Hands up if you set new year’s resolutions, goals or targets around your career? And keep your hand up if you are still on target a month in?
I’m guessing that for a fair few of us, things may have started to slip a little. According to US News magazine, 80% of resolutions have fallen by the way side by the start of February, so if things aren’t going to plan you are in good company.
If, like me, the notion of setting goals just makes you think of the pointless tick box exercises you suffered through in corporate life, it can be helpful to reframe the idea as ‘things that I want to do”.
So what can you do to get back on track? Below I’ve set out a 4-step plan to help you have a successful February (and beyond):
1) Reflect – this is a really crucial first step. Take a look again at what you wrote at the start of the year. And now look again – are the ideas still actually relevant to you? Did you put ‘get that promotion’ because you felt you ‘should’ or because you actually want to? If there are still things that resonate with you on your list, then keep them there, anything else can be crossed out and forgotten about.
2) Review – now look at what remains on your list. Think about earlier in the month when you started out. What got in the way of you doing all the things you wanted? Whether it was a long day at work, a cold or some other kind of set back, write it down and then come up with 3 ways to get round it – for example, if you stopped going to that networking group because you had to work late a couple of nights, could you make it a priority for next week? Or follow up again with the contacts you made at the last one you went to? Or find a group nearer home or work that is easier to get to?
3) Refine – how specific are you with what you want to do?. Do you know exactly what you are doing, how you are doing it and by when? ‘Get a better work life balance’ is something that would be nice to have. ‘Leave the office by 6pm 4 days a week’ is a how you are going to make it happen. For each of the things you want to do, you should be as specific as possible with the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ and also add a time frame to keep you accountable. And make sure what you want to do is under your control – its no good basing your plans on the hope that someone else will do a certain thing!
4) Re-focus – make sure the things you want to do are written out and stuck where you will see them often eg the fridge, or the bathroom mirror. Take some time each weekend to look back at the week just gone and celebrate your success, and then look forward to the week ahead. Plan in the actions that you will need to take to move you forward eg book in calls or meetings, check childcare arrangements if you are attending events, or schedule in time to update your CV.
So what are you going to do differently this month to help you get closer to where you want to be?
I help ambitious but disillusioned working parents who are fed up with feeling stuck in a career that isn’t working for them. I help them overcome the things that are keeping them stuck, figure out what’s important to them professionally and put in place a plan of how to get it so that they can build a career they love and that right for them and their family.
If you want to make 2020 the year you start creating the career that’s right for you, then click here to book a free Discovery call to see how we can work together.