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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

New Year's Resolutions

Dear Readers,

This is the last column I will write this year and with the New Year approaching, it seems fitting to address the issue of New Year's resolutions. Have you thought about yours? New Yearís resolutions can provide you the opportunity to redefine the kind of person, employee or employer you envision being.

Assuming you are able to get your work done satisfactorily, when was the last time you evaluated your personal performance? What impact have you had on the people you work with? What will your legacy be, and what will people say when you leave to retire or leave to pursue new challenges? If you have no idea, then begin by deciding how you would like to be described and remembered. Chances are that in addition to what you accomplish over the years, your relationships with others will have been equally, if not more important to you and to your success.

As the New Year begins, I hope you will begin anew by thinking about the kind of person you will be. If you arenít sure what to resolve or where to begin, perhaps the following will be a starting point or trigger some ideas of your own. Based on the questions I receive for this column, and the frustrations I hear about, I thought the following resolutions would be a good place to begin, for you and for me. Feel free to personalize them or write your own; when you write down your resolutions they become more than thoughts, so take the time to write them down. I plan to place these on my desk and read them everyday. I hope you will do the same with yours. (Click here for a printer-friendly page.)

I do what I say: If I say I will get back to you by a certain time, I will get back to you by that time. If I say I will do something, I will do it. I am trustworthy and will be held accountable.

I take ownership for what happens: I will not blame others, lash out or make excuses for problems that arise. When something happens, I will look to myself first to see what role I played in it, acknowledge my responsibility and take ownership in resolving the problem.

I am positive: I will be a positive influence on others. I realize that there will be tough times and negativity surrounding me, but I will rise above it. I will focus on solutions, not problems and remain optimistic, with the belief that out of challenges opportunities arise.

I am respectful: I respect others opinions, differences, personal space and time.

I set realistic goals: I know what I need to do and when I need to do it. I have clear goals in mind and work toward these goals everyday.

I use my time wisely: I show up on time, begin and end meetings on time, and I donít waste time Ė mine or others. I avoid gossip and meaningless chitchat, and stay focused on my work.

I am organized: I know where things are and can access them quickly. My desk is clean and organized at the end of each day.

I bring out the best in others: I realize that the best way for me to shine and look good is to make others look good. I will compliment others frequently and be the kind of person I want others to be.

I take pride in my work and will do my best: My job is important and I am important, no matter what position I hold. I will work each day with energy and purpose and make a positive contribution. I realize it will be much easier to feel good at the end of the day if I enjoy the work I do and acknowledge the contribution Iíve made.

Click here for a printer-friendly page of the above resolutions

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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