What is it about New Year’s resolutions? The mark of “Day 1” on a fresh, empty 365-day calendar seems to evoke a sense of newness and possibility within us. We chart out the New Year with high hopes of finally losing those ten stubborn pounds, tucking away 10% of our paychecks into a savings account, and adapting a healthier, more well-rounded lifestyle.
The New Year makes many of us crave changes in areas we seem to be lacking, or spots that could use a bit of TLC. We do our best to write down both short and long-term goals, and work hard to set ourselves up in a way that will help us reach them by the end of the year.
Resolutions, however, don’t always pan out the way we expect. Some of us just can’t bring ourselves to spend a year without chocolate. Too many of us quit the exercise routine in exchange for our comfy couch after a hard day of work. Some of our resolutions fall to the wayside mid-year, and it’s difficult to get back into the scheduled routine we shaped for ourselves.
What if our resolution was easier, though? What if instead of focusing on weight, or bad habits, or anything else we’d like to change that seems impossible, we dedicate our attention on one thing: a new, happy niche.
Consider your current job situation. If you’re miserable with the 9-5 routine, hate Mondays, and genuinely suffer from employment unhappiness, perhaps what you need to do in 2016 is finally find the career of your dreams. Maybe instead of cutting out chocolate, you focus your energy on bringing something meaningful into your life, instead of taking other things away.
Finding your niche is hard! Too many of us are stuck in jobs we don’t enjoy to pay the bills. Day in and day out we settle for careers that bring us little joy in exchange for a paycheck. If you’re one of these people—the type of person who lives for weekends and vacations—maybe you need a new year, a new you, and a new niche!
Here are 5 ways to ring in the New Year with a new you and a new niche:
1. Listen to your heart.
It may seem silly on the surface, but listening to what’s in your heart may actually be the best thing for you. Your calling comes from within, and only you know what makes you happy and what doesn’t. If cubicle life isn’t for you, perhaps you need to find a job where you work in a social setting, either with customers or on a team of colleagues. If your mind is sharper at night, perhaps you need to quit your day job and consider a career with later hours. These changes will not only improve your employment happiness, but you will be a happier person in general because you’re listening to your heart’s desire.
2. Break out of your comfort zone.
This is not only sound advice in terms of job hunting, but also practical for life in general. Breaking free of your comfort’s restrictions will push you to try new things. Maybe you’ll realize you’re really skilled at talking to and helping people, and ultimately find you want to work in therapy, social work, etc. Perhaps you’ll discover you have a knack for traveling, puzzles, writing, or photography. Try new things, because after all, it’s a new year!
3. Face your fears.
Let this be the year you tackle your fears head on and toss them to the wayside. There’s no reason to fear taking a leap by changing your career. Yes, it’s a big risk but it could result in a BIG payoff. Make 2016 the year of being unafraid by tackling these worries.
4. Live in the now.
At the start of any year, most of us are so caught up in planning and scheduling out are goals that we sometimes lose sight of the moment we’re in. Choose to be present in every moment. Rather than wishing for five o’clock while you’re working, enjoy that’s noon on a random Monday. Take a walk, grab a coffee, and enjoy the scenery outside your office window. We can’t live our lives wishing for weekends, vacations, and personal days. Live in the now and force yourself to enjoy every moment of it.
5. Be honest with yourself.
Not only in your work, but also in the rest of life, always be truthful to who you are and what you want. There’s no greater loss than neglecting yourself of the things you want most. Be mindful about the decisions you make. Choose career paths that make you happy, find work that brings your passion to the surface, and always think about how your niche relates to the rest of your life. Are you proud of your achievements? Is your job a conversation starter? Do you enjoy talking about your work? The answers to these questions will help you understand how your job—and life—measure up in terms of happiness.
There’s no right time to take a leap of faith and chase your dreams, but a New Year is as good a time as any. Make 2016 your best year yet! Challenge yourself, wash away your fears, and make achieving happiness your number one priority: financial, employment, mental, physical, emotional, and life happiness, that is. Every component feeds into your life and each part matters to make a happy whole. At The Niche Movement, we want you to have a new year, new you, new niche!
Written by: Rachel Tulipano
Rachael is the author of TORN and MATED. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Sociology in May 2014. In her spare time Rachael is often found expanding her writing repertoire, which is accessible at www.rachaeltulipano.com