It is easy to get stuck in a rut. We all do it. The rut can be the safe place—like a job, or common behavior—such as complaining about your commute. Each and every day we face choices and make decisions that impact our future and happiness. Maybe this is the year to start new patterns, routines, and habits. Here are some ideas to get you going.
Know who you are and what you stand for. When you know who you are and what is most important to you, it helps prevent you from sweating the small stuff. Take time to re-evaluate and write down your values and what you want to stand for. If a colleague or manager is rude, impolite, or disrespectful, it doesn't have to result in a battle or job dissatisfaction. While those behaviors are wrong, not all are worthy of a fight. At the end of the day, it isn't about being right or always being treated fairly. It is about knowing what's important to you. Eleanor Roosevelt's quote says it all: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Take the hardest route. The most comfortable approach isn't always the best. Whatever routine you engage in, switch it up. Do it differently. Yes, it will be harder, but what will you learn by doing it differently? Take a new route home, try out a new app, use the phone instead of email, or respond differently than you normally would. The hardest route isn't always the best route either, but taking it will help you discover new things.
I would love to but can't. Many of us have a tendency to over-commit. Use this phrase this year and see what happens. Say it with confidence, "I would love to, but can't." Stop. Listen. Then walk away or hang up. In most cases, you will find that you're off the hook. It isn't as hard as you may think.
Meet new people and learn new things. Every day you have an opportunity to meet new people. After all, it is the little things that make a difference. From saying hello to the cashier and asking about their day to inviting a co-worker to lunch, step outside your introverted comfort zone and make a new friend. Build into your schedule time to read new sources of news or just regularly read an industry publication. Building these healthy career habits will help you in the long run.
Whatever new habits you choose to adopt in 2013, give them a fair shot, and remember that it takes about 30 days for a new habit to form.
Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.