As New Year’s Eve approaches, many of us will begin to reflect on the past year, think about the year ahead, and determine the kind of changes we want to make in our life. While many people will be making personal resolutions to go to the gym more, lose that extra weight, or commit to a budget this year, it’s important to ensure career goals do not get lost in the shuffle. How do you make sure that your career continues to develop and your professional skills and achievements continue to grow? Here are four professional new year resolutions you can make as you enter into the upcoming year.
Create a clear vision.
Do you want to grow your client base? Want to start or finish a certain project? Maybe you want to get out of your current role and start something new? It’s great to have goals and ambitions, but the more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to turn them into a reality and determine if you were successful or not. Saying “I want to get better at Excel” is a great goal, but one that’s not very specific and will be hard to track. Instead, say, “I want to learn how to create pivot tables and learn four new shortcuts that will make compiling and analyzing data easier in the next six weeks.” This will be much easier to track and acknowledge when you have succeeded.
Ensure your goals are challenging.
Studies have shown that people are more motivated to successfully reach a goal when the goal they’re trying to reach is challenging rather than a goal that is simple or realistic. According to Mark Murphy, the founder of Leadership IQ,
“If you want to set a goal that will inspire people to achieve great things, that goal must be so vividly described that people can picture how great it will feel to achieve it; they must learn new skills to achieve the goal; and the goal will push them out of their comfort zone, among other factors.”
Make a plan to reach your goal.
Planning isn’t fun for everyone. It can be boring and require a lot of time and effort to get a mediocre plan put together that you may or may not completely abandon after two weeks of halfhearted effort. However, a key to successfully turning your vision into a reality is often found in putting a basic timeline in place to ensure you are continuously making progress. If your goal is to run a marathon, you have a calendar that tells you how and when to train, and when to rest. Similarly, if you have a challenging career goal you want to achieve, you need to map out what will be necessary to accomplish it.
Prepare ahead for setbacks.
No matter how prepared, dedicated, or motivated you are to meet your goals, setbacks will happen. Dealing with unanticipated events is a part of life, but these setbacks should not allow you to lose focus on your ultimate goal. Whether the setback is a departmental change you weren’t expecting, a larger-than-normal workload that suddenly appears, or simply a mistake, don’t give up! By working through those difficulties and keeping your eye on the target, you may find that you’ve grown beyond even what your initial goal entailed.
At Greene Resources, our professional new year resolutions every year are to connect people and companies and to help turn jobs into purposeful, impactful, and long-term careers. We are excited to see how we can help make your professional new year resolutions a reality.