11 Simple Steps to Help Build New, Better Habits

21 02 2017

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Forming a new habit or behavior more conducive to getting what and where you want to go:

How is this accomplished and how long does it take? Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process. Forming new patterns or habits may be gradual, little by little moving to a more positive and satisfying behavior.

Make small changes until a new pattern of attitudes and behavior is in place. You can also decide to stop a negative habit or attitude, like smoking, and go cold turkey and never smoke again.

New, more positive plans that you can implement with specific actions will take you closer and closer to the desired outcome and can be accomplished in a very short time. Once a decision is made, and acted on, you will reach a new, stable lifestyle.

Some helpful steps to adopt:

  1. Start simple: do not try to do everything in one day. Have a target that is attainable and keep at it for at least 30 days.
  1. Set your goals high, and break it down into small attainable steps. Losing 50 pounds may be overwhelming, but if you break it down to a smaller amount over a longer period of time then not only is it achievable, but easier to attain and maintain.
  1. Evaluate what knocks you off that new habit pattern. Strengthen and focus on the new habit.
  2. Establish relationships with people supportive of the new desired habit. Find role models. If you want to work out, establish relationships with people that go to the gym.
  1. Keep the desired habits or habit pattern actions in place for a minimum of 30-60 days. Easy changes will be incorporated quickly. Harder ones may take longer but do these daily.
  1. Schedule and follow through doing what you are committing to change. Create a strategy to apply consistently and improve your plan of action as results improve.
  1. Envision yourself having the end result. Keep reviewing and celebrating the benefits in your Journal.
  1. Review your Journal write-up, your game plan each morning, including the new habits. Track your progress.
  1. Put the new habit first, not last. If you want to start playing tennis, do not do it at the end of the day, rather do it when you are fresh and when you will benefit the most from doing so.
  1. Tell a friend or another about your new decision and invite their support. For example, I told my group of friends that I was writing a book. Each time I saw them I shared my progress as they asked about it. This kept me interested in a purpose for the book beyond myself, but envisioning the benefits for others as well. A purpose beyond mere self-benefits provides a greater-good purpose that means more value to all that are impacted.
  1. Determine what has to happen for you to know that you have a stable new habit by viewing your Journal entries progress feedback and acknowledge where you have achieved changed habits, and then define what is needed next to achieve the desired results!

How does one stay motivated?

What to do when:

There are moments where mood, fatigue, and lack of motivation, which are permitted, may create inconsistencies toward your desired goal and may cause your new habit to drop out.

Realize:

Minor setbacks are possible until a stable new habit is formulated and becomes a part of life. In order to motivate yourself and prevent set- backs, simply focus on your prior achievements and restore your purpose for change, and the benefits already achieved, and then re-commit with attention to consistency, no matter what happens in your life. Review negative thoughts and those folks with negative attitudes to avoid these. To have a more permanent change, you may ultimately have to change your environment and your schedule to match what works best for progress.

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Dr. Gerald J. Regni!!****

 

About the author: The above article is an excerpt from The Job Book: Find Yourself and a Job in 30 Days written by Dr. Gerald J. Regni and co-authored by Diane Phillips. The authors have worked out a simple to follow, user friendly road map that anyone can follow to find a career that fits, where one will follow his or her passion in easy steps. Start Your Career Finding Adventure Today! READ A LIFE CHANGING CHAPTER FOR FREE by visiting www.thejobbook.info.

 

 

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Step-by-Step Career Planning for Students

8 01 2013
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Guest post by Dunya Carter
For all the flowery praise of learning for the sake of knowledge that gets tossed around on college campuses, it’s no secret that the real purpose of higher education is to land the right career afterward. Unfortunately, too many students leave their university with a piece of paper and little else. They lack experience, have no clear goals and often find themselves languishing at a substandard job with no hope of advancement. Don’t let that be you! These are the five essential steps to begin planning your career and ensure that you don’t end up in a dead-end cubicle.

Find What You Love
Millions of young men and women enter college every year, and almost half change their major at some point during their undergraduate careers. Before committing to any industry, explore your skills and interests to the furthest extent possible. Most universities have very general freshman years to accommodate this. There’s nothing worse than locking yourself into a field you hate out of a sense of obligation or greed; it’s better to be a happy, talented artist than a miserable and mediocre lawyer. Stick with what you love, and you’ll never regret the decision.

Pick a Specialty
Nowadays, there are no Renaissance men or women. Jobs, because of their increasingly technical nature, are becoming more and more specialized and exclusive. Engineers don’t just major in engineering. Some love mechanics and architecture, while others are fascinated by the electrical workings of a computer chip. Employers like to see a narrow area of study on resumes because it shows focus and provides a clearer picture of your training and interests. An English major raises questions, but a degree in technical writing answers them.

Set a Goal
Once you’ve decided upon your major and field of specialty, it’s time to decide where you want to go. You might hope to become a research scientist in a bustling laboratory or the CEO of a thriving business. Maybe you’d like to make partner at a prestigious law firm or write best-selling novels. Whatever your ambition, do some research and pin down a specific job title or goal. This will give something to work toward in the future, even if progress is going slower than you’d like.

Educate Yourself
Perhaps most importantly, apply yourself in school. Employers rarely demand to see your GPA, so long as you have your degree, but college can only give as much as you put into it. Get involved in extra-curricular clubs, do your assignments early and don’t be satisfied with the bare minimum effort. The practical knowledge and work ethic you’ll develop are well worth a few late nights bent over a textbook.

Start Building Practical Experience
Look for internship and volunteering positions as soon as you’ve chosen your major. The sad truth is that even if you excel academically, four years of college courses will only take up two or three lines of your resume. The rest must be gained in the outside world. Taking internships shows initiative and might even net you a job offer as soon as you graduate. Begin making a name for yourself in school, and you’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competitors for entry-level openings.

After you’ve earned your degree, it’s time to enter the workforce. If you’ve been diligent throughout college, you should be able to find a job somewhere, even if it’s not particularly glamorous. Keep your goal in mind but don’t be too picky to start with. Build up your resume, make connections and never stop looking for new opportunities to move your career forward.

Dunya

About the author: Dunya Carter is a HR and marketing specialist from Australia. She is currently working as a consultant for Ochre Medical Recruitment. In her free time she writes articles on business and career development for several websites and blogs.





2012’s Top 20 Posts on Your Career

21 12 2012

Top202012 has been a fantastic year for Campus to Career.  I’ve learned a lot through successes and failures this year.  Opening up this blog to select guests throughout the community has added a lot of value, both to me as a blogger and hopefully, to you as a reader.  I thought I’d share with you Campus to Career’s top 20 posts of the year.  Each is unique, bringing you a wide variety of tools to use in the job search or in your current career.  Listed in order of reader popularity, they are:

1. Co-Op vs. Internship: What’s the Difference?   – Have you ever wondered what makes a co-op different from an internship?  Check out this article to learn what sets them apart and which is the best fit for you.

2. Smile & the World Smiles with You    – Smile.  Just smile.  It’s good for your health and your career.

3. Quality vs. Quantity: 3 Points to Consider – Lessons learned from childhood that still resonate to this day!

4. 10 Simple Ways to Succeed in Your New Career – Starting a new job soon?  Here are 10 easy ways for you to launch your career on the right foot.

5. Lessons on Failure from Wile E. Coyote  – He’s still chasing the Roadrunner, but there’s a lesson in there. Click the title to read how Saturday morning cartoons do more than entertain.

6. Recovering From a Screw-Up at Work – Oops. You screwed up. So what? Don’t let it be the death of your career. Learn how to recover like a boss.

7. Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in…College? You’re probably thinking, “wait, I thought that was kindergarten?” Yes, but there are some great things you’re going to learn in college that will propel you into your dream job.

8. 5 Things Every Young Professional Should Know Before Hitting 30 – 5 things. That’s it. Zach Buckley provides some great insight into what exactly we need to do before we hit the big 3-0.

9. [INFOGRAPHIC] How an Applicant Tracking System Reads Your Resume – Where does your resume end up once submitted online? The recruiter’s desk? A black hole? Learn how the system analyzes the content on your resume.

10. Leverage Life by Maximizing Efficiency – Maximize efficiency, get more done. Simple enough.

11. Internship Advice from Vanilla Ice – Stop, collaborate and listen.  Seriously, though…there’s a career lesson in there.

12. 5 Reasons Why Athletes Make Great Employees – Why leave your participation in team sports or the fact that you’re an athlete off your resume? Read this article to learn how you can use your athletic involvement to position yourself for success.

13. 5 Things to Leave Off Your Resume – Drop ’em like they’re hot.

14. Top 4 Career Choice Tips for New Grads – Graduated or will soon? There are 4 choices you’re going to have to make. Check out this great post from Annie Favreau from Inside Jobs.

15. Goal Setting: Possible Dreams – If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

16. Landing Your Dream Job: Part 2 – The Phone Interview – Dogs barking in the distance? Annoying roommate practicing with their garage band? You might want to re-think where you take the phone interview. Click the link for a few more tips.

17. Career Services – Gaining Value for FREE (Part 2) – Not using Career Services on campus as a student?  You’re probably missing out! Take advantage of the free services…you’ll be glad you did!

18. Teamwork According to The Smurfs – What can little blue men (and a woman, sorry Smurfette) teach us about teamwork? More than you think.

19. 3 Strategies for Staying Positive during Your Job Search – You’ve applied everywhere. No one has called you. No emails in the inbox. You’re starting to freak out. Read this article to learn 3 ways to keep positive.

20. Branding Lessons from MTV – Remember when MTV actually showed music videos?  Seriously…they did.  Snooki wasn’t even a bad daydream in some director’s head at that point. Learn what MTV has to teach us about branding.

What is YOUR favorite post on Campus to Career?  Let me know.  I really value your opinion and insight.  That’s how this blog has evolved and how its able to bring you fresh content every week.  Blogs, Facebook and Twitter aren’t broadcast platforms to me.  They’re about building relationships and engaging in conversation.  So, let me know what you think.  Let’s make 2013 even better!

Thanks for reading!





Career Advice from a Novice Runner

31 01 2012

One of the best signs I saw during my first half marathon - Nov 2011

Hi there.  Welcome back to Campus to Career.  This week, I’d like to share some personal lessons I’ve learned recently as I prepare to run my first marathon in 2012.  Before February 2011, the only way you’d catch me running was when something or someone was actually chasing me.  Sound familiar?  I wasn’t a guy that found joy in the act of running…or exercise, to that point.  To me, it was something only Olympians and other serious athletes did.  Not a sport for me.

I was wrong.  I can go on and on about running, the solace I find in the activity, the rewards I’ve reaped because of my new-found joy in running (I lost 30lbs last year), or the satisfaction of knowing that something I trained for actually worked out the way it was supposed to in the end.  I’m going somewhere with all this, so stay with me.

There’s a career-related lesson in all of this.  I’ve broken it down into a few points below:

Set a goal.  The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland said, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  He had a very good point.  In your career and in life, set goals that you want to achieve.  Write them down, set a recurring calendar reminder (great for keeping you on task with deadlines) and tell your friends and family that you’ve set these goals.  They’ll help keep you accountable.

Set a plan to achieve that goal.  A goal without a plan is just a wish.  Ever hear someone tell their friends, “I wish I could lose weight,” or “I wish I would get promoted this year?”  When you set a plan to achieve your goals, you’re making a commitment to yourself.  You don’t want to let yourself down, do you?  Set the plan.  Again, like setting the goals, tell your support network.  Ask them to keep you in line when you have a moment of weakness.

Set realistic expectations.  Everyone automatically thinks of a marathon when they find out someone has taken up running as a sport.  For me, that’s certainly a goal.  But, in 2011, that was a stretch goal.  Instead, I focused on eating healthy, establishing a workout routine and training for a few races (I ran a 5K and two half marathons last year.)  My current boss has a saying that goes something like this: “set goals that are inspirational, yet achievable.”  We set stretch goals.  Why?  Because if we only give 100%, we’re more likely to end up with 80-90% of our goals achieved.  But, if everyone shoots for an extra 10%, we’re more likely to land at 100% overall.  Set expectations, but make sure that your goal can be achieved and that you’re giving more than “just enough.”  You’ll be surprised at the positive results.

Follow through.  The path to achieving your goals is sure to be filled with triumph and adversity.  When the going gets tough, the tough gets going, right?  Don’t quit when things get too hard for you.  Follow through.  Keep your goal in mind, ask your support network for a little boost, and push through.  But don’t just push through and run yourself into the ground.  Make sure you’re taking breaks throughout so your brain and your body have time to rest and recuperate.  Rest is just as important as the training itself.

Be flexible.  Like the point before about follow through, remember to stay flexible.  Life happens.  Have a Plan B (or C, D, and E) ready for times when life throws you a curveball.  As a runner, I’ve learned that sometimes, I don’t have time (or my body says STOP!) to train according to a strict schedule.  Flexibility has kept me on track.  If I can’t get my run in during the evening, I do it the next morning.  Sometimes, you have to make the decision to skip the activity and just keep moving forward.  Whatever plan you have, just know that there will be interruptions and distractions.  Learn how to make the most of those moments and keep moving toward achieving your goal.

That’s it.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible.  I’ve used running as a metaphor, but feel free to use what makes the most sense for you.  This post isn’t about running.  It’s about setting achievable goals, creating an action plan, following through with that action plan and learning to be flexible as you move towards achieving your goal.

If you’re interested in keeping up with my progress as I train for my first marathon this year (and who wouldn’t be?), please check out my other blog, Run Because.  There’s a theme to it, but basically I’ve found blogging to be very beneficial as I stay on track.  It’s amazing what kind of support you’ll get from family and friends when they know just how serious you are about something!  I’ll leave you with a final note:  thank you.  Say it (and mean it) as much as you can.  We all have untapped potential that is just waiting to be unlocked.  Sometimes a simple thank you is the key to unlock it.  So, thank you!

PS. The marathon is set for November 4, 2012 (Bass Pro Wildlife Conservation Marathon in Springfield, MO.) I have 40 weeks to train and yes, I have a plan in place!  Thanks Logan. 🙂

Photo credit: Jami Garner





Your 2012 Career Re-SOLUTION

27 12 2011

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 “reSOLUTION”.  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!





Performance: What Drives Your Culture?

8 11 2011

Welcome back!  Culture is important.  It’s what many of you will consider when making your employment decisions.  When you’re a fit, you’re happy and that can lead to a higher level of productivity.  When you’re not a fit, you know what can happen.  We’ve all been there, right?  Last week, I introduced culture as a topic for discussion and promised to break it down for you.  Click here for a link to the original post.

The next segment is all about performance (and yes, that does relate to culture.)  Here’s how “We Are Performance Driven” breaks down:

  • Competitive and display a strong desire to be the best at what we do

Does this define you?  Competition drives innovation in everything.  Having the desire and drive to be the very best in what you do can help you in so many ways!  For one, it helps you stay ahead of your competition.  Like the US Army’s past slogan says, Be All You Can Be.  Don’t be a typical Millennial either.  We’re not all getting trophies for participating.  Compete for the trophy!

  • Set aggressive performance targets and measure our progress

Goal-setting is extremely important if you’re going to hit your target.  Like my boss says often, goal should be “inspirational, yet realistic.”  Do you know what your goals are?  What if you don’t have goals set for you?  Set them yourself!  The other piece of the puzzle is to remember to set goals that can be measured.  Being the best is a goal, but how to you measure?  Set goals like “increase sales by 30% by January 1st, 2012,” etc.   This way, you’ll know when you hit them, exceed them, or when you really need to kick it into high-gear!

  • Eliminate activities that don’t achieve results or don’t advance our strategic objectives

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.  Einstein had it right!  Yet, so many people and organizations continue to do the same thing over and over again.  For some, it works.  They survive.  For most, it doesn’t.  Why?  People and times change.  Take a look at your strategic objectives.  What is the goal?  Is what you’re doing now advancing those objectives?  Is it achieving a positive result?  If the answer is no, stop doing it!  Note: You have to know your goals/strategic objectives first to know whether or not you should stop doing something.

  • Recognize, celebrate and reward success

This is my favorite piece of the segment.  Recognizing, celebrating and rewarding success sounds simple, yet it’s far from it.  Everyone has a different rewards system.  The parking space up front might mean the world to one employee, while meaning nothing to another.  Don’t dwell on that.  Instead, focus on recognizing success with your team.  Tell them thank you.  Those two words are very powerful.  When someone goes above and beyond the call of duty, let them know you notice.  If you’re a champion for your people, they’ll be a champion for you.  It’s just good karma.

All four points relate to a person’s career.  For my HR friends, a performance-driven culture is the key to your organization’s success.  Click here for an excellent article that lays it all out.

For my readers who are job seekers or new to their career, I hope this information is helpful to you.  What does culture mean to you?  Has this article helped you?  Was it completely worthless?  I want to know – good or bad.  Please leave a comment below and let’s help as many people as possible!  As always, thanks for reading.





Goal Setting: Possible Dreams

27 09 2011

“Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.” – Brian Tracy

Goals:  We all have them.  Some are set by us, while others are set by someone else.  For me, a personal goal is to train and run a marathon by the end of 2012.  I have a training plan that will get me there. I know what I have to do, and with the support of my family, friends and coworkers, I know I’ll achieve my goal.  I’ve learned over the years that if you don’t put your goals down on paper, they will always be “someday” goals.  You know, “I’ll achieve them someday…”  Why not give yourself a deadline to make it happen?

In our professional lives, goals may be more straightforward and clear.  You may be responsible for increasing sales, attendance, participation, etc.  If it moves, it can be measured.  But what if it doesn’t actually come down to numbers?  Can you produce outcomes when there really aren’t any hard numbers to evaluate?  Sure you can.  Here are a couple of tips:

Talk to your supervisor about difficult goals.  My boss has a great saying.  “Set goals that are inspirational, yet achievable.”  If you have no chance of achieving the goals, then maybe you should bring them down a bit.  Don’t settle for easy.  Instead, land in between.  Inspirational, yet achievable.

Keep moving the needle.  Look at what you can measure.  Even if it’s something like an increase of actual results reported, it’s better than nothing.

On the flip-side, what happens when there’s a year without goals or performance reviews?  Here is a great tip given to me from a former boss:

Hold yourself accountable.  Set your own goals, keeping in mind that they should be inspirational, yet achievable.  Suggest goals to your boss, with an outlined plan of action to achieve them.  Make sure there are deadlines in the action plan.

Plan to exceed your goals.  In my organization, we always set “stretch” goals to keep us focused on the prize.  In doing this, not only do we achieve the primary goal, but most times you can exceed it.  This is just like a marathon.  If you train by only running 10-15 miles maximum for your long run, you can probably cross the finish line.  You may have to drag yourself across, but you’ll finish.  Why not train to run farther so a marathon seems like it’s over before you know it?  Get past the wall and exceed your goal.  Don’t just settle for “good” when you can be great.

I hope these tips are useful for you in your life and career.  You hold the power to achieve your goals.  With the right support network, deadlines and training or action plan, you can do anything.

Any tips or tricks for goal setting?  Leave them in the comments area!  I really do appreciate your insight and feedback.  As always, thanks for reading.

If you’re interested in following my journey as I train for my first half-marathon and eventually, marathon, please visit my running blog, Run Because.  You can also follow my running activity on Twitter: @runbcuz.  Thanks for all your support along the way.  It’s been a great experience so far.

Update: 2012 brought many successes, including 2 half marathons, my best-ever 5K, and my first full marathon (26.2mi.)  I finished the full marathon in 4hrs 38min 56sec.  Not bad for a beginner!  On to the next goal…