January is the month of fresh starts. The month when we typically pack up the previous year and shift our attention to hopes and dreams for the 12 months ahead. Whatever your vision (or goal) is for a “new you” this year, it’s much more likely to become a reality if you make a plan. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Here are some guidelines to creating an effective plan.
Keep it simple. Make a list of what you want to accomplish or change this year, prioritize it, and then reduce your list to the 3-5 things you can realistically achieve.
Devote some time to it. Think it through. If you’ve been making the same goals/resolutions every year but not getting anywhere, you didn’t spend enough time making your plan. Research shows that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February. Why? Because they were too broad and didn’t include a plan.
Write it down. For each item on your list, add two or three specific actions you need to take to reach the goal. Give each item a reasonable due date. Remember to start with simple steps and one action at a time. Simple actions over time lead to big results.
Share it. Hearing your goals said out loud as you share them with someone else has a way of igniting your self-accountability. Sharing them makes them more real. Consider asking someone to be your accountability partner. Ask them to check in with you periodically to see how you are progressing.
Keep it visible. Post it in your workspace or keep it in your planner or whatever works for you in terms of keeping it visible. The more you see it the more likely you are to get it done. Use an app to help you keep track of your goal.
Be forgiving. Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track or miss a target date. Review your plan and see what adjustments you need to make to get back on track.
Celebrate! When you hit one of your goals, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
In my work with individuals and organizations I’ve learned that the start of a new year is often when people begin seriously thinking about changing jobs or going after that promotion they’ve been wanting. Both of these efforts require a solid plan and can be facilitated by working with a coach. In my next blog I’ll share some tips on job searching or making a career change and how working with a coach can make the process shorter, easier, and more successful.
In the meantime, if you or anyone you know needs help in creating a plan for a job search or career change, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.