Something about the changing of the calendar feels like an opportunity to begin anew, revive forgotten goals and live abandoned dreams. I find myself looking with fresh eyes upon the past and experiencing renewed energy into a future bright with possibilities. Like the other 72 million women working in America today, all with families, mortgages, kids’ soccer practice, the dinner rush, commutes and looming deadlines, the first month of the new year is the perfect opportunity to take a beat, evaluate and achieve.
Here are my aspirations for 2013 and five New Year’s Resolutions for women in business:
1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST
New research shows that women with high levels of stress are 70% more likely to have heart attacks and 40% more likely to have other cardiovascular traumas.
You are the most important person in your life. Period. What’s the point of burning the midnight oil if you’re actually just burning your life away? Take care of yourself first. Email and, for those of us with little ones, dirty laundry can wait.
2. BE PRESENT
Studies now prove that multitasking can quickly turn to overload, causing depression and social anxiety, especially when technology enters the scene.
Have you ever not heard your child speaking while answering an email on your smartphone? Or missed a colleague’s joke while surfing the web? In 2013, put down your smartphone. Turn off the TV. Be present in your own life or you’ll let beautiful family moments and professional opportunities pass you by.
3. LIVE YOUR PASSION
In a recent Forbes survey, only 19% of Americans said they were happy in their jobs.
Now is the time to really think about what you love doing and make your passion your reality. Whether it’s getting a promotion, completely overhauling your career or just learning how to tap dance on your lunch break, take the reins and learn how to live your passionate life.
4. CREATE AN ACHIEVEMENT PLAN
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
2013 is the year to stop dreaming and start achieving. Use the helpful tips in my New Year’s Resolution blog to create an achievement plan that takes your goals (and dreams) into reality.
5. TAKE RISKS & BE THE CHANGE
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” —Mahatma Gandhi
For me, 2013 is about taking all the truths our world has turned into clichés and embracing these motivations in my own life. Unhappiness at work, self-doubt and stress can all be pushed aside to make room for growth, achievements and dreams. To do this, we must take risks—calculated risks, but risks just the same—and live the life we want to see in the world. This year, change the attitude of the world toward you. Turn off your laptop. Be brave and ask for what you want. Cut the safety net and open yourself to your passions, dreams and aspirations. Be the change in yourself.