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GUEST BLOG // Productivity Tips for the New Year

Woman in knitted sweater writes in notebook next to croissant and coffee about to dos for the day as a productivity tips for the new year
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This post is written by the lovely Johana M. Caba, M.A. Enjoy and make sure to check out her platforms at the end!

The New Year is your opportunity to leave behind the things that held you back and move on to better things. Symbolically, this is what the New Year represents. This past year has been a very difficult one for many reasons, but we can still work on improving our skills professionally and being more productive. In this post, we will discuss a few tips to be more productive in 2021 and some ways that you can develop your personal and professional skills for the future.

1. Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I always say that the number one thing you need to do when starting a new project, a new business or moving forward with your life is setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. But what are these goals? Well, S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Setting these specific and measurable goals can help you stay on track with what you are trying to achieve. It also helps to keep you accountable because it sets a specific time frame for when you need to reach these goals.

2. Learn New Skills

It’s always important to continue learning new skills and developing your skillset. Many things can happen in the span of a year, and sometimes we need to move on from certain situations on to new situations that require us to have a new set of skills. For these reasons, I think it is always great to take advantage of free online courses that teach you things you did not know before or refresh your skills when it comes to things you already knew. There are many places online where you can learn new skills like Hootsuite Academy, HubSpot Academy, LinkedIn Learning, and even YouTube.

Yes, YouTube can help you learn new skills by watching videos that teach you new topics. There are many YouTube creators whose content focuses on teaching others. So, take advantage of free sources and when you are able to get certified on something new, go for it because it will only help you be more marketable in business.

3. Exercise More

You can exercise for many reasons like weight loss, muscle toning, or de-stressing. Being active is a great way to take time for yourself a few times per week. It will help you clear up your mind, let go of things that are stressing you, and even gives you quiet time to reflect on the things you need to do. For example, during yoga, you can take time to reflect on things and let go of the stressors in your daily life. I think being physically active is a great way to take care of your body, it ensures you stay healthy, and it has great benefits when it comes to helping you get rid of stress. For more information on this, visit this great article on the 4 Ways Exercise Can Make You Happier – Even if You Don’t Like to Exercise.

4. Budgeting

This is a must if you want to have a good financial standing! I’ve met people that save every single penny and rely on others for their daily needs. I’ve met other people that spend every single penny on clothing, food, and shoes. Both of these extremes are not good if you want to be financially secure. I’m only 24, but I’ve learned a lot about budgeting over the last few years. You should create a healthy balance between saving and spending so that you can save a percentage of your income but also have enough money to survive. It is pointless to save too much and not have enough money which leads you to rely on your credit cards. This creates a negative feedback loop where you save, rack up credit card balances, and then have to take money out of your savings to pay off the debt. Likewise, it is just plain rude to save everything and rely on your roommates for your daily supplies. I’ve lived with people like this and it just creates an overall negative living environment. For me personally, what works is saving about 10% of my bi-weekly paycheck so that I have enough to pay my bills, buy food and have extra money for any necessities without having to use my credit card or take the money back out of savings. For more great tips on budgeting, visit this great post from The Balance.

5. Journaling

I’ve never really been a big fan of using journals, but this year was different. I needed a healthy outlet of letting out my emotions and evaluating my life choices. Instead of exploding on my loved ones when I got too stressed, I decided to write those explosive feelings down. This has been helping me take control of my emotions and my stress while giving me a healthy outlet of letting out the emotions that I feel. This is also a great way to stay productive because you can write down your thoughts and plan ahead. For some great planning essentials, you can visit my blog for a list of my favourites.

Suggested: How To Write A Journal: I Tried Journaling Every Day For A Month

6. Love the Person You are

I think it’s always important to mention that you should love yourself. Take time for yourself when you are feeling down and make sure that you make healthy choices. Loving yourself is the most important part of your self-improvement journey. Loving yourself is about being compassionate to your body and treating it with respect. It is also about taking time off when you need a break. So, remember that it is perfectly fine to take time for yourself.

Suggested: How to Be More Confident: Learning to Love Who You Are

I really hope that you enjoyed reading my productivity tips for the new year. I think these are the best tips to follow if you really want to stay on top of your goals, take care of your body, develop your skills and be more productive overall. Thank you so much for reading.

About Me: Johana M. Caba, M.A. is a public relations professional and social media manager/marketer. She shares thought-leadership articles on her business blog (JM Blog) and on her social media accounts. Johana recently earned her Master’s Degree in Professional Communications from William Paterson University of New Jersey.
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  • Emily Burkehad

    Love it! I’ve also really gotten into journaling. I don’t do it every day, but I do it at least 1-2x a month, as a way to not only a way to unwind my thoughts onto paper, but record memories! Journaling helps me to realize how much can change in even just a month.
    Emily Burkhead

    • Ella-Rose

      Yes, they make such good records! I went through last years journal at the end of the year and I was so shocked about how much I’d forgotten. They’ll make lovely keepsakes 🙂

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