Act on these 5 New Year’s resolutions! Register for classes by January and commit to learning a new skill in 2020.


alex holyoake 222954 unsplash Act on these 5 New Year's resolutions! Register for classes by January and commit to learning a new skill in 2020.
It’s time to drop those tired resolutions and start one that will positively impact your business! Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash.

We get it—you want to drink less soda in 2020. But, have you ever considered a New Year’s resolution that could benefit your career?

Samford Academy of the Arts offers spring classes that will give you the skills to shape all aspects of your life, including your business. Keep reading to see how you can make your 2020 more impactful by learning a new a skill and where you can register before the deadline.

1. Make your products stand out with photography.

Blue bird, green grass.
Join instructor David Frings for The Art of Wild Bird Photography—just one of the Samford Academy of the Arts photography classes offered in spring 2020. Photo via The Samford Academy of the Arts.

Say you’re looking to buy a new house. What catches your attention first—a description of its 1920’s original hardwood floors or a stunning picture of the grand foyer?

Even as a writer, I know the first thing people are attracted to is a picture—words usually follow. That’s what Mike Nelson, Instructor of Photography at Samford University, came to realize.

“Our entire world is visual now. And— the images are what attracts clients or turns them off.”

Mike Nelson, Instructor of Photography at Samford University

Mike says he has a large variety of people who take his photography classes. Dentists come in to learn how to take better pictures to advertise teeth whitening. Real-estate agents look to take create appealing photos of their properties. Parents are tired of spending large amounts of money on professional pictures of their children.

A photography class at Samford University.
The classes offered at SAA are primarily at night and range from about 10-12 people. Not only are they convenient, the smaller classes allow you to receive more help from the instructor. Photo via Samford Academy of the Arts.

Even if you don’t think your business is immediately creative, you’re making a mistake by not including visually appealing elements. Think, what’s the first thing people go to when they search for your business? The website!

“I’ve seen students who progressed in jobs and got promotions. I really keep teaching because I enjoy meeting the students and I enjoy seeing them progress.”

Mike Nelson

It’s time to replace that blurry iPhone 4 picture from your company’s Facebook profile picture. Check out all the photography classes here.

2.Expand your clientele by learning a new language.

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My most used phrase when completing my French minor in school was, “Je suis très fatiguée.” Photo via Samford Academy of the Arts’ Facebook.

Knowing a second language isn’t just a necessity for those involved in corporate business overseas—it has benefits for every type of workforce.

Learning a second language can:

  • Allow you to connect on a more personal and relatable level with clients and customers whose first language isn’t English.
  • Broaden your horizons so you’re open to more diverse and inclusive ideas for your business.
  • Improve your multitasking skills—because how often are we focusing on just one thing at work?
  • Grow your network and allow you to connect with more people outside your typical circle.

Whether you are looking to become fluent, want to learn the basics for a work trip or are interested in meeting new people and learning new ideas, there are classes for every situation.

3. Add originality to everyday business through creative writing skills.

ArtPlay, Alys Stephens Center, writing, words, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
Words are so powerful. Don’t let your next grant proposal flop because you kept using the word “Therefore” over and over. Photo via Bham Now.

Although we discussed earlier the benefits of having great visuals for your business, they go hand in hand with writing. No matter what job you have, there’s a really good chance you do a lot of writing—more than you may even realize.

Hint: How many emails do you send a day? How many times do you update your website? How many times are you posting on social media?

Not only can taking a creative writing course reduce stress from a hectic career, it aids in communication and critical thinking skills. I can’t think of a single job where those two skills aren’t incredibly important.

Taking a creative writing course means:

  • You’ll be doing more reading (increased retention skills).
  • Interacting with peers to edit and review work (communication skills).
  • Using creativity to strengthen your brain and think outside the box (critical thinking).

All of these points add up to you gaining transferable skills that will improve your work performance and improve those email subject lines.

4 & 5. Develop a new hobby to help you become more successful.

Woman sits at piano at Samford Academy of the Arts
The first song I ever learned on the guitar was “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. Even though I don’t play regularly anymore, I can still pick up it up at any time and play that song—which I think is really special. Photo via Samford Academy of the Arts.

So you’re a veterinarian and you’re really interested in the popular antiques class Samford offers. The two don’t necessarily correlate (unless you have a patient whose new puppy just chewed up the legs of an armoire from the 1800s).

BUT—learning any new hobby provides emotional benefits that put you in a better mental state to perform at work. For example, learning an instrument increases cognitive function and boosts memory— plus it’s just a fun stress relief!

“We have all kinds of students. We have a lot of young mothers and we have a  good percentage of retired people that now have a little bit of free time and this is their hobby they want to learn.”

Mike Nelson

Being a writer, I can say some of my best ideas come when I pick up something else and start to focus on it.

On the other hand, creative classes offered at the Samford Academy of the Arts could directly impact your business if you’re an entrepreneur. Many people turn hobbies into successful businesses, and between classes like Calligraphy and Introduction to Stained Glass there’s opportunity to build something truly special.

Register SOON because spring classes are filling up fast! Some start as early as January 7! Make sure to check the start dates for class registration.

Don’t forget to sign up the kids for 2020 summer camps! Registration opens on January 15.

Also—follow the Samford Academy of the Arts on Facebook and @samford_aoa on Instagram so you have all the latest information on classes and registration.

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Screen Shot 2018 10 06 at 8.11.26 AM e1544553133615 Act on these 5 New Year's resolutions! Register for classes by January and commit to learning a new skill in 2020.
Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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