New Year’s Resolutions: From One Young Professional to Another

Working in the nonprofit industry can be an incredibly rewarding experience but, like any job, it can also be incredibly draining. So, with that in mind, I’m committing in 2018 to focusing on my personal health and wellness as well as my professional development and success. And I am, of course, doing this in the most cliche way possible: a list of New Year’s Resolutions which I would like to share with you.


1. Prioritize Your Wellness

Physical and mental health are incredibly important, and they should be a priority in your life. Do not feel guilty for taking a sick or personal day! You will be much more productive when you come back to work healthy, and no one wants to see you coughing and miserable at your desk. Also, do your part to spread this ideology throughout your workplace- a little compassion and understanding for your co-workers can go a long way towards a health-centered workplace culture!

2. Stop Over-Apologizing

As a young person just getting her start in the nonprofit industry, I have an overwhelming need to apologize for things I don't need to apologize for, and I have noticed a similar phenomenon among my peers (i.e. “I’m so incredibly sorry for responding to your email during work hours the next morning instead of on my own personal time at 9pm.”) I’m obviously exaggerating a bit—but in 2018, stick to your values and put in the work without giving your life away to it, and stop apologizing for making that choice! A good practice to try to implement in 2018 will be for you to make a habit of not answering non-emergency work emails outside of work hours--or at least during a certain time of day.

3. Connect With Your Community

Get to know new people--whether it be in your office or your new apartment building, meet folks in your communities! Be a self starter, and facilitate a space for your community to thrive. Whether it be starting a book club with your coworkers or hiring a freelance graphic designer from the community your nonprofit serves; connections matter, community matters, and having them will ground you in your work.

4. Seek Out Learning

I am a recent college graduate, and although I’ve been enjoying my break from collegiate life, I am making it a goal to seek out learning, as well as professional development opportunities, in 2018. I’ve found Facebook an easy tool to use seek out introductory events, conferences and seminars. Your local community education program most likely has introductory classes to things such as website design, finance management, and yoga. Local colleges also often offer continuing education programs--many of which are free or at a discount for young professionals. This is also a great opportunity to gain an new hobby or diversify your skills set!

5. Donate Your Time and Money

As a young professional, your budget and time may be tight, but it is still important to involve yourself in giving when you are able! Sometimes it may be putting in a volunteer shift at an organization you love, other times it may be donating $10 to a local nonprofit, and sometimes it may even be providing care work to others, such as listening to your stressed out friend vent a little. It helps to find opportunities that meet your skills set and capacity to give—when you're doing something you are passionate about, it feels so much more enjoyable, rewarding, and impactful! Every little bit matters and everything you give is valuable.

Will all of these resolutions be executed flawlessly? Definitely not. But, I do think it is beneficial to name your aspirations, and I’ve enjoyed sharing mine with you. Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? If so, feel free to comment, and share with us below! And for more self care tips, review the list of tweets YNPN’s recently did for #20DaysofMe and some of the other blogs YNPN-TC members wrote.

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