How to Ditch the New Year’s Resolution and Achieve Your Career Goals

For almost a decade, my ongoing New Year’s resolution was to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. I made it a goal because of the common knowledge that consuming this amount of liquid would make me healthier (and my skin more moist) and because well-intentioned friends would say, “You really should drink more water.” So every January 1st, I would try and then fail miserably within the first week. It wasn’t until the 8×8 medical myth was debunked, that I finally felt released. Now that I’m a Career Coach, I understand why New Year’s resolutions rarely work. And that’s why I’m offering a better approach to achieve your career goals.  

3 Reasons why my New Year’s resolution didn’t work:

1. It didn’t originate from my own internal need. Since neither bad health or thirst were motivators, the resolution was based on what others were telling me was important.

2. Even though the goal sounded specific (8 x 8 glasses per day) I didn’t create a step-by-step, action plan for how to achieve it.

3. There was no one to hold me accountable, so after a few frustrating days of not meeting the mark, I’d give up.

Does Your Resolution Meet the Achievable test?

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Does your resolution spring from a real need, or is it an external “should?” To achieve your career goals, it takes commitment. And commitment is connected to passion. And passion is connected to something true and important for you. You have to be able to understand and articulate a goal’s deep value, otherwise you’re less likely to do what it takes to create the change.

2. Is your resolution specific enough? Most New Year’s resolutions are vague. Get more exercise, spend less time on social media, find a new job…  Goals need to be broken down into small, bitesize, actionable and measurable steps. Otherwise, they’re amorphous and too daunting. In addition, write down your goal. (For a set of daily exercises to create an action plan, click here:)

3. Is anyone holding you accountable? Being specific and creating an action plan are essential to get you started. But it’s accountability that will keep you on track when initial enthusiasm wanes and you hit road blocks.

Turn a Resolution into an Achievable Goal

This time of year, there’s a lot of impetus for renewal. We’re inundated with slogans and products that promise a new you. And that’s great. But don’t get bullied into a quickie resolution. Be thoughtful about your goal. Most of all, be sure to understand it’s underlying value for YOU. Create a step-by-step action plan to achieve your career goals. Finally, find a partner or group to whom you can report your progress. And then, game on! If you’d like a boost to achieve your career goals, I’m here to help. Please get in touch.

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