A new year brings new resolutions for overall self-improvement. We strive to accomplish more and have a better year than last. It is no surprise that the top new year’s resolutions usually revolve around health, weight loss, and eating better. But, if we take a step back and look at our resolution list, it is adding more pressure, work and stress to our already overloaded lives.

We want to wake up earlier when we are already sleep deprived. We aim to eat organically and clean when we can barely get our processed meal on the table after work and before evening activities begin. (For the mothers out there, you know the struggle of fitting in homework, sports, activities and a reasonable bedtime into an evening.)

We promise ourselves that we will go to bed earlier, but there is still so much left to do each day. And, of course, we vow to work harder and smarter to further our careers gaining greater financial success. (And a more successful work-life balance is always on the list.)

#1 Over communicate & find your passion

Casey Baynes
Casey Baynes

These qualities helped make Casey Baynes, Founder of the Casey Cares Foundation successful. “Figure out what you are passionate about and do it. You can make a career out of your passion. Don’t just pick a career because that is what you SHOULD do or because that is the path that you started to go down. Don’t be afraid to change paths, it’s ok. It builds you as a person and your character.” Read the full interview: Casey Baynes talks about Work-Life Balance, Career Advice for Women & Secrets to Success

#2 Take each resolution and break in into smaller actionable pieces

Verna Regler
Verna Regler

Doing so will help you reach your main goal. Write it down and then check in with yourself monthly to make sure you are on track. You must be committed to your new year’s resolutions.

Verna Regler, co-owner of Maryland Construction Network attributes a tireless commitment to what she and business partner, Rob Bertazon were building to her success and the success of MCN. According to Verna, “So many people underestimate the amount of time and work it takes to make something successful.” Read the full interview with Verna: Building an Association & Networking Advice for Women

#3 Try new things

Diane Devaney
Diane Devaney

Order something different at your favorite restaurant. Try to cook a new recipe. If there is something that you have always wanted to do, make it happen this year.

Diane Devaney, President of Devany & Associates, Inc. an advertising, marketing and public relations firm, shares what entrepreneurs & business owners should be considering from a PR and marketing perspective to stand out and be successful today. Read the full interview with Diane: Diane Devaney Dishes Out Her Business Success Secrets, Advice to New Business Owners and How to Find New Clients

#4 Don’t look at competition as a negative

Ferrier Stillman
Ferrier Stillman

According to Super Lawyer and expert Family Law Attorney, Ferrier Stillman, with Tydings & Rosenberg: “There will always be other people who do what you do. Remember that different types of clients want different types of attorneys or financial professionals or whatever it is that you do. Our friendly competitors may end up referring business to you one day. If nothing else, they will likely teach you something. Be open and listen.” For more with Ferrier: Making a Name for Yourself, Building a Client Base, and What Women Must Know if Contemplating a Divorce

#5 Say YES! Be tenacious and a bit gritty

Wanda Smith CEO of Symphony Placements
Wanda Smith Symphony Placements

We are busy, and our sofa and doing absolutely nothing often sounds so appealing. But, be open to invitations and fun adventures from friends and colleagues. While the outing may not quite be your cup of tea you will likely find yourself having fun, making new friendships and strengthening old ones. You will be glad that you went.

Wanda Smith, CEO of Symphony Placements advises “Get to know people, network and be adventurous”. It will help to take your business to the next level. Wanda also advises that “you are never too old to start something new. I was 59 when I started my business.” Read how she did it: 18 Ways to Bring Your Business to the Next Level.

Gina Ramsey, Vice President of Adventure Web Interactive, was new to Baltimore and utilized networking to build a

professional name for herself – and she made lifelong friends along the way. Gina shares that women must be patient, authentic and focus on building relationships. Read the full interview with Gina: 10 Easy Networking Tips Every Woman Must Know

#6 Worry less

As women we worry about just about everything. If we are not worrying – we are worried that we are not worrying. It is a vicious cycle and paralyzing. A trick to follow, ask yourself: “Would worrying would make a difference?” If the answer is “yes” than worry away. If the answer is “no,” move on.

#7 Slay the GUILT Goblin

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky

You can’t be in 2 places at one time. Sometimes focusing on you may mean that you will miss a basketball practice or bedtime. It is ok!

Also, according to Mary Zubritsky, Senior Copywriter with at AvePoint, “don’t let anyone talk you out of your idea. And don’t worry about what other people think. There’s nothing wrong with going against society’s standards and expectations. That’s what makes you uniquely YOU!” Read Mary’s story: 6 tips for turning your passion into your career

#8 Trust your gut

Wendy Meadows
Wendy Meadows

Going against your instincts or not trusting your gut is often a mistake. Wendy Meadows, Family Law Attorney and Partner of Howanski, Meadows & Erdman shares: Follow your instincts. “ Stay true to yourself and if something feels wrong – it probably is. Stand up for yourself no matter where you are in your career. At the end of the day, you and you alone are the one that needs to protect your image, dignity, and reputation.”

Read the full interview with Wendy: Making Partner before age 35, Turning Facebook into business referrals

#9 Use Facebook Niche Groups to drum up business

See Wendy’s interview above for how she successfully turned Facebook into business opportunities.

#10 Make time for you

Mark it on the calendar. While this is easier said than done, it is important and it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your family or that you aren’t an amazing mother.

#11 Be more patient with your aging parents

aging mom

Do not sigh when they are walking too slowly or roll your eyes when they tell you the same story again and again. Cherish them, listen, slow down with them. Make your parents feel important and loved. Small gestures go a very long way. Remember how lucky you are to still have your parents in your life.

#12 Read books

Reading can help take your mind off your overwhelming to-do list and relax. It can also help you sleep better. Get in a chapter or two before bed each night.

#13 Wear perfume each day – it just makes you feel better.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for some amazing interviews in 2018!

Hugs & Handshakes, Lauren

Originally published at thefemaleforce.com