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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Working Remotely

  The New Year is upon us! Happy New Year!   If you’re like many people, you’re preparing a few resolutions for the new year. Some might be personal, others may involve your health, while others are finance related.  Last year I set some goals, and I want to check in to see I’ve made…

Happy New Year Remote Goals
Setting goals for the new year? Here are my goals for being a more effective remote worker.


The New Year is upon us! Happy New Year!


If you’re like many people, you’re preparing a few resolutions for the new year. Some might be personal, others may involve your health, while others are finance related.  Last year I set some goals, and I want to check in to see I’ve made progress.


If you’re a remote worker, there may be improvements or changes in this area you wish to make, too. As someone who has worked remotely for over two decades, I’m no stranger to needing constant improvement in this department. In fact, I’ve found that many remote workers have similar issues, and now is a great time to do a progress check.


Last year I shared with you my remote work New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve made them very doable, though not written in stone. It’s been my experience that while clear, measurable goals are great for many things, when it comes to other goals, I need to give myself breathing room. So…


Last year, I resolved to:

      • Stay more motivated with work.
      • Spend more time with my family
      • Be a more versatile communicator
      • Be more ergonomic
      • Change up my work environment



Stay motivated

After doing the same job for over twenty years, I can sometimes lose motivation. Is it just me? My work feels either monotonous, or it feels unrewarding.  Or I just don’t seem to advance. Sometimes, it’s everything all at once. (Big red flag there.)


This year, I aim to address a lack of motivation before it hits. For one, I will find something different to do. When the other parts of my job start to feel monotonous I’ll toss in a new activity. I’ll also reward myself for even small accomplishments. Finally, to give myself a sense of advancement I will do something that creates growth.


UPDATE: I already started working on this through new services offered on my website, like resume writing, mock interviewing, and work from home proposals. I’ve also begun doing something I thoroughly enjoy, which is various content creation in the form of eGuides, social media posts, and newsletters. I hope to open a little library on my site this year, where people can freely download the workbooks and eGuides I’ve created.



Spend more time with my family

This one was difficult. Not because I didn’t want to spend time three awesome daughters, but because I wear so many hats with my job I don’t seem to have any time left over to give. When I’m not working, I’m mentally exhausted. Fortunately, they are now adults. They’ve become a support group for me, as well as my children.


This year, I will organize my work activities so they don’t feel like they’re piling on me at once, causing me to feel overworked and always short on time. Further, I want to prioritize, giving up actions that are fruitless. Finally, I plan to cease work an hour earlier a couple times a week and give that time to my family, even if it’s just to sit around the kitchen island and chat.


Related: How To Have Work-Life Balance When You Work Remotely


Be a better communicator

My easiest method of communicating is email, blog posts, and instant messaging. In other words, in writing. I guess after working from home for so long it just makes more sense. But I’m missing out. There are many other methods of communicating for remote workers such as video chats, phone calls, good ole’ snail mail, and meet ups.


This year I plan to break the habit of just communicating in writing. As a Gen Xer I wasn’t introduced to video chatting until much later in my career, and I turned up my nose when it became mainstream. I also rarely feel the need to make phone calls since email is an easier way for me to control what I say. I’ve lost touch with the spontaneity of a telephone conversation. This year I will use my phone for more than just texting!


UPDATE: I’ve already started working on this by setting up a program on my site where visitors can schedule phone chats with me. That helps me with my goal, but also keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by surprise phone calls.


video chatting


Be more ergonomic

I spend upwards of ten hours a day at my desk, sometimes seven days a week. That’s a heck of a lot of sitting! Worse, it’s often slouched sitting. It’s no exaggeration when I say I’m in a lot of pain by the middle of the day.


I thought I was doing all the “right” things: I have a sit/stand desk, I wear a wrist guard, I have an ergonomic keyboard, my chair is ergonomic and even has a lumbar attachment, and my mouse is ergonomic, too. But I realize that if I don’t do my part all those gadgets are just a waste of money. I should have invested in Ben Gay ® stock instead!


This year I will take breaks more often, no matter how urgent something I’m working on seems. I will do stretches before, during, and after work. I will work on my sitting posture. And, weather permitting, I will take walks again. Anyone with me on this one?


Related:  Remote Work: 7 Hidden Health Threats You Need to Know


Change up my work environment

After being one place often enough, it can become a comfort zone. I’ve lived and worked out of my home for so long that it’s like pulling teeth to get me out the front door. (Especially if I don’t seem to have any time anyway.) This isn’t healthy for me or those who care about me. And it is probably a factor in some ruts in which I find myself.


This year I will hunt around for different places to work other than my home office. The town I live in isn’t big enough to have those chic co-working spaces that are becoming so popular, but we have a library, and we also have several hip coffee spots I can use. I’ll start with once a week, for a couple hours each time, visiting these places to re-acclimate myself to leaving my desk for something other than switching laundry loads.


coffee shop work
Photo Thom Holmes



Like any goal or resolution, it’s key to be held accountable. My next step is finding the right accountability partner. My family won’t do because they’ll say whatever they think will make things easier for me. I love them for that, but it makes them the wrong people for the job. The best accountability person is someone who isn’t too attached to me nor easily swayed by my moods.


An accountability partner should be firm and consistent, yet empathic and sensitive enough not to disregard my feelings, guilt trip me, or lose interest when something more exciting comes along for them to do. So I must look around to see who I find.



UPDATE: I now have a business partner. We meet once a week on Zoom, and connect frequently on Slack. That’s been very helpful. She also suggested I started keeping track of my activities and the amount of time I spend on each one. It looks like I’ve found my accountability partner!



Happy New Year
Do sweat it, you got this!


Your turn: So those are my five remote work goals for the New Year. Do they match up with any of yours?


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