutions for Career-Focused Millennials

shutterstock_223132003As the year comes to a close, a perfect opportunity for self-reflection presents itself. Now is the time to look forward to a new year and renew professional ambitions. The truth is that most New Years resolutions fail because they’re often too unattainable. This year try to look at your life more realistically, and set goals that are doable. To keep yourself in check, set reminders in your calendar to make sure you dedicate a few minutes each day to your new goals.

All Points is a vibrant, young and creative workplace and we are all looking inward this new year. As you look ahead to 2015, consider these resolutions for the career-minded millennial that work for us.

Evaluate your five-year plan

Look back at how far you’ve come in five years, and think about what you can accomplish in another five. Consider your professional ambitions and visualize those goals for success. Think of every part of your professional journey as a stepping-stone, and take full advantage of every opportunity to put you even closer to your end goal. Take time to write down your plan so you can reference it throughout the year.

Continue learning

Even if you’re not looking to continue your formal education, look for opportunities to learn and grow within your field. Check out professional societies that often have relevant events, workshops and seminars. The opportunity to learn from peers and industry mentors is important to professional development – at All Points, each team member hosts a monthly seminar throughout the year to share knowledge on different industry related topics. Consider starting something similar in your office.

Clean up your social media space

Take a look at any millennial’s smartphone and any and all social media apps are sure to be found. But college is over – it’s now time to take a good, long look at your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and see what can go. A good rule of thumb is to pretend the boss of your dream job and your grandmother are combing your pages. Keep on deleting until you’re proud of how you’re portraying yourself. A professional image online is as important at a professional resume.

Save money

There’s really no way around this one – it’s time to get serious about saving. Make a basic spreadsheet of your monthly expenses and see where you can make cuts. It’s probably not necessary to spend $20 a week on Starbucks, and imagine the money (and calories) you’ll save if you commit to making a lunch a few days a week. It’s the little things that add up to save you big money in the future.

Establish a concrete work-life balance

We’re more connected than ever – we have access to our work and emails on our phones and, though it’s important to stay connected, don’t be afraid to unplug. Pursue a hobby that relieves stress so you don’t burn out at work where it counts. Whether it’s something active like running, yoga or hiking, or something calming and creative like painting, cooking or crafts, the stress of the day is sure to melt away if you have something productive to look forward to in your off time.

Make the most of your commute 

Ever thought about how much time you spend every month in your car or on the train on the way to and from work? The Huffington Post reports an average commute of 45 minutes both ways. While nothing relieves the stress of the day like cranking Taylor Swift so loudly that pedestrians can sing along, try to do something more productive – find an educational podcast, listen to NPR or read/listen to a book.

Put down the remote and pick up a book

Speaking of reading more, find a topic that interest you and stick with it. It’s proven that reading improves your verbal, written and linguistic skills – this can only mean good things for your work. There’s no better time to find the perfect book – post-holiday sales are in full swing, and nearly every news site has a Best of 2014 book list to peruse – you’re sure to find a new favorite.

Tap into your passions

Millennials are more social conscious and driven by causes than generations of the past – find something you’re passionate about and organize a volunteering day for your coworkers. See where your personal interests can fit into your work – have a conversation with your supervisor about integrating them. You’ll feel more involved in your work and you might even make an impact beyond yourself!

Whether you pick one or all of these resolutions to pursue in the New Year, make sure to keep yourself accountable. Check in with yourself halfway through the month to see where you can adjust your expectations – studies say that it takes 21 days to build a habit. If February rolls around and you’re still going strong, you might have started a new lifestyle. Good luck!

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