1.      I will become better organized.

Given that we are more than a week into the new year, and this is the first you’re hearing from me, I’m clearly getting a slow start on the resolving.  With work and home creating new and exciting challenges for me every day, organization is an evolutionary process.  I recommend a family calendar.  Mine includes both my work obligations and deadlines, as well as my and the three amigos’ school and family activities.

This concept translates to the workplace too.  Improve communication with your employees and avoid harmful stressors by keeping an office calendar.  It could note the dates you expect important visitors, scheduled outages, major deadlines, or other items of a time-sensitive nature that can help your employees plan their work more effectively.

2.      I will be more positive.

I’m all over this one.  For example, when describing my home and work life above, I used the phrase “new and exciting challenges” instead of “bizarre and nearly insurmountable obstacles.”  That’s a half-full cup, my friends.  All kidding aside, not every day can be a good day.  But when you’re working in an atmosphere where everyone tries to stay positive, it can buoy morale in dark times.

3.      I will do more random acts of kindness.

This Christmas, the boys and I put this one into practice, and we hope to keep it going all year.  I put them in charge of shopping for our “angel,” and gave them the chance to make a difference in another kid’s life.  We spread some Christmas cheer by knocking on the door of our favorite decorated house, telling them how much we enjoyed their display, and giving them a Christmas ornament for their tree.  These random acts of kindness are good for our souls too.  So, why just do it at Christmas??  And, why limit it to the line at McDonald’s (thank you to the secret Santa ahead of me who bought dinner for this harried mom’s kids one evening)?

Bring those random acts of kindness to work.  At the end of a wintry day, clean off the windshield of a neighboring vehicle before you go home.  Refill the coffee pot when there’s not a cup left.  Loan a book to someone who will appreciate it.  Offer to carry a package when someone’s overloaded.  Then insist.  Smile with your eyes.  Little things like these can make a big difference in how we view our jobs.

4.      I will set reasonable expectations . . .

a.      For myself.  The winter weight will come off now that I can’t have cookies for breakfast.

b.      For my family.  Reading a book for 15 minutes a day won’t kill you.

c.       For my job.  I will keep the lines of communication open and flowing with information.

The point is, setting and communicating reasonable expectations is a good practice in life, whether you’re living it at work or at home. 

If you have any views on how new year’s resolutions can spread to the workplace, please share your inspirations.



Vanessa Towarnicky's primary focus is in the area of labor and employment law. She has been involved in representing clients in various employment cases, including sexual harassment; deliberate intent; age, race, and disability discrimination; wrongful discharge; and various other employment-related torts. She is admitted to various state and federal courts as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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