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2012 has just begun – and given that working women in India are constantly after that elusive work life balance, how about adopting these resolutions?
By Chitra Iyer
Resolution 1: I shall not feel guilty if I don’t do everything. And if I don’t get everything done on time.
Reality: Do you sign up to do a million things at home and office, for friends and even your housing society? And then spend time making excuses for not being able to do them? And then spend even more time feeling guilty about it? Let go of the ‘I want to be Superwoman’ complex and just enjoy being you.
Resolution 2: I will stop promising to mentor young executives at conferences. And actually get down to doing it
Reality: Every year, our companies send us to ‘industry events’ to network, learn, bring back packs of CD’s stuffed with presentations, and volunteer to ‘give back’. Spontaneously you promise to mentor a kid, and deliberately you play hide and seek with the organisers till they finally stop reminding you…and then, you accept your invitation for the next conference…In 2012, make the time. Remember, you were a trainee once too.
Resolution 3: I will learn to network effectively and sincerely. Especially online.
Reality: Try tostay on LinkedIn long enough between Facebook updates to actually do some meaningful networking and value-addition. See what others are writing, take time to think about it and post thoughtfully. Get back in touch with old colleagues. Look at it practically – this way when you need a favour, you wouldn’t have to start making polite conversation from scratch. Isn’t that why everyone networks?
Resolution 4: I will negotiate that pay rise and promotion this year. And I will finally figure out what all the acronyms on my CTC breakup actually mean.
Reality: It is typical to avoid doing the things we dislike or are uncomfortable with. This one includes both – discussing money and pushing for what’s due to us. 2012 is not the year to be modest – if you don’t ask, you shall simply not receive. Bring out those HR manuals, calculate your CTC, practice your pitch one last time and negotiate like you’ve been doing it all your life. While you are at it, update that CV too.
Resolution 5: This year, I will go green. And not just at the carefree life my kid sister seems to live.
Reality: Every day, you walk past the posters lining the corridors of office, and somewhere you register the words green and eco. And then you come home and you hear the words on TV. And then your five year old tells you that you must recycle. As you hit the ‘print’ button at work on emails you don’t really need to print, you ask yourself what it all means. This year, find out. Practice. Pass it on. Make your workspace inspiring to yourself and to others.
Resolution 6: I will finally unpack that ipad (or kindle or camera or any other gadget that’s been lying around for months that you haven’t found time to learn yet).
Reality: This may sound like a cliché but gadgets are not usually a girl’s best friend. Every time I try understanding advanced features on my phone, I get the dreaded error message. Calling the ‘helpdesk’ is fraught with even more dangers. But this year, I’m getting my gadget groove on. After all – it’s only a machine, not a man!
Resolution 7: I shall exercise and not tell myself that walking to the canteen and back counts as cardio. I shall stop buying clothes one size too small for ‘when I reduce’.
Reality: Last year you lost 5 kilos. Last year you had measles. Don’t spend this year hoping you will get lucky again and get yourself off to that gym today. What? Already blew a bundle on the gym last year? Never mind – the office is a great place to keep fit: take regular breaks from your computer every half hour or so, take a few minutes to rest your eyes by looking out the window at the sky or greenery, and stop wasting money on clothes that will never fit. Set realistic fitness goals that will make you the yummy mummy you deserve to be.
Resolution 8: I will clear up my desk and throw out all the junk I’ve collected over the years. Yes, that includes all the junk on my laptop too.
Reality: The problem begins with the New Year itself – how to throw away all the sweet cards and delete the emails your friends and family send you? Add to that every scrap, bit, bob, wrapper, pressed flower, CD, brochure, coupon (expired), books (yet to be read), email, downloaded articles (yet to be read) and quizzes, photos, other assorted virtual clutter and you get my drift. After all, you’ve got to make space for this year’s junk.
Resolution 9: I will find more time for myself. I will switch off instant messaging, cell phone and twitter updates when at the salon.
Reality: Maybe easier to sell ice to an Eskimo. But as always, you will try. And while you are at it, actually find the time to go to the salon.
Resolution 10: I will finally sign-up to those courses I’ve been ‘exploring’ online for the least one year.
Reality: Yes. Life is an education. But you no longer need to feel bad about missing your chance to go to an Ivy League University. Everyone from Harvard to MIT is offering free online courses to help you get your skills and knowledge sharpened. So Google free online university today and find the course you always wanted to do. The best part? No exams. Learn. Just because you want to.
So what is the story behind your resolutions? Do participate in the ‘As You Write It: Resolution Story’ and tell us – who knows? You could end up getting published on Women’s Web!
*Photo credit: aliwest44
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