I’ve tried setting New Year’s ‘career goals’ in the past only to fail. Tips for making 2015 different?
Elayne Chou, U-M preferred executive and career coach for alumni in the San Francisco region, has these tips for a productive 2015.
“We often set career goals that are too big, vague, motivated by negative emotions, or out of our control. Spending time to set realistic goals increases our odds of accomplishing our intentions. Try these approaches to improve your chances for success:”
Make Goals Very Doable
What most people call ‘goals’ are really ‘intentions’. You intend to find a new job or learn new skills. ‘Goals’, however, are specific, small, and doable. Accomplishing a realistic goal further motivates you to tackle the next one. Stringing together accomplishment of several small goals can lead to fulfilling your big career intentions. For example, scheduling lunch with a colleague and talking to her about a project you’re interested in at lunch are two distinct but realistic goals that you can control. If it seems like it’s still too difficult of a goal, then break it down even further into something smaller.
Frame Your Goals to Evoke Joys
Rather than creating the intention to ‘Stop doing so much work at home on weekends’, which uses negative language, stating your goal as ‘Spend 1 leisurely hour every Saturday outdoors’ or ‘Plan a fun movie night with my kids every Friday’ will help accomplish the same intention while also adding a specific, joy-inducing aspect to your life. It’s easier for us to tackle goals that are framed in terms of something positive rather than in the negative. Feeling happier and more relaxed (the byproduct of accomplishing positive goals) helps motivate us to tackle more goals.
Celebrate Your Achievements
All of us complete many things each week, but how many of us take the time to stop and celebrate what we’ve accomplished? Instead, we often berate ourselves for what we didn’t get done. Once you’ve set your doable, joy-evoking career goals for the new year, take 5 minutes each week of 2015 to review what you accomplished – no matter how “big” or “small” – in every aspect of your life. This will all contribute to providing the positive frame of mind needed to realize your goals. Happy New Year and all best wishes for a fulfilling 2015!”
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