New Year’s Resolutions

So, around this time every year, people start coming up with their New Year’s resolutions. Eat healthier. Work less (or more). Be a better friend or spouse. Take a vacation. But, New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for our “offline” lives. In this always-on, always-connected world, how do resolutions translate online?

Lose weight. Surely, you can stand to “trim the fat” in Twitterville, on Facebook or even with your LinkedIn account. Unfollow or unfriend people who aren’t adding value to your world. Don’t follow someone just because they follow you … or because they’re an influencer and you think you have to. Follow people who offer insight, engage in conversation and are open to learning.

Stop smoking. By now you know smoking is bad for you — just like you know that auto-direct messaging a new Twitter follower is bad. But, some of you still do it. Make it your mission to stop smoking (i.e., stop spamming) in 2009.

Spend quality time with family and friends. Online translation: Spend more time with the people that matter in your life — personally and professionally. For PR people, bloggers and journalists, there’s #journchat. Whatever your industry, get to know the movers and shakers and thought leaders. But, also develop relationships with the rising stars and “behind-the-scenes” players. Take advantage of tools that help you add a personal touch. For example, Peter Shankman once said he spends a couple minutes every morning wishing his Facebook contacts a “happy birthday.”  It may seem like a small gesture, but it shows that you care.

Be helpful. On LinkedIn, join groups, answer questions and recommend smart people. On Twitter, help people who need assistance. Take an “open source approach” and make 2009 the year to share your knowledge. Remember, sometimes you have to give to get.

That’s just the first four. Check back on Monday for four more New Year’s resolutions to help your online life. And, feel free to add your own in the comments.