New Year, New Me

POSTED ON LINKEDIN, MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2016

It’s a new year and a new semester. What are your personal and professional goals this year, and how do you plan to follow through on them? #NewYearNewMe

Every year, people make the same New Year’s resolutions as previous years; staying fit, losing weight, and traveling more are only some of the goals people set for themselves in 2015. Many New Year’s resolutions are broken because people focus on the end result, as well as choose goals that are driven by negative emotions, as told by social psychologist and Harvard Business School Professor Amy Cuddy. Cuddy explains that people who establish a goal — more often than not — lack focus on the goal-reaching process and instead only think about the end of that goal; others who choose goals pursue them with negative emotions that serve as their motivation, which is something that only works for some. With all the above in mind, I gave myself some time to think of goals that will help further myself professionally, personally, and physically.

The notorious spreadsheet of Microsoft Excel

Become Well-Versed in Microsoft Excel

It’s a given that every graduating business student should know the fundamentals of the Microsoft Office Suite. In my opinion, one of the most important software programs any student of any major can learn is Microsoft Excel. In summary, people in all industries and across all functions utilize Excel to analyze and organize data. I signed up for a course through Udemy, (It was just $15 at the time!) because I told myself that if I want to get a leg up on my competition, I would need to invest in my professional development. You do not have to always spend money in order to develop as a professional, but when learned about Udemy’s features in this online course, along with a bargain I could not resist, I could not say no. Nevertheless, investing in one’s professional development is usually a good return on investment.

Spanish is one of the most commonly-spoken languages, along with Mandarin, Arabic, French, and English

Reach a Level of Professional Fluency in Spanish

I started taking Spanish classes in the fifth grade and took it every year until I graduated from high school. I used the Spanish I knew while working at Staples in high school when need-be, which is when my knowledge of the language began to pay off. As I have gone through college, where a good number of students speak Spanish as their first language, I did not speak it very often and, therefore, started losing what I knew. My goal is to take the Rosetta Stone that I started years back and pick up where I started from (or perhaps, refresh from where I paused in my learning and continue to get the ball rolling), as well as speak it more often at school. Fortunately, Rosetta Stone has five levels, and my goal is to get halfway through the program by the end of the year.

Become a Beginner in a New Language

Knowing a second language is great, but in today’s day and age, I have begun to ask myself, “Is knowing English fluently and Spanish with some fluency going to cut it, for me?” I came to my own conclusion that soon, knowing two languages will be standard in the workplace, and learning a third language will provide me many benefits. As a business student, I can tell potential future employers that I know a third language (in addition to English and Spanish), enabling me to not only work with clients in said language but the opportunity to go and work on projects with people who speak said language. I have yet to determine what that third language is, but I have a few in mind right now. What language do you think I should learn next?

Going to the Gym

Lastly, the past two-and-a-half years have been difficult for me getting into the gym, not because of my lack of motivation, but the physical toll resulting on my body. In the summer of 2013, a doctor diagnosed me with cubital tunnel syndrome, a physical condition resulting in numbness and tingling of the ring and little (pinky) fingers. I would go to work out, and after each session, the pain in my left arm worsened. I had surgery in 2014 and rested my arm for several months. This past summer, I simply put off going to the gym because of my work schedule, and now I have come to realize that I am going to continue what I started towards the end of high school.

In the next few weeks, think about what measurable goals you want to accomplish this year and what matters most to you. Let these ideas guide you to creating your own goals that you can achieve. Best of luck in 2016!

#BabsonPerspectives #StudentVoices