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Business Management: Hard habits to break

Take a minute to see how far you have come in 2018. 

Another year is almost in the books. Elections are finally behind us. This is the time to wrap up your 2018 projects. This is a time for 2019 planning but before you do, take a minute to see how far you have come in 2018. Take a few minutes for reflection and self-assessment.

Think about the following. Why not take it a step further and write your answers down – yes, journal. Journaling is a habit that many successful people are said to incorporate into their daily morning routines. Reflect on these items as they pertain to you in 2018:

• Were you successful this year?

• Did you accomplish any of the goals that you set for yourself?

• If not, why? What held you back?

• What habits helped guide you to success this year?

• What habits will you continue to do next year?

I have a list of things that I tried out this year on my path to professional development. These items though mostly geared to impact my workplace performance did sometimes also affect my personal life. See my list here:

1. Be more positive. It really does affect everyone around you.

2. Set certain times in the day to check email. No more reacting to emails and answering immediately unless it is during my email time. This forces you to be less reactive. You plan your time. I schedule the time to work on projects. I get more done. Do not check your personal email while at work. Sure, doing it during your “break time” but please do not be constantly on your phone handling personal business on company time.

3. Social media. This topic is big. Once a year, check your privacy settings. Clean up your accounts. Decide how much time you want to spend on your social media self. Everyone will have different limits here. Set a good example especially if you are a leader. If this is part of your job, then by all means, spend more time here but again, do work at work. Do personal things during personal time.

4. Stop projecting expectations on others. We are not all the same. The way that you handle situations is not the only way or the best way.

5. Be aware of personality types, different generations and people’s feelings in the workplace. I still say that if you follow The Golden Rule then you cannot go wrong. Someone does not always have to be wrong for someone to be right.

6. Read more. I am an audiobook junkie and I love fiction to help me through my commute. Audio, Kindle, paper pages. Whatever you choose, feed your brain.

7. Manage conflict, don’t let conflict manage you.

8. Ensure that you have a work/life balance.

9. Put away your phone sometimes.

10. Get more sleep. This has helped me both personally and professionally. Even though it has been so tempting to stay up for just one more episode of my favorite show, I have been diligent about getting rest.

As you work on your self-assessment and determine what worked and didn’t work for you, you will know what to carry on into next year. Hopefully, you have new ideas to try. You will also have things that you should not try again. I overloaded on podcasts and had so many going that I needed a break. There is such a thing as too much information.

Do you have a reading list? Supposedly Bill Gates ready 50 books per year. That is almost one book per week. I always hear that successful CEOs read 40 books per year. This makes sense if you think about it. How many CEOS do you think are at home scrolling and creeping on Facebook? How many do you read? I am putting together a 2019 reading list and want your input. Contact me this month with your 2019 picks for business, professional development, really anything that you think my readers can benefit from. We are all under the same pressures. Let’s get through them together. I am excited to hear your picks.

Homework for next time: I do love podcasts even though I may have overloaded this year. A few to try for HR folks are HR Happy Hour, Dear HBR, and Nine to Thrive HR. Do you have any HR podcasts or Leadership podcasts that can share with readers? Contact me so I can list them and share with readers.

Author Note: What would you like to hear more about? What topics appeal to you for 2019? Let me know. I want to hear from you. Happy Holidays from me. It’s been a great 2018. As always, I wish you nothing but the best.

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Angela Holmes is an SHRM certified human resource expert, writer and public speaker with over twenty years of human resource experience. She has hired thousands of people across many industries. Angela graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois State University. Angela also attained a Master’s degree in Education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Workforce Education and Development program. Angela strives to give relatable workplace feedback using a common sense approach. Angela is the Vice President of Human Resources at National Railway Equipment Co. (NRE) and can be reached at, follow her on Twitter at @Angela_Holmes_1 and Instagram at @aholmes91


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