10 Steps to a Better You in 2016

Dana Sheehan/ Professional Development, Social Media

I am not a believer in New Year’s resolutions, which isn’t to say that I’m not a believer in improving yourself. I just don’t think we should limit ourselves to once a year. I regularly take time to reflect upon my life, what makes me happy, and what I need to improve upon.

Here are my suggestions for 10 ways to make a few improvements in 2016.

1. Commit to a Social Media Platform

Pick a social media platform and commit to it, posting, reading, and conversing daily. You will be amazed at how many great people you will “meet” and learn from. As an added bonus, you’ll increase your network – although that’s not why you should do it. Social media isn’t about taking, it’s about giving.

2. Call Instead of Emailing

Pick up the phone instead of emailing your coworker or client. Sometimes it’s just so much easier to have that conversation by phone (or even in person), but we tend to get used to emailing. Taking the time to personally connect can go a long way. If you need a “paper trail,” follow up with an email.

3. Put Down Your Phone

Take some time to spend with yourself, family, or friends when you’re not looking at your phone constantly. Just put it away. Those emails, tweets, texts, etc. can wait an hour. They really can. It’s not healthy to be attached to your device.

4. Read a Book

Any book. I recently read World War Z and was not disappointed. It really made me think about the way we live in our society, and how we treat each other. Your book can be fiction – anything from fluff to a classic – something related to your work, or something for personal growth. I also suggest a read book, on paper, because we comprehend more that way. There’s something about the tactile experience of holding a book that improves comprehension. But if you prefer an eBook reader, go for it. Just read!

5. Get Outside

Even taking a few minutes to walk around the block will be beneficial. Besides the exercise, this gives you a chance to clear your head. I find that when I get outside of my office, I can really think about things. 10 minutes later, I often have a solution to a problem or a new idea. I actually have some really productive time gardening, because my mind’s gears can turn while I’m working. Spending time in nature is also good for your mind, body, and soul.

6. Take a Class

It can be at your local library, from a local group, from a college, or online. I like to take online classes (now that I’ve finished my master’s degree). There are some great sources for online classes, which are usually on demand, so you can take them whenever you want. I love Udemy, which is where I’m also an instructor now. You can take my Writing for the Web course for a discounted rate of $59 here.

7. Find Tools to Help You

There a zillion apps available, but even using a calendar can be very helpful. I like to set upcoming tasks on a calendar so I don’t have to worry about remembering to do them.

8. Teach Someone

Sharing your knowledge is very rewarding, and it helps someone else as well – bonus! As I mentioned above, I teach on Udemy, but I also regularly train my colleagues and clients, speak  at conferences, and host adult education workshops. Seeing that “aha” moment is my favorite!

9. Listen to Yourself

Don’t worry about what everyone else says you should do, especially when it comes to social media. Do what works for you or your business. You don’t need to be everywhere. It’s better to do a good job in a few places than to do a bad job everywhere. Social media is about building relationships, so be sure to build them where it makes sense.

10. Mistakes Happen, Let it Go

Be kind to yourself when you mess up. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s OK. It’s how you handle those mistakes, or dare I say failures, that makes the difference. Learn from the experience and try again. You can do it!

I plan to do – or continue – all 10 of these in 2016. Meet me back here in a year to see how I did!

Until next time,



Check out my online, on-demand Writing for the Web course on Udemy.

Writing for the Web