New year’s (daily) resolutions

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BY JULIE A. PALM

Looking for ways to be more productive during the next 12 months? Try small changes to your routine to make every day this year the best you can

New Monday, new week, new goals

“Temporary becomes permanent, so start the way you want to continue.”—Gretchen Rubin

The new year gives you 365 chances to start every day off right. Here’s how to make each new day as fulfilling, productive and stress free as possible.

The night before

  • If you take lunch to work, pack it now. Get your gear together for the gym and set out what you plan to wear to work. Doing these tasks the night before makes mornings less hectic.

When you wake up

  • Don’t look at your phone for the first 30 minutes of the day. Email, social media and breaking news can wait.
  • Before getting out of bed, spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to accomplish and how you’d like the day to proceed.
  • Do some light stretching to prepare your body for a day on the sales floor or at your desk.
  • Eat breakfast. A meal high in protein, high in fiber and low in sugar provides fuel until lunch.
  • Get some sunshine. Exposure to natural light gives us daytime energy and, as you well know, helps us sleep better at night.
  • Go to the gym. An a.m. workout will give you energy for hours.

During your commute

  • Listen to an audiobook. Try a biography for inspiration or a business book for guidance.
  • Swap your coffee for water with cucumber or lemon. Staying well-hydrated boosts energy without the jittery feelings and eventual crash that come from too much caffeine.

At work

  • Arrive 15 minutes early. Give yourself time to get settled and take a deep breath.
  • Greet co-workers with a smile and positive chitchat. Rather than complain about your commute, share a funny anecdote or give someone a genuine compliment.
  • Set three main goals for the workday. More than that sets you up for failure. If you get all three done, you can accomplish something else and feel great about it.
  • Tackle the most important task—not the most urgent task—on your to-do list first.
  • Don’t multitask. It’s far less effective—and more stress inducing—than handling one thing at a time.
  • Shake off the negative. If you arrive at work only to face a customer complaint, glitchy computer or delivery snafu, deal with it and move on. Don’t let a bad start ruin the entire day.

Many of these tips come from BusinessInsider.com (“19 Things Successful People Do in the First 10 Minutes of the Workday” by Jacquelyn Smith and Rachel Gillett); Forbes.com (“16 Things You Should Do at the Start of Every Workday” by Jacquelyn Smith); Inc.com (“6 Small Changes to Your Morning Routine Will Transform Your Entire Day” by Drew Hendricks); and MindBodyGreen.com (“5 Life-Changing Ways to Start Your Day” by Sheryl Paul). 

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