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New Year, New You: Embracing Change in the Workplace

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Call it cliché, but the beginning of a new year really can signify the beginning of a new you. It is an ideal time for reflection and change in the workplace. In honor of the New Year, here are 14 ideas for positive changes you can make in yourself, your workplace and maybe even your pesky coworkers:

  1. Start a workplace weight loss or fitness challenge. These challenges can be a lot of fun and also improve morale. Another added benefit is that with healthier employees comes lower health insurance a lot of times. There are many online resources to get ideas about starting a workplace weight loss challenge.
  2. Become a morning person. Hate mornings? Well, you’re not alone. Many people arrive to work groggy and not ready to start the day. Set your alarm clock five minutes earlier to start, then build upon that until you’re waking up at a time that will allow you to fully wake up and feel refreshed before you even get to the office.
  3. Move more at work. Take the stairs, go on a walk on your break or walk to someone’s desk to chat instead of emailing them. Moving more will wake you up, and it’s a proven way to get those juices flowing to the brain.
  4. Set Goals. Not where you want to be at work? Studies show that if you write down what you want (income, fitness level, dream vacation, etc.) and review that frequently, you are more likely to achieve your goals.
  5. Smile. Be someone others want to be around.
  6. Show empathy. Don’t let an opportunity pass by to show care and concern for a coworker. Perhaps they are struggling with an illness or the death of a loved one or even something as simple as just having a bad day. Don’t let this chance to build rapport and show empathy go by.
  7. Change up your wardrobe. Do you wear black every day? It’s not a funeral; it’s a job! There are many online resources to help you dress for your body shape, personality and skin coloring. Change up your wardrobe. Even if you only buy one item of clothing per paycheck, this will add a refreshing change to you and your closet.
  8. Support a charity. There is something very bonding about a workplace supporting a common goal or interest. If your workplace doesn’t do anything to support charitable giving, then suggest it to HR or the powers that be. Giving is a powerful way to unite a group of employees, even if you are only giving of your time.
  9. Set up some traditions in your workplace. Maybe it’s “Fritter Friday,” and you go get donuts, or “Movie Monday” once a month – whatever you do, make sure you have some fun traditions with your coworkers.
  10. Be loyal. In the past, have you gossiped at the water cooler? Nothing destroys morale faster than workplace gossip (especially unfounded gossip). Avoid the negativity and be one that only speaks highly of others.
  11. Read a good book. Slumps happen at work. We get bored; we get lethargic in our work. Reengage in your career by reading a motivational book, a book tailored to your specific industry or just an article about success. Reading what others are doing to succeed often motivates us as well.
  12. Bring treats to work. Need we say more? If treats aren’t your thing, bring homemade granola, a veggie tray or a fresh loaf of bread. Sometimes bonding over food is a great thing at work.
  13. Brush up your etiquette. Good manners are something enviable in anyone, but especially in a coworker. Remember that change in the workplace is a good thing!
  14. Strengths and weaknesses. Last but not least, take a good look at your own strengths and weaknesses. Pick a weakness that you want to move over to the strengths column and work on it. Set measurable, definable goals to turn this into a strength!

Happy 2021! Let’s make it a good year and remember that while change can be scary, sometimes change in the workplace is for the best!

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