This post was originally written this time last year, but it’s still very relevant. So, I’ve done a little tweaking and viola! We have a new post to get everyone moving forward in 2012!
By this time, I’m sure you’ve already read several articles about setting New Year’s resolutions and/or reflection posts about 2011. This isn’t one of those posts. It is inspired from the idea, but I’m going to take this in a different direction. Instead of thinking of resolutions (only 8% of Americans actually are successful in keeping their resolutions according to this study), think more about the SOLUTION or “re–SOLUTION”. Yes, I realize that play on words is a little cheesy, but hey, it’s easy to remember, right? Think about last year’s goals – why you achieved them, why you didn’t, and what you want to achieve in 2012.
Making a resolution doesn’t hold too much clout these days. Everyone wants to lose weight, stop smoking, or save money, but how many actually do so? Make your goals part of your SOLUTION. A solution should help you achieve your end goals, so think about that as you set your goals. Will they help you (physically, mentally, spiritually, financially, personally) in the long run?
Reflect. Look back over 2011 and the goals you set. Which ones did you accomplish? Which ones weren’t accomplished? Here’s a tip: Set quantifiable goals. For example: Instead of setting a goal “to lose weight,” set a goal to lose a certain amount by a certain date. “Lose 15 pounds by June 1, 2012” has more clarity and will help you hold yourself accountable. You’ll know if you’re on track, if you make it or if you miss it. You won’t have the excuse of saying “well, I did lose weight…” (knowing well enough that you probably did lose some weight, but gained more overall).
Accept failure. You’re going to fail. Know this. Even the most successful people in history failed. But that didn’t stop them from succeeding. Jason Seiden reminds us all in his blog that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail spectacularly. I like that phrase a lot. If you’re going to fail, do it spectacularly. Here’s the key: learn from failure and move on. Remember this when you set goals. It’s easy to set easily reachable goals because you don’t want to fail, but failure is good for growth.
Know your own potential. Set attainable goals for yourself, but don’t let that limit you. It’s easy to accomplish easy goals and there are some that will be easier than others. Set some goals that will challenge you to push yourself one step further, whether it’s further in your career, your personal life, etc.
Take it slow. When you set goals for yourself, envision the timeline for achieving those goals. Set 30 day, 90 day, 6 month, and 1 year goals. As I mentioned earlier, some goals will be easy to achieve quickly, while others could take years. My suggestion would be to rank them in tiers by importance and timing. Also, don’t be afraid to adjust goals as priorities change. For example, purchasing a new sports car in 1 year could be a good idea now, but priorities could change with a new baby, unexpected financial challenges, etc.
Make goals visual. Post them on the fridge, bathroom mirror, over your desk, and anywhere else that would remind you regularly. Visuals are extremely motivating! From personal experience, I can tell you that this works. Just by posting a fitness plan to my refrigerator, blackberry, and over my desk, I was able to lose over 50 pounds over the course of 1 year! The posted goals along with a picture of me as I was when I started and a picture of my healthier days held me accountable and kept me motivated! It also keeps me motivated. 🙂
One last recommendation: Start NOW. Don’t wait until January 1 or January 2 (after the headache is gone) to get started. Start now and get in the routine to achieve your goals. Get a jump-start on everyone else!
I hope that these suggestions and tips, along with past blog posts, have been helpful to you in your job search as you seek to find your true passion. For more articles to help you succeed, check out the Job Search Success Guide by clicking the tab above. Congratulations on your success in 2011 and best of luck to you as you work towards your SOLUTION in 2012!!
Update: I had several personal successes (mostly due to awesome supporters like you) and a few failures (these are on me) in 2011. Some of my proudest achievements were running not one, but TWO half marathons, losing over 30lbs, and becoming a healthier, happier person. I finally found a way to release stress and reflect on the day’s challenges. You can follow my running journey here at Run Because.
Failures? Sure, I had a few. I took risks. Some paid off, while some didn’t. One failure that comes to mind was my plan to incorporate video snippets into Campus to Career this year. I’ll admit, 2011 got away from me. I did learn from this failure, though. I learned to be more realistic with myself and my goals that I set. Goals should be inspirational, yet achievable. Onward to 2012!