Lifestyle & Entertainment

7 things you can do this weekend to make this year better than the last

So you’ve resolved to make 2017 the year you finally land a new job. Or spend more time with family. Or learn a new language. Great.

But if you’re waiting for the perfect moment to make progress on these goals, you’ll be waiting forever. Business Insider’s best advice is to just start — now.

Below, we’ve listed seven little steps you can take this weekend — not next! — to make 2017 awesome.

1. Give yourself a performance review

This tip comes from time-management expert and author Laura Vanderkam.

Imagine it’s the end of 2017 and you’re giving yourself a review — either for your personal or professional life. It’s been an amazing year. What three to five things have you done that made it so amazing?

Break down those accomplishments into doable steps. Do you need to write a pitch for a project? Assemble a task force of coworkers? Now you’re empowered to make time for those tasks in your daily schedule.

laptop couch

Flickr / Alessandro Valli

You’re not a workaholic just because you work on the weekend.

2. Do some work

Here’s another tip from Vanderkam, who says that, contrary to popular belief, working on the weekends can make you less stressed. That’s because it can buy you time during the work week.

For example, if you work a couple hours on Saturday mornings and Sunday nights, you might be able to leave an hour earlier every weekday. That means you could pick up your kids from school, or prepare dinner, or make it to a gym class.

Vanderkam suggests using the weekends to think deeply about tough problems or to plan for the week ahead.

3. Start a ‘Good Time Journal’

If you’re even remotely thinking about quitting your job, one of the first steps you should take is keeping a Good Time Journal. That is, a list of your daily work activities and how engaged and energized you felt during each one.

According to Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, professors at Stanford University’s design program, the Good Time Journal serves at least two purposes. One, it can help you figure out what kinds of activities you do enjoy so you can find a suitable job. And two, it might help you reconfigure your daily responsibilities at your current job so you don’t have to do the stuff you hate. 

4. Think of 5 potential mentors

When it comes to mentorship, don’t place all your hopes on getting one person to help you. Instead, cast a wider net.

According to Ido Leffler, cofounder and CEO of Yoobi and the cofounder of several other businesses, it’s all about the “power of five.” Come up with five people who could help you in your career — and be creative, by finding mutual acquaintances or shared interests with the people you’re hoping to connect with.

5. Draft a personal mission statement

A personal mission statement is similar to a company mission statement, except it’s just for you. The idea appeared in Stephen Covey’s bestselling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” originally published in 1989.

Personal mission statements might be more effective than resolutions at helping you achieve your goals because they highlight your motivation — why you want to lose weight or make more friends or whatever.

If you could use a little guidance in drafting your mission statement, FranklinCovey.com lets visitors respond to a series of prompts (e.g. “I am at my best when” and “Imagine your 80th birthday”) and then compiles those responses into a full statement.

learning a foreign language class

REUTERS/Albert Gea

Replicate the experience of language immersion.

6. Download Language Immersion

Language Immersion is a free Google Chrome extension that replicates the experience of, well, language immersion while you’re browsing the internet.

Users select one of 64 languages supported by Google Translate that they’d like to learn, as well as the level of immersion they need, from “novice” to “fluent.”

The extension then translates random words in whatever you’re reading online into the foreign language. (You can click on the translated words to put them back into your native language.) If you roll over the translated words, you can hear them pronounced by a native speaker.

It’s ideal for someone who’s busy and doesn’t have time to take a class, but still wants to start learning a new lingo.

7. Figure out your chronotype

Your chronotype is your tendency to be a morning person, an evening person, or somewhere in between. It affects when you’re tired, when you’re hungry, and when you do your best work.

According to psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Breus, there are four chronotypes, which he labels bears, dolphins, lions, and wolves. Breus’ website includes a diagnostic quiz readers can take to try to identify their chronotype.

You can check out the ideal daily routine for your chronotype in Breus’ book “The Power of When,” or on Business Insider.

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