These five suggestions ahead are drama-free, and absolutely achievable. It’s mostly about determination and discipline, as both are vital in anyone’s journey to greatness. Take your time with these suggestions, and gradually incorporate them in your daily living.
1. Learn One Thing That Has No Practical Application in Your Life
When Steve Jobs studied calligraphy, he marveled at the beauty and artistry of the technique. In a commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Jobs admitted that learning the skill wasn’t the most pragmatic thing he’s ever done. Little did he know how his calligraphy experience would deeply influence his sense of design in his work at Apple.
This is the year to follow his lead. Have you always day dreamed about putting a car together from spare parts? Making your own wine? Learning graphic design? Resolve to take a course, attend a conference, read an instructional book, or find that mentor who can stoke your curiosity and teach you about something you have a burning desire to know. Forget about the practicality part of it and have fun. You never know where it might take you.
2. Have One Experience That Stretches You
If you’re hoping to move up in your organization or career, look for one experience this year that will help you do just that. Maybe that means volunteering to help put on an industry conference that will ultimately lend your company the brand exposure it’s been seeking, thereby placing you in a prime position for promotion and praise. Even if that’s not the end result of you trying your hand at something outside your career comfort zone, it’s likely to introduce you to new people, offer you a memorable new learning experience, and lead you to discover insight about yourself.
Again, as with learning a new skill, language, or hobby, you never know where this stretch could lead you, what career-path door it might open.
3. Learn One Tech Skill
Pick one tech skill you’d like to learn, and find out how to do it. The world is technology-driven right now, and as I see it, it’s just the beginning. Of course, no tech conversation would be complete without a mention of coding and the sheer number of beginner and intermediate classes available now as a result. As one of the biggest in-demand skills today, learning the basics can hardly do harm.
If it’s Photoshop (another coveted skill as of late) that’s on your mind, there are plenty of ways you can get more comfortable with digital design. The options are almost endless, so there’s no excuse for why you can’t find one that interests you.
4. Read 3 Books That’ll Push Your Career Forward
So, you’re not much of a reader. You don’t have time. You’re too distracted. Too busy. This year, I challenge you to read one whole book every four months. They can be straight-up business options, fiction, a biography, whatever—just make sure you’re choosing ones that will make you think, that’ll inspire you on whatever path you’re on. Yes, you can still have some lighter reads. But go out of your way this year to pick three that'll help you advance, and not just give you an escape.
My guess is you’ll quickly surpass the three you set out to read and perhaps revive a long-lost love of reading or discover a new found one.
5. Plan One Unplugged Weekend—48 Hours With No Internet
Lol…it’s hard but possible. You are reliant on technology. It rules your life in many ways, and I get it. I’m no different; always checking my email, reading important articles and tweeting about them, even more recently blogging, but I’m already learning the habit of disconnecting every now and then, and it feels great! Not only that, I believe it’s helped me from reaching that point of burnout.I challenge you to step away from your devices for one entire weekend. At the very least, you’ll miss some fun, but at most, it'll lead to a creative and more energized you. And who knows where your career will take you then?
Stay out of the judgment zone, and be inspired to start a year that’s all about you, in the best possible way!