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Melissa Davies

Making Positive Changes Throughout the Year

By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting

Melissa Davies

Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or make fun of people who make them, the new year is a reminder that there is a clean slate of months. This year, I encourage everyone to spend time each month on ways to improve yourself. From small changes to career changes, progress can happen in April or on December 31, but you need to be your own leader.

What does this mean? If it’s preparing for a new career path, take a look at where you want to be at the end of the year. Then backwards plan:

  • Where do I need to be at nine months?
  • Where do I need to be at six months?
  • Where do I need to be at three months?
  • What are the easy things I can do now to get me headed in the right direction?

It can be as simple as setting up visual reminders that keep you on track when you’re starting a new direction.

Utilize a calendar but print it out and display it in front of you. Set reminders for yourself of what needs to be accomplished that day, week, month, etc. If you’re more inclined to use an online calendar, set up the reminders online, but I recommend something visual in front of you that shows where you’re heading.

Find yourself a buddy, someone you trust and who is truly in your corner. Ask them to be your accountability partner, someone who will check in on you and support you, as well as give you a bit of a kick in the backside if you need it.

If professional reading is where you want to invest your time, ask some of your colleagues who might be interested in participating in a professional growth club. You could explore various sources of knowledge and then discuss them together over coffee at the end of the day. Books, articles from the Harvard Business Review, TED Talks, the possibilities are endless! Take the initiative and be the leader for this endeavor.

Each month in my leadership development newsletter, Wise Words, I review and recommend a new business book. It’s free; you can sign up here!

Personally, I’ve started back on my Ketogenic eating plan (yes, before you ask, I had it checked by my doctor). I’ve printed off copies of a blank calendar, one for each month. Twice a week I’m writing down my weight and also using a brightly-colored marker to cross off the day showing that I ate according to the keto plan. I’ve eaten this way before but didn’t utilize some type of visual checklist. So far, it’s helping; I even take some type of pleasure in making that pink mark each night! I’m also utilizing an online app that allows me to calculate what I’m eating and the net carbs.

Whatever area you want to work on, recognize that you can make changes at any stage throughout the year. Don’t wait for others to be the impetus for your changes. If you want to make changes and steer in a different direction, you need to be the captain of your own ship!

Here’s to your successes in 2018!


Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of “How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work”.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at [email protected] or through




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