flickr photo by 5chw4r7z shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

On January 2 every year I like to think the hospitality industry as a whole breathes a collective sigh of relief. You survived the holidays. You (hopefully) slept in yesterday. <[/et_pb_text]

And now it’s time to sit down and think about the year ahead. There’s a reason this is the season for “New Year’s Resolutions.”

But while the muggles* make resolutions about “reading more” and “cutting the carbs”, I think folks in our industry could make a few resolutions of their own

*Am I allowed to use this word for non-industry folks? We seriously need a word for this.

“I will Take Better Care of Myself”

Especially important in January – you’ve probably spent the last three months just about killing yourself to make every single customer happy. It’s about time you spent some time (and maybe some of those December tips) on yourself.

Here are some ideas:

  • Get a massage to finally work out that knot in your back
  • Buy a pair of really good quality shoes
  • Drink more…. water.

Here are some other ideas to decompress a bit from the holidays – in healthy ways.

“I Will Spend less and Save More of my Tips”

It’s hard to think about saving when your bank account looks pretty flush from the holiday craziness. But unfortunately January’s “peace and quiet” might mean a hit on your income as well. Take advantage of the slow month to get in the habit of saving.

It takes a bit of time to adjust, but watching your bank balance sneak upward is truly a reward in and of itself. Here are some great tips for saving more of your cash.

“I Will Finally Implement that New Program for the Bar”

Have you always wanted a fresh juice program, but just couldn’t find the time? Maybe you’d like to tinker with tinctures or create your own purees or shrubs. It’s just about impossible to start something new in the holiday craziness – nobody wants you futzing with a shrub recipe when you’re three deep.

But the quiet weeks in January and February are the perfect time to consider researching and implementing something new. If you’re not in charge of the bar program, consider asking your manager if you can invest some of your time in scoping out the changes you’d like to make in your bar program so you can make the case for implementing it year round.

As long as you can keep up with your regular shift work, chances are pretty good your manager will be thrilled.

“I’m Going to Finally Ask for that Promotion”

If you consistently work hard, make quality drinks and offer great customer service, chances are pretty good your manager loves you. But if you don’t actually go out of your way to talk to your manager about your career goals, it’s possible he / she has no idea how they can reward you for your good work.

Ask your manager to meet for a brief conversation about your career, and tell them where you want to go. Do you want to be in charge of the cocktail menu? Tell them! Maybe you’d like to be in charge or ordering, or you have your eye on being Bar Manager someday. Have the conversation and ask for the promotion.

If they can’t give it to you right away, ask how you can prepare yourself so you’ll be the perfect candidate when the opportunity arises. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and it might just jump-start your move toward the perfect role.

“2017’s the Year I Finally Get that (Cicerone / Sommelier / Mixology) Certification”

You’ve been telling your friends / coworkers / Mom that “someday” you’re going to buckle down, study hard and get that certification you’ve been considering. But for some reason it just never quite happens.

This year, consider making your education a priority. Especially in these first few slow months, it’s a really good time to hunker down and get the work done. (Especially if it’s cold outside – it’s a great time to stay in and study!) It costs you time and energy now, but you’ll have the certification on your resume – and the knowledge in your head – forever.

By the way – if you need a little “push” to convince you to get started now, code “NY2017” will give you $50 off the Mixology Certification until Wednesday. So it’s a great time to start!

Of course, the more common resolutions are great too – go to the gym, lay off the booze and call your mother. But hopefully this list gives you a few ideas to help get you re-energized for another great year behind the bar.

flickr photo by 5chw4r7z shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Julia Tunstall

Julia Tunstall is the co-founder of A Bar Above and Chief Cocktail Taster. She's in charge of keeping things running smoothly around here, but you'll also find her stopping by on the Mixology Talk Podcast or hanging around the Craft Cocktail Club.