Dump those tough New Year’s resolutions. It’s time to set the bar low with these easy suggestions

Let’s make ‘attainable’ the watchword for the new year, OK? (You’ll thank us later.)

We know, we know.

2011 is going to be different! You’re going to lose 20 pounds! You’ll finally get that promotion! You’ll plan a dream vacation!

Don’t you say this every year?

Frankly, we’re a little tired of it. So are your friends. But we know you’ll still come up with lists, diagrams and pie charts of all the things you want to achieve.

Let’s face it: You already are who you are. A new year isn’t going to change that.

So, this year, aim low. Underestimate yourself. Don’t set goals—or if you do, make them attainable.

We’ve come up with 10 goals that communicators can reasonably set—if you insist:

Learn a new language

All your cool communicator friends are going to Guatemala over winter vacation to take a two-week Spanish immersion class. You might feel jealous. But when they come back and ask, “Como estabas durante las vacaciones?” just impress them with all your corporate jargon: “Let’s matrix the synergies to drill down on the dialoguing.” Translate that, amigos!

Stop eating office candy

We applaud you for this one. That crap is probably left over from Halloween, anyway. Why don’t you just go to your local bakery and buy yourself a strudel or three? And a diet soda.

Network on your own terms

You know it’s a bad sign when you’re so terrible at networking that you practice smiling in front of your mirror and shaking hands with your imaginary friends. (Anyone, anyone?) Oh, sure, we all know about the benefits of networking, but some of us have never mastered the art of eating a pot sticker and talking about the weather with a complete stranger. If you feel the same way, skip every networking event next year. Instead, see what happens when you strike up actual conversations with people in everyday settings: buses, elevators and saunas.

Stop Facebooking at work

Is a Facebook addiction really such a bad thing? We think of it as a lifestyle choice—and we don’t think there’s anything wrong with incorporating a little Mark Zuckerberg into your daily routine. But maybe you feel like you’ve spent too much time on your personal page and have neglected your own company’s. If that’s the case, the least you could do is become a “fan.”

Get eight hours of sleep

This is easy. Go down to your pharmacy, and buy some melatonin. Done and done.

Stay organized

Your desk looks like Fallujah. You can’t remember whether your daughter plays tennis or the accordion. You’re still using a paper calendar from 1997. Your workload and personal life are too chaotic to figure out alone. Do yourself and a recent college graduate a favor: Hire a personal assistant.

Read a book

Although we encourage literacy, you were probably more motivated to read a book when you had to write a term paper about it and it was due the next day. That’s why we think you should volunteer your time at a local library and read “Goodnight Moon” to toddlers. It’s only 32 pages—and it has pictures. Might help you sleep, too. Shhhhh.

Stop drinking

We’re not sure that this is such a good idea. You’re so much fun to talk to when you’re … well, let’s call it “tipsy” (hammered). But if your liver —or maybe your spouse, doctor or spiritual leader—is telling you to slow down, maybe you should. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go to mixology school on the weekends and learn how to craft your own cocktails—to serve to friends, of course.

Get more followers on Twitter

Bribe people. Or just ask Mom and Dad. Hey, maybe you could even get a TV show out of it.

Achieve a work-life balance

What does this mean, anyway? Let’s break it down mathematically. Schedule your day like this: eight hours working, eight hours sleeping and eight hours for “fun.” Sounds simple, but the next thing you know, you’ll be awake in bed at night, wondering, “Wait! Did that two-hour lunch today with Doug really count as ‘work’?” And then, do you count reading this article as “work” or “fun”? (Hopefully, not “sleep.”) Instead of balancing your time, we suggest that you live vibrantly in the moment that you’re in—whether you’re working, spending time with family or snoozing (passed out) after an extended period of “attitude adjustment.”

Happy New Year!


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.