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As thoughts turn to 2019, it’s a good time to sit down and consider the 12 months ahead. Consultant Kevin Eikenberry suggests asking: “What do I want to be committed to in 2019?

Apply that to your various roles at work and beyond. For example: What do I want to be committed to in my professional development? What do I want to be committed to as a team member?

Consultant Jason Womack has another approach for action in 2019: Take a dozen to two dozen small note cards and arrange them so that each one covers two to four weeks in 2019. Set a timer for 30 minutes and then on each card write three ideas, projects, or goals you might tackle in each time frame.

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He offers this prompt to keep in mind: What do I already know is on the way that I’d like to spend enough time thinking about, working toward or managing with grace and ease?

Ten ideas for improvement

Eric Jacobson kicked off this year with 70 possible resolutions worth considering. Here are 10 valuable ideas from the list, , valid for improvement in 2019:

  1. Don’t micromanage
  2. Don’t be a bottleneck
  3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
  4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
  5. Be courageous, quick and fair
  6. Talk more about values than rules
  7. Constantly challenge your team to do better
  8. Err on the side of taking action
  9. Communicate clearly and often
  10. View every problem as an opportunity to grow

Four habits to adopt

Here are four habits you may want to form next year from media strategist Ryan Holiday:

  1. Every morning, prepare for the day ahead rather than just winging it. Consider what you will be facing and make a plan.
  2. Every day, take a walk – even if it must be a walking meeting. Take a break and allow the mind to do its magical thing. As Nietzsche said: “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.”
  3. Find time in your calendar every day for the intense concentration required of what is increasingly called “deep work.”
  4. Pick up a book every day and read, even if for only a few pages.

Three simple steps to make new habits stick

If those ideas for improvement scare you because you have a lousy record of sticking with New Year’s resolutions, here are three simple steps blogger James Clear shares for implementing new habits:

  • Start with a version of the habit that is very easy for you.
  • Slowly Increase the time or amount of that new habit each day.
  • If the habit starts to become a burden, break it down into smaller pieces.

So if your goal is a daily walk, start with two or three minutes, adding a minute every day. If it starts to seem too much at 20 minutes and you instinctively want to stop, break it down into two 10-minute walks.

Quick Hits

  • Just over half of employees in a recent survey by West Monroe Partners – 51 per cent –  said they’re uncomfortable or somewhat uncomfortable asking their manager for time off during the holidays. The top reason is their manager expects them to be available during their time off; 25 per cent of respondents said it’s the busiest time of the year.
  • If you get time off, set yourself up for success after the holidays before you even leave by getting your inbox to zero and emptying your head of everything you are concerned about by writing it down, advises consultant Justin Hale. Also, block off your time on your calendar for the day of your return so you can get up-to-speed on e-mail and other matters rather than plunging into the do-do-do mode.
  • Digital strategist Molly Page asks you to accept this holiday challenge : Be intentional and present, deciding ahead of time on a reasonable schedule for checking e-mail and using tech devices.
  • To unwind during the holidays, as much as possible do what you want to do – not what you should do,  says consultant Suzi McAlpine. Be okay with doing nothing.
  • The worst gifts to give employees at Christmas , according to HR consultant Tim Sackett, include fake leather-bound portfolios with the company logo; any cheap bag with a company logo (you’re in better territory if the bag, without logo, costs more than $100); and a charitable gift in the name of employees when you have no idea which charities those individuals support.

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