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Managing overtime is not an easy task, especially if your company is using manual time cards and spreadsheets — an archaic practice at best, although, several companies still track employee hours, overtime and leave policies using these tools

Tracking overtime does not have to be that hard, especially if you are using a modern time and attendance solutions. Here are excerpts from an article, on how to manage overtime, by Rob Press for online magazine TLNT titled; 6 Ways to Minimize the Impact of the New US Overtime Rules

Simplify complex policies: Review your overtime policy, reading it through the eyes of the employees. You may find that by simplifying your policy, you could actually minimize the amount of work that you need to do to approve each request.

Complex policies were actually at the root of a recent class action in California. At some company facilities, there was a flat “no overtime” policy. At others, the policy stated that prior approval for overtime must be given by two relevant managers; something that the employees stated was an “impossible task” when they were under pressure to get the job done. Ultimately, the company agreed to settle the case for $20 million.

This really shows just how many complex stages can often be involved in overtime policies, and begs the question: Could making policies more straightforward – and consistent — not only help businesses to achieve their goals, but also help to make HR and manager workloads more manageable?

Focus on organization: To manage overtime like a boss, we need to focus on overtime specifically, right? Well, maybe not. To properly manage overtime, it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

There was a very interesting study undertaken by the US Postal Service across the Northeastern states which found that managers who failed to effectively manage unscheduled leave ended up having to deal with more overtime. According to the report, “management did not effectively manage unscheduled leave, which contributed to overtime hours.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Track employee hours: It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been working in HR for years or you’re just starting out in your career, you know, or will quickly discover, that employees are bad — very bad — at tracking their time. With so many other tasks that need to be prioritized, filling in timesheets often ends up at the bottom of the list.

And the problem doesn’t end there. Even when employees do try to track their time, they’re often doing it days later, which means the hours they’re putting down probably aren’t all that accurate. According to studies of memory, people quickly forget what they learn. What did you have for lunch three days ago?

Analyze: One of the most vital aspects of good overtime management is what it can tell us about workforce practices. As an HR professional, you’re not only responsible for supporting employees, but also for supporting the business, and for raising concerns that can help it improve.

One of the other advantages that an automated tracking system offers is the ability to analyze time and attendance. You can do this with paper timesheets, but it’s much harder.

Minimize overtime: Of course, the absolute best way to manage overtime is to have less of it. Ha! Easier said than done right? Well, being able to reduce overtime isn’t something that’s guaranteed, but there are a few methods that can minimize the need for extra hours.

Although there are any number of reasons for overtime, when it becomes endemic that’s often a sign there are not enough resources to complete the necessary tasks within the time given.

Managing change: Understanding how to better manage overtime is a significant part of handling the big changes that are taking place within the HR industry right now. With HR professionals expected to receive more requests for overtime payments than ever before under the new rules, now is the perfect time to look at improving internal processes and honing management skills for efficient and effective working”.

So, to summarize; proactively managing your employees’ overtime, avoiding surprises and preparing for the future can reduce your expense, protect your organization from unwanted legal action, and improve morale across the company.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand is a best-of-best 21st century human capital management (HCM) software provides an end-to-end employee lifecycle management solution. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand Workforce Management solutions help meet your workforce needs regardless of your industry or where you do business.

Interested in learning how you can curb overtime with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand? Go to our website and take a test drive. You can also reach an account executive at 866.294.2467.

Every executive knows that talent is a company’s most important asset. And, managing that talent effectively can help improve company performance. Giving employees more autonomy around benefits, time-off requests, and other essential employment information can help accomplish this goal. When you offer a broad range of HR self-service options, your employees are more likely to develop a sense of ownership, and your HR department can stay focus on more strategic issues, rather than manual administrative details.

Want to eliminate your company’s use of paper for requesting time-off?  Here are 5 benefits of employee self-service with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand:

  1. Reduce administrative time and ease compliance: Rapidly request, review, and approve time off, shifting your time from administrative tasks to more productive ones. Time-Off requests are checked against company policies in real time to enforce rules like minimum balances or black-out periods.
  2. Empower people: Employees can manage their absence requests any time, anywhere, using a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
  3. Accurate, consistent leave management: Accurate and consistent leave of absence management minimizes the risk of employee grievances. Automated electronic administration of leave eligibility and requirements ensures cases are managed accurately, consistently, and thoroughly — every time.
  4. Time and attendance: Employees can update their own availability, request time off, view schedules, clock in and out, and trade shifts – letting them better manage their work-life balance.
  5. Automatic updates: Any update made to an employee’s HR record seamlessly flows across the application in real-time. There is no need for any duplicate data entry.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand employee self-service automates the administration and tracking of paid and unpaid federal, provincial, and employer-specific leave policies and can be configured to match the needs of your organization to maintain balances, reduce manual process errors, and control absence costs. And, by removing manual tasks from the traditional leave management process, ATS employee self-service ensures accurate data and full visibility, is enabled when tracking and managing employee leave.

To download a demonstration, or to register for one of our bi-monthly webinars go to our website. And, to reach an account executive by phone, call; 866.294.2467.

Whether you are the CEO, CFO, Chief Information or Chief People Officer running a busy company comes with many challenges including your health.  Afterall, if you don’t take care of your health, how can you lead a productive workforce? In fact, more often than not, a company’s employees tend to model the behaviours of their leader. So, for instance, if the boss habitually works 50-60 hours a week, employees will feel compelled to follow this pattern or risk being seen as not working hard enough.

Sue Pridham’s article written for the Globe and Mail titled Seven tips for busy executives to stay healthy is the perfect antidote for busy executives who overwork themselves and, as a result, struggle to find time for selfcare.

Those seven tips are as follows:

1. Get 7 to 8 hours sleep. If you are low on energy, gaining weight and grumpy, chances are you aren’t getting enough sleep. One night without sleep, or several nights with too few hours of sleep, leaves you driving as if you are legally drunk at a blood alcohol content of 0.08.

2. Eat breakfast daily. The purpose of eating breakfast is to give your body some much needed energy after a long night of sleep.

3. Manage stress. Take wellness breaks throughout the day to recharge and encourage your team to do the same. Leave work at a reasonable hour and let others know you have a life beyond work. They will take note and do the same. Take your well-deserved vacation and try to stay unplugged as much as possible.

4. Exercise daily. If your team sees you making fitness a priority, they will follow suit. That could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk or run midday, encouraging your department to take a stretch break. Another way is to walk and talk. Get out of the boardroom and host a walking meeting. This will stimulate blood flow and get the creative juices flowing. Keep a pair of running shoes under your desk and walk after lunch or at break times. Go for a walk with the family after dinner to reduce screen time.

5. Eat 7 to 8 fruits and vegetables each day. People who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a significantly lower risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

6. Practise gratitude. We can get so caught up in the thrill of the next deal and achieving targets that we forget to recognize the efforts of our team along the way. Take time to show thanks. No one has ever faulted their employer for giving too much praise.

7. Stay connected. Social connections can strengthen our immune systems, lower rates of anxiety and depression and improve our self-esteem. Connecting with people makes us happy, which in turn keeps us healthy. Get out from behind your desk and give your employees some face time.

Bottomline: In today’s ‘always on’ digital era, as an executive, you have information coming at you from every angle. And, after a long day of mind consuming tasks, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted. But you won’t be doing a good job at anything if you are not giving your brain a break, and at the same time, risking your health in the process.

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Do you work for a company that expects you to respond to emails at all hours of the night? or worse, while you are on vacation with your family? Several studies, including one from Modern Family Index have uncovered that these long and unnecessary hours, that you are being asked to work is damaging to family life, with several employees feeling obliged to work longer hours to meet expectations. In other words, constantly sacrificing family time, all in the name of work.

6 ways to support working parents is an insightful article written by Sharon Florentine for CIO.com and reads, in part:

“Be flexible

One of the simplest strategies Levin recommends is flexibility. Whether through remote or flexible work arrangements, job-sharing, staggered hours or otherwise, working parents need flexibility. “Parents need to be able to go to doctor’s appointments, their kids’ baseball games, school conferences or to work from home if their child is sick. We say around here, ‘if it’s working at home, it’s working at work,’ so you have to make sure you’re doing what you can to make it work for parents at home,” Levin says.

Dependent care assistance

You don’t have to offer an on-site daycare, though many progressive businesses do, but you should consider offering some type of subsidy for child care assistance, Levin says. If you have child-free workers, consider offering elder care or another comparable benefit. Not only do these kinds of benefits, inspire loyalty, but they’re a great perk to mention when you’re trying to attract and hire talent.

Paid parental leave

Modern dads are more engaged than ever in all aspects of caregiving. As of 2010, fathers are the primary caregivers for about 25 percent of preschool-aged kids, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the federal government mandates parental leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, that time is unpaid, leaving many two-parent working families trying to make ends meet without one income. It’s even more difficult for single parents.

Create affinity groups

Another simple way to support working parents that is gaining traction is through the creation of support and/or affinity groups. “We are seeing informal, casual affinity groups working really well in the business world. For instance, a group for new moms to help them integrate back into the workplace, or a group for working dads to connect with each other,” Levin says. It can be a great way for employees to share information about perks and benefits, and to connect more closely with others at their company who are facing the same challenges.

Offer on-site perks

One of the major challenges faced by working parents is time, says Levin. Between work, household responsibilities and the demands of everyday life, it can seem impossible to get it all done.

Set an example for all parents

Companies are motivated by financial incentives, and you can’t afford for people to jump ship. Family benefits enhance productivity, keep people much more focused and they’re appreciative. Your turnover is reduced. It helps with recruiting talent, too, because while candidates might not ask out loud about these benefits, they go to Glassdoor and read about them, and that helps them want to work for you,” Levin says.

Some of today’s progressive-thinking companies offers several incentives to entice talent that include; games night, free snacks, coffee and tea. But, if your company wants to attract really good talent, and your list of perks does not include support for working parents, it’s time to redo that list. In the end, it is not only the right thing to do, it will also increase workforce productivity.

Ok, So The Honeymoon Is Over With The New Job. Now What?

April 30th, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Career | Employee Productivity | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Ok, So The Honeymoon Is Over With The New Job. Now What?)

Starting a new job often comes with a wave of new excitement, meetings are new and fresh and your boss is patient, supportive and positive. Your motivation and energy level may be higher than they have been for a long time. And, for many employees, happiness is at its highest point during the first six months with a new employer because of it.

As time passes, your motivation decreases. You begin, to doubt the company’s goals and ways of doing business, and worse you start to disagree with your boss. In the past you were keen about sharing ideas with the company, but now you keep those ideas to yourself. You also begin to realize that you cannot change your boss or this company anyway, so what’s the point? Meetings are useless and annoying as far as you are concerned.

In an article titled, This is how to stay fulfilled at your job, even as the years goby Jillian Kramer, from Glassdoor are six tips for those who have become disillusion with their jobs after a period of time. These tips include:


1. Switch things up

You may have to do the same things, but try not to do them the same ways. “Try to work on different tasks or use different strengths in your job instead of always doing the same thing in the same order,” Crawford says. “Using different strengths are important to fulfillment.”

2. Become a mentor

According to millennial career coach Jill Jacinto, “Sometimes it helps to pay it forward to remind yourself why you fell in love with your career when you did. Helping someone with her career will energize you and give you a chance to learn from a younger generation too.”

3. Learn something new

Before boredom–and dissatisfaction–can set in, it’s time to learn something new, says Crawford. “Take an online course or learn about new software that would be beneficial to your line of work,” she says. “Stay up to date. Staying in the know helps keeps you sharp.”

4. Network with others

“Sometimes meeting with fresh faces can inspire you,” says Jacinto. So, attend a conference, reach out to your LinkedIn network, or send an email to a former co-worker. “Sharing your career story and hearing [another] perspective can help spur creativity and partnerships.”

5. Talk with your boss

It might be easy to wait for annual performance reviews to talk to your boss. But don’t, says Crawford. “Let them know your professional goals, and ask to take on new projects and for feedback about your overall performance,” she says. “They will keep you in mind, and plus, this provides the opportunity to work on tasks that contribute to your overall happiness.”

6. Practice self-care

“Self-care is very important and something that is too often dismissed,” says Jacinto. And so, to stay happy at work, “make sure that work isn’t getting in the way or preoccupying your thoughts–take that beach vacation, attend weekly Pilates classes, get a massage, or go on a hike. By regularly making self-care a part of your routine, you are allowing yourself to check out, but also to feel refreshed and inspired for when you get back to the office.”

Bottom line, while the responsibility lies on the shoulder of employers to make sure they have a happy and productive workforce, you can also be proactive if you are not happy at your job. Sometimes it’s just figuring out what attracted you to the job in the first place and whether you can rekindle the initial wave of excitement you had for the job, when you started. That said, when a job becomes unbearable, to the point that you are not looking forward to it each day-a wholesome change like finding a new job, might be your best bet.

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Want To Know If Your Passion For Work Equates To Being A Workaholic?

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Career | Employee Productivity | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Want To Know If Your Passion For Work Equates To Being A Workaholic?)

Some of us really love our jobs to the point of being passionate about it and that’s ok. However, it’s when our job becomes an obsession and everything else in our lives becomes secondary to it, that’s when you know, or at least should know, there is a problem. You can still love your job and make time for family and friends and request time-off.  

Here are some useful tips from an article titled, (5 Signs You’re Addicted To Work) by Priyansha Mistry that can help you determine if you are a workaholic.

1) “When you always spend much more time than allocated working.

It’s understandable that some days will require extra time to beat deadlines. This is a different case when you always spend time not allocated to working with a fear of failing. Doing so means you are allowing your work to cheaply override other important things in your life, that’s a sign of work addiction.

2) If you have neglected advise from others to cut down working hours.

A behavior noticed by more than two persons independently is not likely a false recognition. The individuals asking you to cut down working hours are seeing your attitude at work than you do.

3) You hate being prohibited at work

If you can’t have a moment without thinking about how to contribute at work, taking your work materials to vacations, feel you are missing out each time you have to spend a day or hours of work doing something else, you are probably addicted to work. It’s becoming a drug that makes you function.

4) You think of how you can free up more time to work

This means you are willing to de-prioritize your hobbies, cut down time you should spend with your family or anything else to give you extra time for work. Something is not normal; you may be dealing with work addiction.

5) You work too much that it has affected your health

This is a terrible situation difficult to realize and gradually take the victims down. It could be psychological or even physical health. If you’re the type that will sit for too long knowing it’s not good for your spine and still wish to sacrifice it to get so much done regularly, there’s a red flag. If you can observe a little change in your health as a result of extra contributions you’re making at work, there’s a big chance you’re a workaholic”.

Some of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, so it goes without saying, that it should be a factor in our happiness. That said, work should not be the only place where we derive all our happiness.

Do you identify with any of above-mentioned signs? If so, it might be time to book that vacation that you have been putting off for a couple of years.  

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Many of today’s mid and small size businesses understand the benefits of using modern-day business applications to drive productivity. And, while some of these businesses see a return on investment, because they start using the systems right away, others either delay their implementations, due in part, to unforeseen circumstances or simply because they do not have the sufficient personnel on staff to take steer the project. In reality, these delays in using the applications are no fault of these companies.

A recent article by Sarah Fister Gale for workforce.com Why SMBs Are Buying — But Not Using — HR Tech provides some insight into the reasons why this tends to happen.

“Small and midsized businesses may be investing in more HR technology, but they aren’t making good use of it, and that’s a shame. A new survey from HRIS provider BerniePortal found that while 64 percent of small and midsized businesses use HR software, few are using technology to manage the full scope of HR”.

Here are some immediate benefits that can be derived by using the business productivity solution that your company recently purchased:

Gain a single view of your workforce by: Leveraging data and HR analytics with greater speed and ease when making business decisions. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HR analytics solutions for small and mid-size businesses, provide data-driven insight across the entire companyand simplifies workforce planning to help eliminate errors that impede business success.

Reduce business complexity with: 21st century data collectors that captures and reports information in real-time through payroll, thus providing user-friendly tools that help your employees work more efficiently and support your business as it grows.

Eradicate stress by maximizing workforce visibility: with ATS HCM cloud-based workforce management software. Consolidate all employee information into a single system, automate employee intuitive dashboards and manager workflows, facilitate, and develop, data-driven HR strategies.

The article goes on to say; “For very small companies just beginning the HR software journey, LaRocque encouraged them to start with core HR solutions. “You want to get payroll, benefits, time and attendance, and paid time off in order, and there are a lot of platforms designed to help small companies do all that,” he said. “Then you can start looking at purpose-built solutions to meet your specific workforce needs.”

The HR problems a company faces will determine the kinds of tools they should deploy — but they shouldn’t delay. “If you think you don’t have time for technology you’ve got your head in the sand,” he said. The time savings that HR leaders achieve by automating laborious HR tasks make these tools immediately worth the investment, especially for small companies with under-staffed HR teams”.

Bottomline-if you have taken the time to invest in the technology, your company will realize a return on investment (ROI) if you are engaged from inception to completion.

To learn more about ATS HCM Workforce Management Solution, go to our website. You can also download a demo, or you can attend one of our bi-weekly webinars. And, to reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

Transitioning from traditional licensed, on-premise to cloud-based application can appear formidable, if not well throughout. However, the transition might not be as difficult as you think. In fact, with the right vendor, and mindset the transition can be one much smoother than you originally thought. So, with this in mind, here are 6 reasons to move to the cloud with ATS TimeWorkOnDemand cloud application:

Nimble: The speed of cloud adoption has been surprisingly rapid across all sizes of customers. Traditional barriers to moving to the cloud such as security and data privacy issues have slowly dissipated.

HR Analytics: It’s at your fingertips. Analytics for HR, payroll and finance-translates to no longer have to wait for someone to tell you what’s happening. Data extrapolation takes place in real-time, which means, you have access to the latest information.

Automation Your Way: The automation capabilities built into ATS TimeWorkOnDemand reduces payroll transactional processes and tasks. Those in the department will spend less time re-keying things like employee punch in out times data. In fact, they will now have, more accuracy and visibility, and will be able to deliver what employees really need. Employees, too, will benefit from better insights into their status, through employee self-service to see, their; time-off requests, schedules and hours worked.

An End-To-End System: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand covers the complete workforce management journey, upon deployment of your solution. You and your organization can experience immediate real-time visibility of information, and work with updates and changes that take place seamlessly and quickly. In addition, our solution is delivered via cloud platform, built from the ground up. You know it’s, compliant and easy to introduce into different provinces across Canada and throughout North America and beyond.

Reduced IT Workload: By eliminating the need for hardware and software purchases, your IT department or consultant can focus on other initiatives of your business.

Rapid Deployment and Easy Integration: With ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, employees can be set up within weeks rather than months. Built on a robust cloud computing platform, ATS TimeWorkOnDemand relies on simple user configuration. This helps our customers achieve their objectives without going through lengthy discovery and deployment processes. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand allows for fast, easy and powerful integration. Data can seamlessly move between ATS TimeWorkOnDemand and other third-party applications, such as payroll. This cuts down on re-keying data, and reduces the risk of data duplication. As a result, it significantly increases accuracy and efficiency, and gives you a single source of truth for all your people data

More and more customers are seeking the benefits of cloud computing, and ATS is delivering the experience and service they expect. We host and manage your workforce management system in the cloud, where users can securely access the application(s) over the web — at any time, from anywhere — using mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktops.

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand will transform your organization into a streamlined and cost-saving and productive business. Not only will this help boost the strategic value of your HR department, it will go a long way toward unlocking future business growth for you.

To learn more about ATS TimeWorkOnDemand, go to our website. You can also register for one of our bi-weekly webinars. And to reach an account executive, call: 866.294.2467.

How To Alleviate Stress From Your Everyday Worklife

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Careers | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on How To Alleviate Stress From Your Everyday Worklife)

Eliminating stress from your work entirely is a nice goal, but of course, we all know that’s not really possible. Some stress is good because, it propels us to complete projects that might otherwise, go unfinished.

There are also a number of ways one can decrease stress at work, some of which might include; taking the occasional break, not working 10 hours or more a day, taking vacation time, and not responding to work emails after hours or on weekends.

Vikki Ledbetter article, article titled 3 steps to a work detoxoffers some tips on the importance of taking a break from the everyday grind. These steps include:

“1. Prepare: Look at your calendar and move meetings. Think about commitments the week following your time out and alert relevant people that you’ll be unavailable. And, of course, communicate your time off as early as possible so your team isn’t caught off guard.

Planning can also illuminate opportunities to train others and give them a chance to try something new, as well as highlight holes in documentation for how you do what you do. Developing tutorials or even one-pagers on your work processes can serve you and your team well long term.

2. Set boundaries: With a physical detox, there are some strict no-nos to your diet, right? Likewise, with a work detox you’ll have to ensure you’re not welcoming stimulants that cause you unrest. There aren’t a lot of occasions where you truly can’t be reached, despite what your out of office message may say. But that doesn’t mean you should be available at all times.

3. Take in the good stuff: Now it’s time to focus on what you can do during your break to kickstart your work detox and leave you feeling refreshed. Make time for hobbies and people that make you happy, and the earlier the better. If you love hiking, schedule it for the first half of your day so you are, in some ways, forced to disconnect from work. If you enjoy writing, set aside time to take yourself on a coffee date for just you and your journal.”

If you have included things like working less and not taking on too many projects as part your New Year goals, good for you. And, if not perhaps this might be something you can add to your list of goals. Hopefully, we still have not abandoned those New Year resolutions yet?

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Have You Started Thinking About New Year’s Resolutions For 2019?

December 28th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Have You Started Thinking About New Year’s Resolutions For 2019?)

Now that all the shopping, eating and family festivities are all done, here comes the tradition of New Year resolutions that we will hear a lot about in the first few weeks of 2019. And, in the world of business, increasing sales, will likely top the list of things that most businesses, both small and large will have on their to-do list.

Mike Maddock’s list of Ten Resolutions The Most Successful People Make And Then Keep at Forbes.com is quite handy if your company is compiling its own list.

Those resolutions are:

1.Spend more time on the not-to-do list
Strategy is the art of sacrifice. That’s why you may consider creating a larger clearing for what really matters by first identifying, and then avoiding, what matters the least. Your time is a treasure to be invested. Creating a list of things that you are not going to do, allows you to invest more of your treasured time on the few things that matter the most.

2. Essential first, email second
What’s the first thing you do in the morning? For many of us, it is looking at email. We wake up with a renewed mind and spirit, ready to take on the world, and then we immediately allow ourselves to be distracted by an insignificant email. Instead, wake up,take on the most important task of the day, and then (and only then) hit the email

3.Resolve to think about “Who” instead of “What”
Do you work for a “What” business or for a “Who” business? Successful companies run the risk of focusing too much on their current products and distributors thus—the “What”—losing sight of the constant and dramatically changing needs of their customer base. (The “Who.”) Insurance, pharma, health care, higher education often listen too much to their agents, doctors and professors. The real innovation starts with the end consumer.

4. Resolve to find your purpose
As my friend Simon Sinek will tell you: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Starting a career, a company or any kind of journey that is based firmly on your purpose is foundational to success and happiness. If you don’t know your company’s purpose or even your own, finding one is the worthiest of resolutions.

5. Resolve to support a cause
If you’re reading this, chances are you are one of the rare people who know how to start things. Fortunately, there are people like you who have already started causes that make the world better—they feed the hungry; they save the rain forest; they fight cancer; they do good things. There is virtually a cause for everyone, and contributing will make your year happier. Promise.

6. Resolve to invent more choices
Here’s a secret that happy people know that I learned from my friend Dr. Dan Baker: You can’t feel grateful and fearful at the same time. And one certain way to become afraid is to feel trapped by any situation. The remedy is choice. The more choices you feel you have, the less trapped—and happier—you will feel. So this year, resolve to do a bit of brainstorming every time you feel unhappy.

7. Resolve to find a Yin for your Yang 
Walt Disney had Roy Disney, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak and Orville Wright had Wilbur Wright. Wherever there is great innovation, there is a Dreamer and an Operator; an Idea Monkey and a (Ring) leader. First, determine where your passions lie, then go find an equally passionate partner, then go change the world.

8. Resolve to get outside your jar 
You can’t read the label when you are sitting inside the jar. The sad irony of being an expert is that it keeps you from seeing possibility. After all, you know what works, what doesn’t, what you can afford, what’s been tried in the past. Instead of relying only on your expertise, learn how to find other experts solving similar challenges to the ones you are facing. Go ask them what you may be missing.

9. Resolve to be the creator
What is the outcome you want? What stands in your way? How do you overcome these obstacles? These three simple questions will keep you from being victimized by any situation. Creators change the world. Victims just bitch about stuff.

10. Plan vacations (now)
You have probably heard the saying, “Life is what happens when you are not paying attention.” Unfortunately for many of us, we let this become true. Do yourself a favor and plan your vacations for the next year today. I promise you that the days around your vacation will fill in nicely. I also promise you that you’ll have something to look forward to and the life that happens during your vacations will be precious.

The stats on how often people keep up with New Year’s resolutions are dismal, at best. Part of the reason why most people don’t live up to their New Year’s goals, are because, those goals are too unrealistic to begin. So, perhaps part of New Year’s resolution list should include a step, by step guide on how to reach each goal or target?

Happy New Year!

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