Setting Career Resolutions for 2021
Sarah Brodsky / DECEMBER 14 2020

Setting resolutions is a time-honored tradition for going into a new year. Resolutions can help people find direction in their personal lives, and they can bring purpose to your workplace, too. 

Set some on-the-job resolutions of your own by talking to your manager and discussing what you’d like to accomplish professionally. Try brainstorming potential resolutions with a whiteboard or notetaking app, using these suggestions as a jumping-off point.

How to set resolutions

Before you come up with your resolutions, take stock of the previous year. What were your strengths at work? What are some areas where you could improve? What does your employer need you to focus on? These questions allow you to zero in on resolutions that will have the greatest impact. 

Choose resolutions that are within your control. You shouldn’t set a resolution that your venue’s holiday celebration will be featured on prime-time news, because that isn’t up to you. But you could resolve to make enough of an impact in guest experiences through your positive attitude and knowledge of the property that you get a specific number of positive guest reviews online. Or you could resolve to make a career development plan for a promotion within the next 5 years of your career.

Choose resolutions that interest you and that you truly want to achieve. If the thought of the upcoming procurement audit bores you to tears, it might not make sense for that to be the subject of your resolutions. Maybe you’re more excited about learning how to become a bartender and want to gain certifications and the license to do so.

Set resolutions that would benefit your whole team, not just you. That way, all your colleagues will be supportive of your goals and will be eager to help you reach them. If you want to set a resolution that’s mainly intended to advance your own career, like earning a new certification, see if you can make the case that your coworkers will gain from your new skills or expertise. If you get a housekeeping certification, you could pass on your knowledge to your team members and encourage them to also become certified.

Set resolutions that have clear start and endpoints, so that it’s easy to tell when you’ve accomplished them. For example, don’t create a vague resolution like, “Be better at guest service.” A better resolution might be, “Review and update our service standards, then conduct a training workshop for all front-desk employees.”

How to work toward your resolutions

Once you’ve set your resolutions, it’s time to turn them into action. Try these tips to help you stick to your goals:

  • Create a checklist. If your resolutions involve multiple steps, write those tasks down so you have a visual reminder of which items need to be accomplished first. This also gives you an easy way to mark your progress and see what you need to do next.
  • Plan regular progress reports or informal meetings with your manager to talk about your resolutions. If you know you’ll need to provide an update by the end of the month, for example, you’ll be especially motivated to put in some work toward your goals. 
  • Break up challenging resolutions into easy-to-reach pieces. It may be daunting to think about analyzing all your options and choosing a new supplier, but it might be more doable to call the first two companies on your list to ask for bids. 
  • Schedule automatic reminders. If one of your resolutions is to spend less time at your desk, set up an alert on your phone telling you to get up and look for the colleagues you need to talk to mid-morning.
  • Reward yourself. Think of some fun activities you can indulge in when you reach milestones. Make sure to give yourself rewards for putting in the effort along the way, like spending five hours working on a project, and not just for the final results.