Just a few weeks ago, you took some quality quiet time for yourself to reflect – perhaps at your favorite coffee shop, or snuggled on the couch with your cat and some tea, or while laying out on the beach on your paradise vacation. As you thought about the year past, your excitement grew for all that the New Year would bring.
Finally, a blank slate. A new chapter. You’re ready and energized to take on the world! This was going to be YOUR year!
Yes! This is the year you promise to stick to your resolutions. You will exercise daily (maybe even twice a day!), call grandma every Sunday, save more money, and drink less alcohol.
But, especially important to you this year is your career. You are well overdue for some real professional changes, and you know it. Whether it be a new job (or even a new career), getting that promotion, or maybe even making more money – these will be your top priority!
And then, with a blink of an eye, holiday vacations are behind you and the chaos of daily life is again in full swing. You are settling back into your routine filled with 10+ hour days at the office, meetings galore, and juggling to keep up with family and social calendars. Plus, it’s cold. It’s dark. And you just want to hibernate.
While you haven’t ditched out on your big goals (yet), the actual work needed to make them a reality feels more and more overwhelming as the days go by.
But, don’t fall off the resolution wagon just yet! Before you get to the middle of the year with nothing to show for it, here are some easy (and manageable!) steps to keep your goals alive:
Become One With Your Resolutions: Spend quality time with them. Make sure they are what you really want before you commit to them. Dissect them. Peel back the layers, uncover the smaller achievable mini-goals beneath them, and write them down.
Post ‘Em: This is key in keeping you motivated. How many times have you written down your goals or resolutions, and then you stick them in a drawer – only to find them 12 months later? This year- POST THEM in a place where you can see them daily. The constant in-your-face reminder will keep you focused, energized and excited about your path to success.
Make a Weekly Date: With yourself. And, no cancelling. If you don’t dedicate time to your career – nobody else will. Block a couple hours in your calendar (just as if you had a meeting with someone else) specifically to assess your goals, review your plans, do your research, send emails, apply for jobs, and reflect on your progress.
Be an “In-Person” Person: I know you’re busy, but this is a must. Get out from behind the computer screen and go out and talk with other professionals. Attend conferences, go to your favorite charity events, have lunch with a mentor, or make a coffee date to reconnect with someone in your professional network. Commit to three or more of these meetings/events each month. Also – if your resume or online profiles need some love – now is the time to give it. You always want to be up-to-date and ready when surprises come your way.
Get Extra Accountable: Remember – you don’t have to go at it all alone. We all need a little extra push, support, or outside perspective every now and again. Engage a career coach or an accountability partner to keep you on your toes. Plus, it can never hurt to have another person in your corner to keep you positive, motivated, clear-headed and on the right track.
Frankly Speaking: Take a moment to reflect to that quiet day when you made your New Year’s career resolutions. Remember how you felt? Empowered. Strong. Capable. Impactful. Determined. Go back there. Dig up that energy and remind yourself of those feelings every time you feel like ditching out on a networking event, cancelling a coffee meeting with an old colleague or watching TV during your weekly scheduled check-in with yourself. You’ll be glad you did.