Happy New Year!
By Shellie Deloyer.
Wait – what?
No, I didn’t get the date wrong! The kids are back to school and we, in our roles as career professionals, are back to our routines now that September is in full swing. For many, this particular time is like starting a new year. Many of us operate and schedule our lives on a September-to-September basis, and we can definitely make the most of this.
Every New Year starts off with resolutions, dreams, and ideas for making it the best one yet. Here are 5 steps to starting your Career Professional New Year in the strongest way possible to achieve the growth you want to see over the next 12 months.
1. Know Your WHY
The WHY Discovery is a process I go through with clients whether they are in career transition, planning for the future, growing their business, or investing in their own personal or professional development. This process allows people to clarify their purpose and refine their motivation. Getting to their WHY is a magical place of fulfillment where people discover their truth, their reason for being. As practitioners, we must know our WHY, too. Once this is clear, it becomes a filter for all decision-making. When evaluating an opportunity and deciding your next steps, ask yourself “does this get me closer to or further away from my WHY?”
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on the topic: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.
2. Get Clear on Your Goal
What’s the next big milestone that gets you closer to your WHY? Where do you see yourself going in your career/business? It’s time to set a goal for yourself that declares your intention for the next 12 months. Make it a SMART goal so that it has all the necessary criteria for you to know if you’re on track.
- Specific– Include enough details in your goal so that it’s specific to you, your work, and your growth.
- Measurable– How will you know when you’re there? We can’t calibrate our emotions, so you need actual measurable criteria built into your goal.
- Attainable– Be real with yourself! Is this goal within reach? I encourage setting stretch goals so you are pushing yourself, but they still need to be attainable.
- Relevant– Is your goal worthwhile to you? Does it line up with your WHY? If so, it should give you an immense sense of purpose, fulfillment, and motivation.
- Time-bound– Set a due-date on your goal so you know when you expect to achieve it. This will also help you know if you’re on track to achieve it.
Your goals should be stated as if they’re happening now. I start my SMART goals with the words “I am celebrating…” This brings the goals into the present time and helps me imagine myself successfully achieving them. Stating your goals in this manner activates the neurology within you to go make them happen!
What you focus on expands. Your focus determines your results, so remain focused on what you truly want. This can be tricky as our minds often naturally go towards focusing on the things we want to get away from, on problems, excuses, and justifications. Mastering this step requires a great deal of awareness and constantly checking in to see where your focus is. Whenever it strays, bring your focus back to your WHY, your goals, and the results you want more of in your life. Ultimately, keep your attention on your intention!
4. Take Action
When your WHY is big (as ours all tend to be) and your goal pushes you outside of your comfort zone (as it should), it can become overwhelming to think of how you’re going to make it happen. Take the time to reverse-engineer your goal and plan out the steps that will get you there. Start with the very last step that has to happen for your goal to be realized. And then the step before that. And the step before that. Write out all your steps, all the way back to today.
Once you have planned your action steps you need to commit to carrying them out. As we focus on our work with clients, preparatory work, and the day-to-day tasks that have to happen, we often push aside the time to focus on the bigger picture and our own growth. Schedule dedicated time in your calendar to take the action steps you identified and move toward your goal.
“All good thoughts and ideas mean nothing without action.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~
5. Be Accountable!
This one speaks for itself. In order to fulfill your big vision and create those results you truly desire, you must remain accountable to the goal and actions you created. I recommend pairing up with an accountability partner in order to encourage each other to stay on track. This involves regular conversations where you check in with one another to discuss your accomplishments, challenges, and next steps.
Stay tuned for more as I continue to share individual articles that go deeper into each of these 5 steps.
Always remember that your dreams, your WHY, and your goals are a part of you. They picked you for a reason and the world will be better when you bring them to life!
Wishing a very happy and successful New Year to all Career Professionals across Canada!