Ever set New Year’s resolutions? Whether you’ve chosen popular favorites like “make more money,” “lose weight” or “quit smoking,” or you’ve designated more unique resolutions, one thing is fairly certain – most resolutions are forgotten or abandoned. But when it comes to your career, you shouldn’t forget about setting and following through on resolutions!
New Year’s Resolutions Can Have a Dramatic Impact on Your Career.
Set your career into motion for 2012 and plan for your future success. These three tips will help you set and stick to career New Year’s resolutions:
1. Be specific. Notice anything about those popular New Year’s resolutions above? “Lose weight,” “Make more money” …these are incredibly vague. How do you know when you’ve accomplished your goal? When you’ve lost five pounds? 10? 25? For any resolution – personal or professional – you should set a specific goal and timeline. For example, “I will lose X pounds by [date].” When you have a concrete goal and timeline, you are much more likely to achieve your goals.
2. Be realistic. If you’re currently a mail clerk and you want to become the company CEO, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to accomplish that goal within one year. While it may be your ultimate goal (and it certainly is a good one!), instead focus on what you can realistically achieve in one year. Maybe you have 150 pounds to lose, but to do that in a year, you’d have to starve yourself and spend four hours a day working out…it’s highly unlikely you’re going to stick to that. When it comes to your career goals, think along those same lines. What can you accomplish in the next year? Don’t shortchange yourself, but be sure to set goals that are attainable within the designated period.
3. Set incremental goals. Sticking with the weight analogy, say that your specific goal is to lose 40 pounds by December 1, 2012. That can seem like an overwhelming amount, and you may lose interest with the prospect of such a daunting task. While keeping the ultimate goal in your mind, focus instead on setting incremental goals that will help you achieve the big one. And set these incremental goals while you’re working on your initial resolution plan – you’re much more likely to be realistic and clear when your resolutions are fresh in your mind and you’re motivated.
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