Thanksgiving is over and before we know it, it’ll be New Year’s Eve. Every year people talk about their New Year’s resolutions but how many people are still at it in March? Let’s look at 5 simple habits to start before the New Year that can help you grow in your personal and professional life.

  1. Hop out of that comfort zone.

I cannot stress the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone. You need to volunteer, complete a certification, join a board or committee, go on a date ALONE, or try something adventurous. Creating a bucket list is one way to start thinking about all of the things you want to do in life. Try creating a bucket list of a variety of things you’ve always wanted to do, whether big or small, and frame it (literally buy a picture frame & frame it) so you can see it every day. Once you have your items listed, you want to put a plan in place. If there are major or more costly things on your list, you want to schedule those ahead of time (ex. attending a conference, sky diving, etc.) For the smaller, more flexible items, you still want to schedule it, but treat it just like a doctor’s appointment, so you do not put it off or use an excuse (number 3) to not participate. Stepping outside of your comfort zone allows you to diversify your experiences, your thoughts, meet new people, and build self-confidence by completing something you’ve always thought of but haven’t actually put a plan in place to complete. This is the time to start challenging yourself and going after the life you want.

  1. Put your phone away.

It drives me crazy to attend networking events, dinner parties, committee meetings, etc. to only people scrolling on their phone connecting with people online instead of the people right in front of them. Surprisingly, I’ve noticed, this is no longer just the millennials but has now spread to all ages. As soon as we pull out our phones we slide into our comfort zones and are mentally excused from the current situation. If you are attending a networking event, it is to CONNECT with other people. When attending your next event, slide your phone in your purse or your pocket, make eye contact, introduce yourself, and get to know the people around  you. Enjoy the moment and live in the present.

  1. Drop the excuses.

I think it is amazing how we are able to make excuses for literally everything that does not go our way or for something that we do not want to do. Many times excuses are created from not properly planning, fear of hurting another person from not being honest, or simply just self-doubt. We couldn’t make it to the gym because we didn’t take into account we had four events to attend this week so instead of trying to go in the evening, we should’ve planned to go in the morning. Instead of telling the person we are just not interested in them, we blow them off or lead them on. Instead of attending the event we really wanted to go to, we use the excuse of I won’t know anyone. You get it? We have to make up in our mind that if we want to do something, that we do it. Period. If we do not want to do something, then we don’t, and be honest and okay about it. We have to remain confident and stand in our truth of what we really want out of life. Excuses justify what we don’t truly value without feeling bad about it. One of my favorite quotes is, “people make time for the things they really want to make time for.”  Those “things” are people, places, continued education, and anything else of value.

  1. Share your goals & start collaborating.

Talk about frustrating. I get it. You think someone is going to steal your idea or will judge you for how large of an idea you have. Well it sounds like you need to get rid of those people. I had to find a good balance between talking about my goals to everyone and talking to the right people about my goals. Not everyone will see the vision you have for your life, and that’s okay. They are not supposed to. God gave you, YOUR vision for a reason. This is something you need to execute. Granted, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed so it is important to discuss with the right people. Those are people that you can trust and that have your best interest, so you can get better guidance or assistance in executing your goals. This can also open up opportunities to collaborate on projects in the future. Remember, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

  1. Start discussing how to build wealth.

You will hear me talk about Pauleanna Reid all of the time. This girl changed my life, foreal. One of my favorite quotes from Pauleanna goes something like this, “If you have 5 broke friends, you will be the 6th.” Point. Blank. Period. We have to start discussing our finances with one another to ensure that we are all arriving at the negotiation table with the same basic requirements. Celebrities such as Gabrielle Union have been known for discussing finances with her friends in the industry so no one is getting low-balled. But guess what, if they were not having these conversations, someone would be getting the bottom of the barrel. This is something that we, as young professionals, need to be discussing in our personal circles as well. Can we go into 2020 honestly talking about money and initiating how to build wealth? Let’s chat about how to make more of it, save it, invest it, and double it.

What other habits are you starting in 2020? Share below!

Published by Verlaine Quinniey

Verlaine is the Founder & CEO for The Connect 757. She is on a mission to connect Black Professionals so we can #getconnected & #stayconnected. Email:

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