As the month of February is nearly over we thought it time to really cinch down your New Year’s resolution before it’s too late and they become all but a distant memory.
So, how can you ensure that you actually stick with your career goals in 2017? An article from Business to Community has a few ideas to help you can stay on track through February, March, April, and beyond.
Set SMART Goals
If you’re having trouble staying on track, maybe the problem isn’t you—but your goal. Avoid setting impossible standards by following the SMART method:
Specific: If you do not state in clear and unambiguous terms exactly what you hope to accomplish you won’t be able to focus your efforts going forward.
Measurable: Create a quantifiable framework to measure your progress towards an end result, including deadlines and milestones to meet.
Attainable: More often than not, setting unrealistic parameters will result in failure and disillusionment. Work on one attainable goal at a time, this will help you move in the direction of larger aspirations.
Relevant: Make sure the goal is relevant not only for your end goal but also for your present situation.
Timely: A defined timeline is crucial for long-term commitment. Having a deadline will also create a sense of urgency, ensuring that you don’t lose track of your goal.
You might have a SMART goal, but do you have a good attitude? Sometimes, all it takes is reframing the way you think about your goal. Psychologist Heidi Grant suggests recognizing what you have to gain from your goals rather than focusing on avoiding risk. She also recommends writing a list of all the good that will emerge from keeping your resolutions.
in New Year’s Resolution jargon often is about “making time” for what’s important. Unfortunately, us mortals can’t “make time”—we can only use the time we have. So, if you’re going to keep your resolution, you have to schedule the necessary steps to fit that goal into your day. Under the “measurable” section of your SMART goal, establish daily, concrete practices that you can schedule onto your calendar.
Celebrate small successes along the way. Use your quantifiable milestones as an opportunity for self-congratulation: take yourself out to dinner, or include your loved ones in the celebration. This way, you’ll continue to build momentum and hold yourself accountable along every step of the way.
Bonus tip from Ken Sterling of BigSpeak: To stay focused, keep your New Year’s goals to a maximum of three. With too many in place, you’ll probably get overwhelmed and give up entirely.
In 2017, be sure to pursue your aspirations in the SMARTest way possible.