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2024 New Year’s Resolutions

By Jamie Seow on Thu 25 January 2024

New Year Resolutions

It’s important to keep yourself committed to self-improvement and meeting your goals throughout your placement year, and 2024 should help kickstart this! Explore the resolutions Jamie, our Project Management Placement, aspires to fulfil this year and in the remaining months of his role... 
 

Hi, I’m Jamie, the Project Management Placement in the Project Delivery team at ProspectSoft. The first few months of my placement have flown by. I have already managed to develop myself and my skills in this short space of time. In this blog, I am going to share my 2024 New Year’s resolutions and objectives that will help me improve my skills and how having an active continuous mindset is important to further enhance my skillset.  

A new year can bring new changes and improvements to your daily life as well as being the time of the year to reflect on the past year. Setting and creating New Year’s resolutions can be a fantastic way to improve your personal growth and strive for positive changes. This is the time of year when I like to write down a few personal and professional development goals related to my hobbies and interests, work, and education. 

Firstly, one resolution I like to always work on every year is working on my health and fitness. This is a very typical resolution that many people have. This can include a huge range of different aims and objectives such as going to the gym several times a week, eating a healthier diet, or reaching a certain number of hours of sleep to name a few. Personally, I relate this resolution to the main sport I play, badminton. I reflect on my past year and achievements and how I can train and develop my skills to improve for the year ahead. Additionally, instead of having my goal be fairly qualitative like ‘Win as many matches as possible in a match night’ I tend to add quantitative measures such as ‘Aim to achieve an 80% win rate in my next two match nights’. To succeed in this goal, I would need to maintain a high level of concentration throughout and ensure that my stamina is consistent throughout all the matches. Over the years, I have found that this has not only developed my badminton skills and helped boost my physical fitness but also my mental well-being. 

Another resolution I set every year is related to my education and studies. Being on a placement this year has allowed me to set myself different types of on-the-job skills to enhance my professional development in a real-world business environment. From when I started my placement back in August 2023, I have since already learned and developed a wide range of different skills but I hope in 2024 to continue to learn something new every week. Instead of having large resolutions and goals that are harder to track, I like to break them down into smaller targets. For example, I like to break down my overriding placement goal of ‘Learning and developing as many skills as possible and to get the most out of this unique opportunity in the real-life environment’ into smaller more manageable, and trackable aims such as ‘By the end of February I want to be able to have the confidence to present presentations to the company and to do this I need to work on my organisation skills by the end of January to ensure I am prepared for the presentation’. Having smaller goals allows me to have greater reflection on my progress and enables me to kept track of my progress throughout the year. 

Linked with education and studies, I try to learn something new every year. This can be a range of different activities such as: learning a new language, starting to play a musical instrument, or expanding your knowledge of a new skill. One of my resolutions this year is to understand and develop my technical abilities which includes gaining a greater knowledge of different IT systems and understanding of databases such as SQL and APIs. Being a Project Management Assistant, I use Power BI on a daily basis but I am looking forward to developing a greater a better understanding of how to create Power BI dashboards from a dataset. Throughout the placement year, there will be endless of opportunities to gain experience and having the willingness to learn is fundamental to getting the most out of your placement! 

One important resolution I like is, to spend as much time with family and friends as possible (even though we may be miles apart!). Strengthening these close relationships and creating notable memories whether face-to-face or online is an important goal I aim to achieve, especially as people get busier as time goes on. In addition to this, socialising with people with similar interests is a good way to develop a connection and allows you to network more with people in similar industries. For example, as a placement student in a customer-facing role this year, I am going to try and talk to as many colleagues and clients as possible to build on my communication skills and gather greater commercial awareness of the industry. 

Volunteering and contributing back to the community are great resolutions to have. Having previously volunteered in a charity shop for several years and seeing how I could personally have influence not only to the shop but also to the charity’s cause was a huge achievement. I felt a sense of fulfilment and happiness to be helping less fortunate people and volunteering alongside liked-minded volunteers! As a current placement student at ProspectSoft and The Access Group, I can support The Access Foundation. The Access Foundation is committed to making a difference in people’s lives. Some of the key principles of the foundation are to have an Access Charity of The Year and to give its employees one specific paid ‘Charity Day’ to go and support charities. I look forward to the year ahead to see how I can support the local community but also with the help of The Access Foundation ensuring that I can support national causes. 

Working a 9-5 job can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming. Finding ways to help reduce stress can be a crucial resolution to ensure you have a good work-life balance. There are many effective ways to manage stress and switch your brain off from work mode; some methods work better than others. For some people, this could be having a daily mindfulness routine to reflect on the day or the previous day to help reset and relax your mind or starting a gratitude journal to keep track of things for which you are grateful. However, for others, this could be starting a hobby club or sport to meet new people and talk to people outside of family and colleagues. Adding these activities to your life can improve your overall well-being and help you to become more relaxed and productive. For me, I enjoy playing badminton several times a week. These badminton sessions help me to completely forget about everything related to work and study. This is where I know I can relax after a stressful day. In addition, this year, I have tried to include another resolution which is to read more. This could be fictional books, non-fictional books, educational articles, or keeping up with the local and industry news to help broaden my awareness and knowledge. This will strength my ability to solve different problems. To achieve this during my placement year, I have set aside time during my lunch and an hour after work to read more, even if it just a few articles or pages a day! 

All these resolutions will help me manage and mature my skills to be prepared for the next half of the year and placement. For example, developing and expanding my personal and professional skillset will help me to become more effective and efficient in my job as I can have a better understanding of my job role. Additionally, having commercial awareness and having a network in the industry as a placement student is important, especially when looking for jobs. Balancing work, trying to achieve all the different resolutions, and making time for family and friends will help you improve your organisational and time-management skills. These skills are fundamental to being a Project Management Assistant at ProspectSoft. 

 Life Motivation Graph

To conclude, to make sure that you keep your resolutions throughout the year is to create and set realistic and achievable goals; breaking down the larger goals into smaller, more measurable goals to ensure you can track your progress. Furthermore, progress is not always uphill, there will be ups and downs to reach the end goal but staying on the right track is key to maintaining and succeeding in your resolutions! 

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