It’s March. How are your New Year’s resolutions?

This year, I gave up something VERY important to me.  Something I’ve nurtured for years.

I gave up caffeine.

For years, I religiously drank a cup of coffee in the morning and a Diet Coke (or sometimes two, depending on the day) in the afternoon.  After years of this bad habit, I decided to wean myself off slowly as part of my New Year’s resolutions.  That was one long week.  On a particularly rough day, my poor husband thought he was experiencing a form of exorcism.  I’m just saying, there may have been a crying hissy fit involved.

Now that we’re in March, and I’m still caffeine-free, I realize it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I’m more clear headed, more patient and am much less stressed by things that come up during the day.  There are definitely days where I have wanted to rip off someone’s arm to have their Diet Coke, but I know if I have just one, it will be all over!

That was just my silly personal goal, but from a communications standpoint, I also try to set some goals each year on how I can connect better with coworkers and friends.  Have you?  If not, now’s a great time to start thinking about how you communicate on a day-to-day basis. Maybe your goal is to have more face-to-face communication with your coworkers.  Get off the email and walk over there today! Proactively call a client or contact you haven’t spoken to in awhile.  After the new year is a great time to reconnect with people.

Was your goal to have better grammar?  For starters, read Randall’s post here.  Another great way to improve your writing is simply by reading more.

In addition to how you communicate, think about what you communicate.  Twitter and facebook are great ways to be heard – but remember who reads your posts and don’t get in bad habits with them, either.  I have been shocked by the number of friends who complain about their jobs on facebook.   Remember that your colleagues and clients – and potential other business contacts – are reading your posts, just like you read theirs.  In person, what kind of vibe do you express in a meeting?  Make sure your nonverbal communication isn’t sending all the wrong signals.

Sometimes what you give up can give back in ways you can’t imagine.  Take some time this month to reflect on your “all year’s” goals and set some new ones when it comes to how and what you communicate.

Oh, and when you’re meeting in person and connecting with an old colleague, please drink a massive Diet Coke for me.