Pretty much every year at around this time we all tend to go through the same pattern. We see the onset of a new year as an opportunity for us to improve ourselves, and we attempt to do so by thinking of a New Year’s resolution. This is ostensibly done to give ourselves some kind of direction as we move forward throughout the year. It seems like a good enough idea, but pretty much all of us know that we don’t last very long with our resolutions. Only very rarely do we manage to work towards resolutions past January, with February being the burial ground for the vast majority of resolutions

There are many reasons why this is the case. One of the most important reasons is the fact that our resolutions are often, to put it gently, unrealistic. You are never going to start the rest of your life on the first day of a New Year. It is going to take a lot more than that, and the first step that you can take can always be a small one. Try to focus on an area of your life that needs improving and take a small step there. One great choice that you can look into is your career.

There are a number of relatively easy resolutions that you can make that would allow you to make the most of your career opportunities. Five of these resolutions are provided below.

#1 Commit to a TED Talk

While a lot of people have reduced the concept of a TED talk to little more than a joke, the fact of the matter is that TED talks are still extremely informative seminars that allow people to learn about things that they might not have had access to otherwise. While you might already have some experience with giving presentations, you should realize that a TED talk is very different.

This is primarily because of the fact that the presentations you might have given at work were probably done half heartedly and delivered to an audience that might not have cared about what you have to say. A TED talk on the other hand is going to be a bigger test of your mettle. The audience will be hanging on to your every word, so you will need to prepare a lot more than you would have otherwise.

You should definitely bear in mind the fact that preparing for a TED talk is going to be one of the most intense experiences of your life. This is where the benefits of this resolution come in. It will allow you to become a much better orator, and it will help you learn what it’s like to stand in front of an audience that is taking you seriously. One of the biggest benefits of doing a TED talk is that you will be able to get a lot more confidence in yourself. Whether you realize it or not, this is seriously going to help you get ahead in your career.

#2 Be Someone’s Mentor

We live in a society where people are increasingly thinking only of themselves. They are focused on the ways in which they can move ahead in their career. This can often create a rather ruthless working environment, one where everyone is one their toes and no one is loyal to their fellow employees. The fact of the matter is that this is really not the way to go about things, and it ends up creating a toxic environment in the workplace that could potentially make it very difficult for you to progress in your own career.

Hence, you can be a little out of the box with this one and vow to help other people at work. This could be particularly useful if you are able to help people who are somewhat disenfranchised and would have a little more difficulty moving forward than someone with as much privilege as you. A lot of people are fine in their careers, so this resolution can help them stay focused and help other people as well which is useful in situations where you are more or less set in what you are doing.

Some of us are born with more privilege than others. Others could be unlucky enough to belong to ethnicities that are discriminated against, or perhaps have a gender that people have a problem with. Others might have disabilities that would hinder them from working to their full potential. You can use your privilege to ensure that these people are heard.

#3 Socialize With People You Don’t Know

If you want to get ahead in your career, one of the most important things that you will have to do is get outside your comfort zone. The fact of the matter is that most career opportunities come out of the blue, and you need to know how to capitalize on that. If you talk to people that you don’t know very well, you could get their opinion on a lot of things that would help you think out of the box in your day to day work life as well.

The fact of the matter is that when you are working in a specific company for an extended period of time, you end up getting rather myopic. This is because of the fact that you are surrounded by people that have the same goals as you do, the same views as you do and are experiencing the same day to day routine as you do. This can make it difficult for you to see what you might be doing wrong. Indeed, even people that are higher up in the company can get myopic.

Hence, if you start socializing with people you don’t know you are going to get invaluable insight into what you could be doing better. Even if the opinion that you are getting is thoroughly uninformed, you might be able to use it in some way because the world involves a lot of unexpected shared experiences that you would do well to learn about.

#4 Attend Conferences on Your Own

The key to moving forward in your career is to keep learning. Education is something that continues for the rest of your life. If you stop learning, you stop growing and if you stop growing then people are going to quickly move past you. This isn’t just about learning new things either, you need to take steps to stay up to date with the current goings on in your field as well. One of the best ways to accomplish the goals of learning new things as well as staying abreast of the latest updates in your field is to go to conferences.

However, there is a problem here. When you go to conferences on behalf of your company, you usually end up going with people that you work with. The sense of camaraderie that comes from trips of this nature can be good for team building, but in all the merriment and fun you might end up forgetting that you are there to learn.

This is why you should try vowing to go to a conference on your own instead. You would be surprised at just how much you will end up learning, simply because of the fact that you don’t have anything else to do or anyone to talk to. You could even try meeting strangers here, thereby fulfilling two resolutions in a single day!

#5 Find a Problem And Fix It

If you have been working somewhere for long enough, chances are that you have a long list of problems that you wish weren’t there. While it can be easy to bellyache about these problems and moan about how they affect you, it is a lot more difficult to solve these problems. This is why you should resolve to solve one of the problems you associate with the people that you work for. You don’t have to do it alone either, you can make it an office resolution that you accomplish with the people that you work with. This can help build team spirit as well, and make it more likely that the people you work with will enjoy one another’s company.

Even if you don’t end up solving the problem that was being faced, chances are that you are going to learn a lot on the way. Sometimes it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. In the case of this particular New Year’s Resolution you would find that this is especially true. This resolution is all about bringing people together and proving yourself to be a leader. Even if you try to do this, the people higher up are going to take notice of you and this could potentially lead to some very good things in your future if you do the work, keep your head down and focus on making it to the very top.