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2017 has arrived kicking and screaming. Like any new year it’s a time for renewal and resolutions. Oh, and that tired blog post format with a list of things to do in the upcoming year. Yup, this is one of those. Let’s get on with it.

Look after your mind

We don’t work in a physical industry so it’s important to take care of your main tool. Sadly, a new year doesn’t mean the problems you were facing last year have gone away. If you find yourself struggling with the pressures of deadlines, forced social interactions or anything else then know that you’re not alone. Find the help you want. Geek Mental Help Week may only be one week of the year but the resources are available all year round.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional, that’s what they’re there for.

Look after your body

You know what I just said about not working in a physical industry? Scrap it. You can’t think clearly if you’re body is complaining. We’ve all had days where we look back and realise we didn’t really get anything productive done even though we were really trying.

The changes don’t have to be huge. Last year I made my first office drink of the day a glass of water instead of starting with sugary alternatives. I also made the decision to climb the stairs instead of taking the lift and this year, I will endeavour to get out of the office more during lunch time rather than being sat down all day.

Contribute something

Right, time for something a bit lighter. Find some time to give something back. Open source projects are the usual suggestions but there are plenty of alternatives. Write a blog post on that problem you had last week. Answer questions on a forum or in community chat. Give a short talk at a local meetup (NWDUG would always like to hear your ideas). Even reposting articles or similar on social media can help someone find what they need.

Learn something new (no, not for your job)

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again but I like learning. However, I don’t always enjoy learning when a deadline is looming and everyone knows the thing just needs to get done. Find something new that interests you; that new Javascript library (there’s a slight chance these aren’t real), how to make a choose your own adventure game or just a really quick way to tie your shoes.

Whatever you choose, learning something new will give a sense of accomplishment. Doing something unrelated to work allows you to do it at your pace and to fit it around other things.

Change nothing, you’re awesome already

You got through the last year and decided to spend your time reading this blog post. If that doesn’t make you awesome I’m not sure what does. On a more serious note, the 1st of January was just the day that followed the 31st of December. There’s no requirement to change things just because of tradition. Sit back, relax and start thinking of a better blog post format for the start of 2018.