Christmas is just three short days away! Then we will welcome the year 2017, with much festivity and the hope of greater things to come. For many, the New Year brings with it a fresh, blank slate; a chance to begin again; the opportunity to set goals for improvement.
As a busy professional with a full schedule and corporate travel, it’s easy to fall into a routine of less healthy and productive habits. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the common New Year resolutions and fine-tune them for the business traveler.
*Getting healthy. Every year when January rolls around, many people resolve to lose weight, begin a new exercise program, or both. Unfortunately, by the time mid-February hits, the gyms are empty and the veggies tossed in the trash. Ditch the all-or-nothing approach and set a few realistic goals. Begin by drinking more water, as staying hydrated will give energy and combat the fatigue and illness that can accompany frequent travel. Make a detailed plan to eat healthier on a daily basis, but allow yourself some indulgence from time to time. Look for opportunities to be active and spend time doing things you enjoy, especially while your traveling.
*Managing money. Another common resolution is to better manage money by setting a budget, saving more or emerging out of debt. These are good goals, of course. Look for simple ways to save, such as using a corporate travel agent to snag the best deals (hint, hint). Use reward points wisely and watch out for the hefty markups on items purchased at hotels and airports. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, but sometimes a little bit of planning will prevent an unwise purchase from busting your budget.
*Building skills. You’re already a skilled professional, but the most successful individuals never stop learning. When possible, use your travel time to read books that are relevant to your industry or that discuss leadership principles. Making the simple goal to spend less time in mindless, meaningless activity will make an amazing difference your productivity; you’ll find you have more time to grow your skillset.
*Building networks. Maintain your connections in business and in life. You never know when you will be able to help someone or when you’ll need the help of a connection. Use social media to your advantage. Following a meeting or conference, connect with those you’ve met. Actively pursue good connections and establish a solid network.
*Being present. You certainly don’t have to wait until 2017 to practice presence. In fact, the holidays are the perfect time to begin. Don’t think about what you need to do next or into next week. Simply focus on and appreciate the moment you are in and the people around you.
No matter what your resolution, remember that goals are most effective when they are clear, measurable, and easily broken down into smaller goals. Write things down. Ask a friend to be supportive through your journey. Then begin, one step at a time.