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15 Ways to Start Off the New Year Strong at Work

From getting better at organizing to being intentional, here are 15 answers to the question, "Can you share your best tips for starting the new year strong at your job/business?”

  • Get Better at Organizing

  • Keep Prospecting Until Year's End

  • Create a 10/10 List to Stay Thriving

  • Set Goals for the New Year

  • Begin With the End in Mind

  • Ease into It

  • Reserve Time for "Power Days”

  • Schedule Everything

  • Revise Your Values

  • List the Skills Needed for Growth

  • Build and Maintain Strong Relationships

  • Understand that Progress Isn't Linear

  • Realize Inner Peace Is More Valuable Than Any External Success

  • Create an Anti-Goal

  • Be Intentional

Get Better at Organizing

I turned a corner at a job when I decided that I wasn't going to allow myself to have a disorganized workstation, a messy car, or even a sloppy home. Being organized isn't just for people with a certain personality; anyone can (and should) make sure that the places they spend most of their time remain tidy.

You will find that your work ethic increases and your performance improves when you take the extra time (minutes, as it turns out) to clean up after yourself. I turned over a new leaf in that respect after the New Year many years ago. It wasn't long afterward that I started getting noticed more and started gaining more confidence at work.

People don't look upon those with a messy desk with admiration. Take pride in your workspace. You will find that once you do that, you'll start to take more pride in your overall performance, too.

Keep Prospecting Until Year's End

Those in business know that January is a scramble month, and you can easily find yourself with an empty calendar and therefore a slow first quarter in terms of sales and revenue. But the January crunch is not inevitable; you can start strong by finishing strong, and one way to do this is to keep on prospecting well into the holidays.

Prospecting allows you to fill your sales funnel with potential clients whom you can begin engaging at the start of the year. Early prospecting and sustained effort when other businesses are on a slowdown can give you a competitive edge come the start of the year.

Your prospects might be warmer by the mid- or toward the end of the first month of the year, increasing the potential for sales. So, just because the holidays are generally sluggish doesn't mean you need to wrap up early or stop finding new sales opportunities. Keep prospecting, and you will start out strong.

-Joe Coletta, Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

Create a 10/10 List to Stay Thriving

Creating a 10/10 list is something I've been doing for the past 3 years, and it has been a key to meeting my goals, staying on track, and seeing actionable steps toward milestones. Some people may like to categorize goals to create a balance between what they lack, where they want to improve, and what they aspire to do.

For example, having 2 to 3 goals under sub-categories like spiritual, health, fitness, professional, personal, financial, academic, or family goals helps create your list of annual goals. Whatever your goals may be, having a supportive network is key.

Since the pandemic, prioritizing a health routine will help many people get back on track with health, fitness, and overall wellness. Having a supportive network of physicians and specialists is essential to helping you meet your goals, since staying healthy and functional sustains the ability to conduct business.

Set Goals for the New Year

Starting a new year off strong for your business requires well-defined goals. Setting SMART goals helps to keep your team motivated and track progress. These goals should align with your business's mission and overall objectives.

Setting a deadline for achieving them will increase accountability for each team member to contribute. Additionally, breaking down large goals into manageable chunks provides a clear roadmap and increases the chances of success. Along with big-picture goals, incremental goals can help build momentum and provide a sense of accomplishment along the way.

This will help to keep the team motivated and on track to achieving the larger goals. By clearly defining and setting goals, you and your team can create a plan of action, outlining the steps needed to be taken, and assigning tasks and responsibilities to appropriate team members. This helps ensure that everyone is working towards the same objective and increases the chances of achieving it.

Begin With the End in Mind

My number one tip for starting your New Year strong, both personally and professionally, is to stop focusing on "starting" and focus on "finishing." It's easy to put a lot of energy and enthusiasm behind starting something-a new business idea, a new application, or a new exercise program—but the trouble comes with sticking with it and remaining consistent once the newness wears off.

So begin with the end in mind. What is the ultimate end goal? Once determined, break it down into manageable pieces and assign timelines, deadlines, and benchmarks to note your progress. It makes the task or goal far less daunting and overwhelming and creates your playbook toward ultimate success.

-Jodi Low, Founder & Author, U & Improved

Ease into It

It can be challenging to jump back into work after the comfort and time off from the holiday season. Furthermore, many people aim to adopt the mentality of "New Year, New Me." Rather than forcing yourself out of holiday mode immediately after New Year's Day, allow yourself to ease into work.

Don't beat yourself up if your memory is fuzzy regarding specific procedures or if you are having some trouble focusing. Take it one day at a time to naturally build up enough energy and momentum to get back into full productivity and concentration. Being too hard on yourself could backfire, leading to anxiety and exhaustion.

-Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing & Communications, Carvaygo

Reserve Time for "Power Days”

Being a business of one, I have to get creative with my time and resources. One way I do this when I'm falling behind is to schedule what I call a "Power Day." This is a day where I clear my schedule to focus ONLY on all the little loose ends that need attention.

This could be paying bills, following up with contacts, handling bookkeeping, or whatever it is that has fallen to the bottom of my priority list. I make a list, then "power through" the whole list without letting anything else creep onto my radar.

I call these “Power Days” because they feel motivational and strong. If I can complete my list, I know I'll have more power over my business. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment, plus I don't have all those extra distractions taking me away from other work. Doing this at the beginning of each year lets me feel refreshed, focused, and ready to grow.

-Alli Hill, Founder & Director, Fleurish Freelance

Schedule Everything

My tip is to schedule everything. By that, I mean make sure to take the time to plan out your schedule for the week, month, and year. It will help you prioritize the most important tasks and make sure you're making progress on your goals.

Keeping a clear schedule will help you stay organized and on top of things, making you more productive and efficient. Having a schedule will also help you avoid procrastination because when you clearly know what to do and when, you're most likely to do it on time. Trust me, having a solid long-term schedule will help you stay on track and reach your goals this year.

Revise Your Values

I really recommend going over your company values at the beginning of each year, first, to make sure they're still significant and relevant, and second, to check whether they're actually being implemented.

Revising your values and ensuring that your company lives by them helps create a strong foundation for your business and provides direction for decision-making. If you have clear values, it will attract and retain employees who align with them.

This is the best way to ensure a positive work culture and increased productivity. Additionally, living by your values can help build trust and credibility with customers and stakeholders.

Overall, aligning actions with values can lead to a more successful and sustainable business. Just always make sure the ideals you've picked are still as important as they were when you first chose them; the passage of time is bound to introduce change. Don't be afraid to adapt to it!

-Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People & Culture Officer, HiJunior

List the Skills Needed for Growth

This is not a new year resolution, but rather a tip for how to get higher growth in your job or career. You should continuously be improving and adding skills for fast and effective growth in your career. This is the best tip for starting 2023 strong at your job.

You can make such a promise with the stroke of midnight in January. But make sure it should not be like any other plans of every year in your life. Strategize your growth with the help of skills. Plan how you will move ahead in your career or business by improving your skills. Don't try to learn everything at once; you should learn one skill that you need first and implement it.

After this, move to the next skill. This way, you can retain more skills, which is more crucial than learning new ones. You can also make a better plan for learning skills according to the projects you receive while on the job. This way, you can use your skills in real life and implement them.

-Yogesh Kumar, Digital Marketing Manager, Technource

Build and Maintain Strong Relationships

Focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with your colleagues, supervisors, and clients. Strong relationships are key to success in any field and can help you navigate challenges, gain support and feedback, and access new opportunities.

Make an effort to connect with people, actively listen to their needs and concerns, and be responsive and helpful. Building strong relationships takes time and effort, but it can pay off in the long run.

Understand that Progress Isn't Linear

To start the year strong, you must set realistic expectations while understanding that progress isn't linear. It's two steps forward, one step back. You will have amazing days and challenging ones. Unexpected challenges will arise. You'll have suboptimal days.

The key is to keep chipping away at your goals. Monitor your effort and progress. On the days you fail to hit your target, reflect on what happened and what you can do to overcome those challenges in the future. But don't be too hard on yourself. Being too hard on yourself burns up mental fuel and leaves you stranded on your way to achieving your goals.

-James De Roche, Managing Partner, Lead Comet

Realize Inner Peace Is More Valuable Than Any External Success

Let your heart and aspirations be your guide. When we create from the heart, almost everything works. Status doesn't really deliver the fulfillment that your soul needs. Who you are has nothing to do with what you have. The more you're around people who value you, the easier it is to feel valuable. Your environment is instrumental in having a meaningful life where you develop better meanings for life.

Create an Anti-Goal

A great way to set your business up for success in the new year is to set an "anti-goal". This can involve taking some time to think about how you DON'T want your business to go, and then making a plan to achieve the opposite.

Psychology tells us that the fear of failure is often greater than the sense of success, so by focusing on avoiding a negative outcome, you can be more motivated to take risks and reach your goals.

Additionally, breaking down large goals into smaller steps can help with goal setting and creating an organized plan of action. Setting an "anti-goal" helps ensure that you have contingencies in place should things not go as planned, and keeps you focused on ways to push your business forward in the new year.

Be Intentional

Goals are great, and most people do not achieve their personal or professional goals that are set at the beginning of the year. Instead of starting with a blank sheet of paper on the list of things you want to accomplish this year, start with an exercise that ensures you are focused on the areas that have the highest impact on your overall experience.

As David Brooks cites in his book "Second Mountain," you can make a list of your "Loves" in your life and ensure that you are aware of the highest priorities in order to keep these in line of sight for your goal setting.

If you prioritize family first, do your goals reflect that love? Is there a balance in your goal setting that reflects family first or all of your personal/professional goals? Intention first defines how we want to feel on our journey. Starting goal setting with a greater intention not only keeps that alignment at the forefront, and the evidence shows this alignment increases our chances of achieving the goals we set.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at to answer questions and get published.



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