Productive Habits for the New Year

aaeaaqaaaaaaaagaaaaajdixymyymdk3lwqyzjutndjhzc1hodm3lthknwq1mde5nzkyzgThe old adage, it takes 21 days to form a habit may not be completely true, however, there is some truth in at least trying to better yourself and create a better environment where you can thrive, not lag as much, and be more knowledgeable. For the new year, I have come up with some noteworthy goals that can be turned into habits, 21 days not withstanding, that will ensure a productive, and noteworthy 2017.

Read One Book a Month

Consistent reading isn’t supposed to be painful, unfortunately, for a vast amount of people it is. With a number of Americans never picking up a book, the brain can’t expand, grow its vocabulary, be knowledgeable on general topics or especially career; the 21st century professional can’t afford to be left behind. Competition is coming from all sides. All fields are changing. Keep up with what’s going on in yours. Reading a book per month is an excellent way to educate yourself with the new trends in your field.

If a sizeable book is 500 pages, then chunking it into sections or portions per evening or downtime is a great way to manage what many may consider a monstrosity. Twenty pages per day is not too hard to manage, at all. With the explosion of the eBook industry; Kindles, Nooks, etc; and digital lending from your local library, there should be no excuse not to find something to be interested in. Nobody wants to be left behind or not know what they’re talking about.

Cut Down on the Caffeine Intake

A study from the Mayo Clinic shows that those who drink four cups of coffee per day or more have diminishing returns on the effects that caffeine can have on your health. On a personal level, I’ve been guilty of this. After the holiday, I managed to cut back to only two cups of coffee per day. At times, I became very addicted and drank an entire pot. I was shaking, had trouble sleeping, and found it hard to concentrate. I began to take this seriously. It’s been hard, but I’ve easily managed to vastly cut back on my caffeine consumption. So far it has beneficial effects.

Take an Online Class

With the rise of MOOCs, massive online open courses, there is sure to be a class that will interest you, help advance your career, or just help you gain valuable knowledge that you can use to impress friends and family. It’s never a bad idea to keep your skills sharp and be open to learn new things. The advent of educational platforms like edX, Udacity, and Coursera, have made it easier than ever to watch lectures, conduct knowledge checks, write a paper, do research, and take part in group projects to reinforce what is being taught.

Some of these offerings are free while others cost a nominal fee. Certified institutions partner with these platforms to offer top-notch resources to interact with the instructor and other classmates. I, myself, completed a Terrorism & Counterterrorism course on edX that was put together by Georgetown University. I really enjoyed learning and got a lot of useful information out of the instructors.

Whatever your professional goals may be for the new year, be sure to take a few minutes and consider some of these suggestions to help boost your clout in the ever-evolving world of your career. You may find the right decision was made when that new job was landed or a promotion comes across that you wrote yourself off for.

#reading #writing #blogging #mooc #productivity #habits #goals #newyear #edx #coursera #udacity

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

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