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The new year is so darn exciting with 365 opportunities in front of you for the taking. It’s the beginning of anything you want. This year, I’m focusing on professional growth and have deemed it my year of hustle. I teamed up with Express to share a list of things I’m doing to help propel my goals, and I think they’ll help you in whatever field you’re in too!

  1. Plan ahead. Sunday is my prep day where I tackle all of the things that will make my week go smoother. This includes laundry, meal prep, outfit prep (steaming!), list-making, and discussing upcoming projects with my business partner. I organize when I’ll tackle what on each day and will continue to check my Master List throughout the week. As new things come up, I adjust the list before the next work day and make sure I don’t go to bed without a plan. As my dad always instilled in me, “Organization is the key to success.”
  2. Dress up. Since I work for myself, my mornings can often slip away with breakfast, my inbox, and personal distractions. I find I’m less productive when I put off getting a ready first thing, so I’m committed to being dressed and ready to go for the day by 9 a.m.

    I love casual-chic outfits like the one I’m wearing from Express because they make me feel prepared for whatever life throws at me. Black jean leggings are a staple because they work with every top/sweater/jacket combo in my wardrobe. I styled this pair with a versatile sweater that comes with a removable snood. It’s perfect for chilly days (or offices) and is ultra soft. These boots are unreal with their affordable price tag and studs that make my outfit pop.

  3. Avoid distractions. When I’m working on my laptop, I enable the Do Not Disturb feature so I’m not tempted by email or text notifications. I also avoid taking phone calls, browsing the Internet, or playing my favorite songs (dance parties are my weakness!) during productive chunks of time. Focus Keeper is a great app for keeping you productive without burning out.
  4. Focus on health and wellness. I notice a huge difference when I eat healthily, drink lots of water, and avoid sugar and alcohol. I have more energy, my skin is clearer, and I generally have a better attitude about life. I’m penciling in time for the things that make me look and feel my best because I know I’ll be better at my job because of it. On that note, it’s time for an urban hike (enter all the fitness emojis here).

Happy New Year!

sweater / jeans / boots / bag / sunglasses

Special thanks to Express for partnering with me on this post.

12 new chapters, cheers 🍾

A post shared by Nichole Ciotti (@nicholeciotti) on

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