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New Year, Better You – Banish January Blues with Positive Plans

What could you learn, build upon or do better in 2018? asks Claire Lister, MD at Pitman Training, the UK’s leading and most established franchised training company.

So the New Year has arrived and we’re now well into it. This week has kicked off with ‘Blue Monday’ but there’s been plenty of discussions around the importance of not being dragged down by such dates. We made it into 2018 and it’s now time to focus on the 12 months ahead – but why as soon as January do we start to say things like ‘new year, new me’ – do we really all want new lives?

It is at this time of year, be it reading a paper, watching TV, listening to the radio or browsing the web, it seems to all revolve around an intrinsic message that our lives are rubbish and we must immediately change them. Have you noticed this?

Yes, the New Year is a fantastic time to make a break or try something new, or have a complete overhaul if necessary. I agree that it can also be a good time to refocus and start afresh, as psychologically we are more ready for it. But, I am also acutely aware that there are many of us who are very happy with who we are and where we are and I don’t think we should be scared to admit this.

Some of us have worked hard to achieve goals and we should embrace this and be proud of it, not throw ourselves into unnecessary crisis by assuming it’s time for a big change.

For me 2018 isn’t a time for “New Year, New You” but a time for “New Year, Better You”.
I certainly don’t feel the need for a life overhaul, but I am a believer that there’s always the opportunity to build on what you’ve got and I’m a huge advocate of personal and professional development, so do seek out opportunities to push myself.

In 2017, Pitman Training, celebrated their 180th year, and as part of our continued commitment to supporting students in achieving their career dreams, we hosted various events, launched new courses and also published a magazine which featured Dame Kelly Holmes who shared her story, to help motivate and inspire others to believe in themselves and “be the best they can be” repeatedly the article said – never stop developing yourself or striving to achieve.

This is my motto for 2018, ‘New Year, Better Me – striving to be the best I can be.’

How many resolutions have you now set yourself after a lavish festive period that you might want to consider rubbing out and replacing with more positive, focused, developmental aspirations instead?

Here are my top 5 tips for a “New Year, Better You”:-
1. Have a Positive Starting Point – Our starting point should be not focusing on what we don’t have, but on what we do have. I’d encourage having a positive rather than negative focus on yourself and consider “How can you make more of what you’ve got in 2018?” If we think this way we are more likely to help ourselves achieve our goals than if we are pressurising ourselves to totally overhaul our lives.

2. Fill the Skills Gaps – As a company we are passionate about helping individuals structure their next steps and our centres across the world are committed to supporting students to be the best they can be. So often we hear stories of people demotivated at work, having lost confidence after being out of work, or feeling that they are not good enough to climb the career ladder. By taking control of their skills development people start to feel empowered that they can do it, that their futures can be different and that they deserve to be in a job they love. As part of celebrating our 180th year, last year at Pitman we created a unique ‘Professional Development Diploma’ to enable business employees and entrepreneurs to tailor make their own courses, to suit their individual development needs. There really are many ways to add value to your employer, and I’d recommend focusing in on one of those areas and considering how your existing skills could be further progressed to help you be that person who gets the big pat on the back this year. Hopefully alongside this will come elevation in your position, more challenging work and higher job satisfaction.

3. Work SMARTER – Why not learn smarter ways to organise your time, use Outlook, create agendas, meeting papers and minutes… You could add huge value to everyone by finding more efficient working practices that could be rolled out in the business as a whole.

4. Find Your Team – If you feel you’re on your own there’s no fun in that. Where possible grab a coffee with your team or join a network and share challenges and successes. Use the knowledge and experience around you. Striving to achieve more can feel stressful sometimes when you don’t have a barometer to mark your success on. Working with a mentor or within a network provides encouragement and a chance to reflect how far you have come.

5. Believe in Yourself – To live a life of high achievement, you must fully believe in yourself and your ability. You know if you’re good enough, you need to have the confidence to know you’re doing well and you’re good enough.

So even if you’re not looking for a life-changing career overhaul in 2018, maybe just take a minute to consider what you might like to learn, build upon, do better. This way you will be prepared to take control of your job, and climb the career ladder with confidence… and then when everyone asks you at the end of the year if you achieved your New Year’s resolutions you can confidently nod, smile wryly and know you did it the smart way.

Pitman Training has been leading the way in efficiency within the workplace since Sir Isaac Pitman’s invention of shorthand in 1837 and in 2017, at Pitman we celebrated our 180th year in business. Pitman Training has continued to evolve, incorporating modern technologies and advances in order to arm students with the skills they need to progress in their careers. We currently train around 25,000 individuals each year, achieving an unparalleled completion rate of 98% with an 80% positive job outcome within 6 months of training.

For more information on how we support others see www.pitman-training.com