Find Inspiration in the New Year

Hi, I’m Cady Stokes, editor of AEA’s monthly newsletter.

As we dive into a new year, this is the perfect time to reflect on your accomplishments in 2019, and set your goals high for 2020 and beyond. What are the best ways to ensure you’re starting off the new year running? How can you get inspired and keep that inspiration flowing? Here are four tips to find inspiration and happiness in your career this year.

  • De-clutter

Getting back into the swing of things after the holidays can be a drag. It’s easy to get into a slump and solely do what you need to do to get by. One way to get a great energy going is to clean up your work space! Recycle all those stacks of unnecessary papers sitting on your desk, dust off your shelves, get your files and books organized. Hang up some new pictures of friends, family, or things that interest you to decorate your space and make it more “you.” Fill out a new calendar or agenda—or make one if you don’t yet have one! Make a list of what you need to accomplish short-term and long-term. Starting the new year with a fresh, organized environment and a completed ‘to-do’ list will de-clutter your space, thoughts, and, in addition, make it much easier to focus on the tasks at hand.

  • Work hard, play hard

With all that recent time off, it can be overwhelming jumping back into work projects, meetings, and long hours. This is an easy way to lead to too much overtime or burnout. Work hard during your allotted hours, but remember that it’s important to work on other things you enjoy. Shut off that laptop and give your mind time to recuperate and focus on other activities, hobbies, or tasks you enjoy on your off-time! Better yet, try something new to inspire yourself. This is a way to make sure your mental health and upcoming work don’t suffer.

  • Don’t stop learning

This one speaks for itself. You may be a master in what you do, but there’s always something to be learned. Push yourself, test your boundaries, take a course at work or online, do that extra research, ask questions. Keep your interest strong to go above and beyond. Learning new things is a great way to not only feel more confident at work, but it’s a great way to keep yourself refreshed and curious. It’s always a good thing to chase your curiosity!

  • Change your routine

Being stuck in a daily routine makes it easy to stop noticing the things around you. Changing your pace can invigorate your mind and motivation. See new things you wouldn’t normally, meet new people, and change things up! Maybe pick a different route to work, switch from your usual food or coffee order, take a midday walk to clear your thoughts. Even making the smallest changes in your day can really ensure a big change. Clear your mind from the usual and you’ll provide yourself with many sources of inspiration.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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