Tag Archives: work resolutions

Three Work Resolutions for 2018.

Last year, I tried making a few work resolutions — things I wanted to do better at work in the coming year. Let’s try this again for 2018.

In the new year, I’d like to do a few things better:

1) I want to do a better job of holding my colleagues accountable — and making sure they do the same for me. That means making sure that the people I work with know what I expect of them, and that they know what they expect from me. It means building a line of communication where they can tell me when I’m not doing my fair share, and vice versa. It means that when goals aren’t met, or when communication fails, everyone feels comfortable standing up and saying so. This is a new job, and I’m still building relationships with my co-workers. I have to keep doing so to succeed in this role.

2) I want to be more assertive. At BuzzFeed, I helped launch the newsletter program. At The New Yorker, I’m inheriting a big, growing program, and trying to build off previous success. That means that I’m also inheriting a lot of processes and systems. For the most part, I’ve spent the first few months at this job listening and asking questions. The next step is being more assertive — actively shaping the vision for our newsletters program and building up the team to work with me to make it real. And it also means being more willing to be selective about what we say “yes” to. I don’t mind working a little harder to make things happen, but with the size of our current team, I can’t take on everything. I’ve got to be more assertive when it comes to saying “no.”

3) I want to be more goal-oriented.(1) My old job was very goal-oriented — we had goals and metrics for everything. At this job, we need to set some ambitious goals for the months ahead — mid-year goals to start, since so much can change in just six months — and get working towards them.


That photo is by Estée Janssens on Unsplash.

  1. And yes, I do see the irony in adding “being goal-oriented” to a list of goals for the new year.

Get That Buy-In.


’Tis the season to start setting New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I set several personal goals, but this year, I want to set a few resolutions for my work, too. Here’s the third and final resolution:

I’m really excited about something that’s happening at work this month: Several members of my team are moving on to bigger roles at the company.

I’m absolutely thrilled for them. They’re worked so hard, and they’re going to continue to do amazing work that shapes the future of our company. They’ve got big opportunities ahead of them.

But before we finalize these new roles — or before my team launches any new projects this year — I have to keep my final 2017 work resolution in mind: Before you start, you have to get that buy-in.

Here’s what I mean: Every decision has a handful of stakeholders involved. You’ve got bosses who need to approve things, direct reports who need to get on board with the next steps, and colleagues who can help move a decision along. But before you can make a big decision, you have to get all necessary parties to buy in to the idea.

I’m a believer that many of the headaches that happen at an office could be resolved if managers did a better job of getting buy-in at the start of a big decision. Before anything else happens, you’ve got to sit down with the key parties and listen to them. You have to figure out what they want, and how you can help them. You have to make it known that you’re going to work hard — and work with them — to find a solution that works for everyone.

Once everyone lays their cards on the table, it becomes a lot easier to move forward with a decision. Getting buy-in means that you’re invested in everyone else’s success, and they’re invested in yours. When you get to that place, it changes everything about the way a decision gets made.

Buy-in takes work. It’s a lot of one-on-ones over coffee, and a lot of asking questions. But it can also get obstacles out of your way early on and allow you to focus on making the right decisions for your team. It’s an important and necessary step.

Get that buy-in, and you’ll get things done.

Reset Your New Year’s Resolutions Every Quarter.


’Tis the season to start setting New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I set several personal goals, but this year, I want to set a few resolutions for my work, too. Here’s the second:

In 2016, I set a few different goals for myself. I set a few small goals that I felt were highly achievable, and one big “reach goal” for the year. In previous years, I’d had a lot of success with big, year-long goals, but last year, I really struggled.

What changed? Life simply got more complicated.

2016 was a year full of big moments. I got married. My wife and I attended a wedding nearly every month. We traveled for graduations and vacations. And every few weeks seemed to bring new, unexpected news.

The plan I set out for myself on January 1 was built for the year I expected — but not the year I actually lived.

This year, here’s a different resolution: Set more quarterly goals. I don’t know what’s in store for September or December. But I have a pretty strong sense of the next three months.

So instead of setting year-long goals, I’m setting work goals three months at a time. It’ll give me the flexibility to make adjustments throughout the year. I’ll learn from what I’ve accomplished and set new goals accordingly in the following quarter.

Here’s to setting some big goals in Q1 — and to setting the bar even higher as the year goes on.

Start It From The Top.


’Tis the season to start setting New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I set several personal goals, but this year, I want to set a few resolutions for my work, too. Here’s the first:

I read this wonderful quote in a Chris Pratt profile about the tone that the star of a movie or TV show can set for the rest of the cast and crew:

”It starts from the top,” he explains. ”I learned that from working with Amy Poehler. If I’m not an asshole, no one else is allowed to be.”

I love that. The same, I’d argue, is true for everything else a leader does. The leader of a team can set the tone by:

-Showing up early.

-Doing a little extra to help other teams.

Asking great questions, and actively listening to what others have to say.

-Overcommunicating when working with other teams.

Being a better encourager.

-Being willing to test out new ideas.

-Always doing the work.

If you do those things, everyone else on your team needs to, too.

So here’s a work resolution: In 2017, be more mindful about the example you set as a leader at your workplace. Your team looks to you to understand how to do the work. Make sure you’re giving them a good model to follow.