How to Stick to Your 2020 Resolutions

With all the chatter about resolutions and goals for 2020, many of us went full speed ahead on January 1st. But now that we are almost two weeks into the year, are you still going as hard? Probably not. With crazy work schedules and unexpected setbacks, it is easy to get overwhelmed and simply give up. I don’t blame you.

But if there is one thing 2019 taught me, it’s that in order to accomplish your goals, you have to give yourself leeway to adjust and reset as life comes at you: because life will undoubtedly come at you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “push through” and “work harder” mentality because every article we read suggests that scaling back is for people who are mentally weak. But just like driving, in life you have to slow down and reroute your GPS when there is an unexpected road closure.

In 2019, after a month of crushing my 2019 resolutions, my cousin Jesse died unexpectedly. We were extremely close and it knocked the wind out of me. While I did not let his death completely derail my goals, I did allow myself time to ignore those goals for a few weeks and simply be ok with taking one breath at a time. Then, I was able to adjust my planned path to accomplish those goals given the circumstances.

As you embark on your journey to greatness in 2020 remember that life happens, be gentle with yourself, and don’t be afraid to adjust those goals along the way. Setbacks are unavoidable so, be ready. Whether you need to take a week off from the gym to focus on a stressful project at work or you need to recognize that reading one book a week for all of 2020 was too ambitious; do it. Either way, don’t abandon your goals, just adjust them to fit into the unknown of life. Take that week off and then set a goal to hit the gym twice the following week and then three the next. Instead of giving up on reading completely, adjust your goal to read one book a month. And, if that’s still too much, aim for one book every other month. The point of a resolution or goal is to make us better than before. Better can mean 300% better or 3% better. Yes, we all want to shoot for the stars and conquer the world but, we can’t do that if exhaustion or poor mental health gets the best of us. Never give up on your goals just be prepared to adjust the path to those goals along the way.


Who Should Pay for Lunch?

We’ve all had that awkward moment at the end of an otherwise great networking lunch when the check arrives. Who pays? You might be the person who always asks that the check be split. Or maybe you’re the person who assumes the other person is paying so, when the check arrives you sit there while the other person reaches for her wallet. But in certain scenarios, you should pay.

If you invited her to lunch, you should pay. Especially if you invited her to lunch asking for her assistance or advice. Whether it be career advice or otherwise, if you gained something valuable from the lunch conversation, you should pay. I don’t care if you just had water and she had a margarita, you should pay. If you can’t afford to pay for lunch then don’t ask her to go: suggest meeting for coffee instead.

Now, there are some instances when your mentor or the person you invited insists on paying. In that case, politely offer to pay again and if she still insists then thank her for lunch and tell her the next lunch is on you. Be sure to follow up with an email or text thanking her for lunch and make a mental note to schedule lunch in the future.

Knowing when you should pay for lunch will ensure that you aren’t straining relationships with friends and mentors because you didn’t know that you should have paid.

The One Thing You Should Do At Every Networking Event

If you have ever attended a networking event, then it’s likely that you’ve seen a woman standing by herself or attempting to awkwardly navigate her way into another group’s conversation. Maybe she is an introvert, maybe she is new to her profession and nervous to be in a room full of accomplished people, or maybe she doesn’t know how to network. Whatever the reason, if you see her, go up to her and introduce yourself. And, if you’ve found your networking circle, invite her over and introduce her to the people in the group.

As women, we owe it to each other to make one another feel included. Even if all you do is talk about where the tray of crab cakes went, at least you took a step to make another woman feel slightly less awkward. So, if you see her and she looks lonely, go say hi: it won’t kill you and it will make both of you stronger.

How Productive People Keep Themselves From Getting Overwhelmed At Work

Do you arrive at work Monday morning and immediately feel anxious? Do you feel like no matter how many hours you work you are still behind because you are always bouncing from one project to the next? Well, if so, you aren’t alone. It’s extremely difficult to juggle multiple tasks; so, here are a few tips that productive people use to help better manage their day:

  1. Set specific times each day to check email. For the longest time, I was guilty of having my email inbox open on the right side of my computer screen all day. As soon as I received an email, I would stop working on whatever I was working on to read and respond to the email. While this made me very responsive, it also made it impossible to finish a task because I was constantly interrupted. I started setting times to check my inbox. I started with every hour because I was worried about missing something important. But I soon realized that I can check my email every two to three hours. If something is truly an emergency, the person will call.
  2. Make a to-do list and stick to it. Make a to-do list that prioritizes tasks. Focus on fully completing each task before moving to the next one.
  3. Tell people when you’re too busy to chat. If you’re in the middle of an assignment and a coworker comes by to tell you about her date last night, it’s ok to tell her that you’re on a deadline but as soon as you’re done you will come by to hear all about it. Don’t be afraid to fiercely protect your time.
  4. Put your phone away. Sometimes, we get flustered because in the midst of completing a task, we are also answering text messages, looking at social media, and reading the latest news on the government shut down. But, when you are trying to complete an assignment,  these distractions just add to the already-present anxiety. So put your phone in a desk drawer or rest it face down on your desk so that your attention is not disrupted with every notification. Get in the habit of  looking at your phone during designated breaks.

How to Instantly Look More Put Together

On any given day, most of us are running to multiple meetings and appointments. So, you need a work bag large enough to hold everything for the day. If you don’t have a professional bag that holds everything, you end up carrying multiple bags which can make you look sloppy. You may have on a Boss suit and killer pumps but, if you are lugging around a purse, a backpack, a computer bag, your lunch kit, and a grocery bag full of who knows what, you look disheveled and unorganized. Minimize the amount of things you’re carrying and you will immediately look more put together. Find a work bag that holds everything so that you only have one bag. And, stop carrying around things you don’t need.

These work bags are my favorite:

  1. Tory Burch
  2. Madewell
  3. Banana Republic
  4. Target
  5. Gucci