Our annual "outlook" this month may have a feeling of deja vu. We talked to advisors and analysts about the trends that are likely to shape your work life this year. Some of it may sound similar to trends we've written about in the past, which, to some extent, was to be expected.

As contributor Savita Iyer-Ahrestani's reporting shows, basic blocking and tackling doesn't change that much.

What was surprising this time, however, was that some of this deja vu didn't necessarily involve the perennial topics that you'd expect to see each year, like fostering referrals in the branch or maintaining client relationships.

Some challenges this time frankly seem as if they should have been resolved long ago. Like having a concise mission statement and being able to articulate your value proposition.

I hate to start the year on a sour note, but this is the elevator pitch that entry-level job seekers perfect.

Granted, for companies it's tough because the macro scene is constantly changing. New competitors draw away customers; new technologies are designed specifically to keep people out of the branch; markets crash.

But that isn't a good reason to not have a well-crafted message to clients and prospects. Indeed, they are reasons to get this done. So in the spirit of new year's resolutions: get on with it.

On the same broad theme of improving your professional approach, take a look at our Careers story by new contributor Molly Fletcher. She draws from the world of professional football to discuss the importance of knowing your own motivations (or your 'why') as well as those of your teammates.

In addition to knowing motivations, you have to be pragmatic and recognize which tasks are the most important (not just the ones you're good at) and focus on those that add value. To read more on that, check out contributor Rick Rummage's piece.

So if you still haven't honed your basic blocking and tackling — not to mention other lessons from football — let that be your work resolution for the new year.

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