Most of us begin every January by making resolutions on what we will or won’t do in the New Year. Vagueness of some of the self-promises make them impractical or impossible to implement, but this year I discovered a source of wise advice that requires sharing as we consider our 2019 resolutions.
Every Monday, Tim Herrera, the Smarter Living editor at The New York Times, sends readers tips and advice that will improve the way they approach life, jobs and careers. At the end of 2018, Tim summarized some of the best tips from contributors to his newsletter. Here are five of the top tips that “blew his mind” – all of which I plan to try to adopt in 2019:
Have more meaningful workplace chitchat. Writer Dana Sitar said she found one simple question that always breaks through the doldrums of water cooler chat: “What’s keeping you busy this week?” Such an open-ended question requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer and results in a more engaging conversation for both parties.
Be a better listener. “Make a connection. Be present, ask open-ended questions and more importantly, don’t interrupt,” says contributor Jen Soong. “Show genuine curiosity in the story being shared.”
Learn how to deal when things don’t go according to plan. “Recognize that, despite whatever zen mantra scrolled across your Instagram feed this morning, the ability to exert control over your environment is crucial to your well-being,” says Rainesford Stauffer. “
(Strategically) fake it till you make it. “Putting on a positive front can be a healthy way to deal with the world when you’re down,” says Danielle Campoamor, senior editor at Romper and columnist at Bustle. “And it can be a positive motivator to help you attain the personal goals that have been alluding you, studies have shown.” She quotes marriage and family therapist Meredith Shrley, who says the key is to be aware of your negative feelings, but make the effort to move beyond them.
Answer email only once or twice a day. This will be the hardest thing for me to implement, but I plan to give it a shot. Contributor Kara Cutruzzula recommends batching emails rather than constantly checking and responding. Hard to do if your job demands immediate responses, but she says it’s still possible to handle messages that are urgent and “corral” less important messages for later in the day.
Sign up for Tim Herrera’s Smarter Living newsletter for free at https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/smarter-living 8uniE109uniE1