5 Ways to Set Goals That Will Make You Happier

24 09 2013


Guest post by Greg Weiss, Founder of TheFirstFewSeconds.com

You’ve probably set goals for yourself in the past. Maybe you met them. But how did you feel while you were working towards them? How did you feel afterwards?  Concentrate on setting goals that make you happy – you’ll be much more likely to achieve them, and you’ll enjoy the process as well. Here’s how.

1. Set goals that make you happy now.

Avoid goals that are about your happiness 6 months from now. Choose goals that make you happy now, today, where you are. Does this mean your goal should be to watch as many Modern Family episodes as possible? Not quite. But it also means that you shouldn’t set a goal to be 50 pounds lighter and in your dream job half a year from now. Instead, perhaps you could set a goal to only watch Modern Family while walking on your treadmill – or only watch Modern Family after you’ve sent your resume out to 10 different jobs. See the difference?

TIP: You won’t keep your goals if they require you to sacrifice something now for more happiness later. We’re just not wired that way.

2. Don’t let fear be your motivation.

When your goals are based on fear, they probably don’t make you happy. Here’s an example: the rent is due, and you’re afraid you won’t be able to cover it. So you set a “goal” to make $1000 by the end of the month. And then to meet your goal, you wind up accepting a job or taking on a project that doesn’t really meet your long-term goals, and you’re miserable.

TIP: Don’t allow fear to be the driving force behind your goals. Yes, it’s important to pay the rent. But don’t equate that short-term need with your long-term goals. 

3. Don’t set goals you can’t control.

The worst goals are the ones most of us set around January 1st of each year: I’ll lose weight! I’ll make more money! These aren’t things that you can control. Instead, you can set a goal to exercise for 15 minutes daily, or apply to 15 carefully researched jobs each month. Those goals give you something to check off. You can, at any point during the month, assess how you’re doing.

TIP: It’s far more motivating if you set goals that are independent of external factors – more dependent on what is controllable.

4. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.

The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals: goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and time-oriented.

  • Specific means clarify exactly who, what, when, where, how, and why. For example: I will send my resume out to 3 jobs each day by 2 pm.
  • Measurable lets you see how you’re doing. If you’ve sent out 3 resumes and it’s not 2pm yet, you’re on schedule. If you haven’t sent out 3 resumes and it’s after 2, you’re behind. Get back on track.
  • Actionable goals give you concrete assignments – in this case, sending out a resume. (The flip side is a goal like, “Get a new job.” What’s the action you take?)
  • Reasonable goals are those that can actually be accomplished. Sending out 3 resumes daily if you’re not currently working is reasonable. Sending out 25 resumes daily is not.
  • Time-orienting your goal gives you a deadline.

TIP: If you can’t measure it, then it’s far too vague to be a goal you can attain. As the saying goes, what gets measured, gets done.

 5. Choose positive goals over negative ones.

When your goal is “lose 15 pounds,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Beyond the fact that the goal isn’t S.M.A.R.T., it’s a negative goal, so you’re moving away from something. A goal should be about moving forward – for example, “exercise for 30 minutes every morning at 6am.”

TIP:  In addition, make a point of phrasing goals with positive language – a goal should be about you want to do, not what you want to avoid.


greg weissAbout the Author: Greg Weiss is the Founder of TheFirstFewSeconds.com.  His entire career history has focused on marketing and people, helping people relaunch and accelerate their careers.


Think Global, Act Local (with Your Personal Brand)

17 08 2010

Photo credit: Faerie Girl

Think globally, act locally.” That’s a term that has been used quite often in the past centering mostly on environmental factors and how thinking about the global effect of a community’s actions.  I’d like to turn that phrase into a new direction.  When you’re thinking about your career, your personal brand, and your outlook on business, I’d like you to think about the BIG picture.

The internet and social media have opened doors to an international realm that our parents could have only dreamed of in their day.  This generation’s graduates are already talking to friends and business contacts in China, India, Japan, and Mexico (the list goes much farther than these four examples) through video conferencing technology, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Their personal brand is not only visible to their immediate circle of friends, coworkers and family, it’s also “on” 24/7/365 for the rest of the world to see.

The public and private school systems are also using this technology to utilize resources across the globe in an effort to educate their students about history, culture, science, and more starting with kindergarteners and up!

So, before you post those photos of last week’s frat party, that snarky comment, or attack on another’s character, think about who you’re broadcasting it to. It’s a small world and with the advancement of technology, it gets smaller and smaller each day.

What message are YOU sending?

Twitter’s Down! Now What??

18 05 2010


Last week, Twitter was hacked by a user that implemented an auto-follow bug that forced users to follow others.  Twitter discovered this, and immediately went to work to resolve this security breach.  While that was going on, somehow everyone’s follower/following count was reset to zero. 


Talk about a panic!  At one point last week, we all had the same amount of followers as Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah and CNN.  How’s that for ironic?  All that hard work, competition and dedication went down the drain in seconds.  The Twitter team eventually resolved the situation, restoring everyone’s accounts, but it got me thinking about something.  Online personal branding could be hugely affected if a person put all their effort into one platform.  What happens if you had your entire (professional or even your business’) presence dependant upon a singular medium such as Twitter? 

So, here are four things that come to mind that will help you build and manage your online personal brand:

Spread the wealth.  Use multiple platforms online such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Brazen Careerist (all my suggestions – there are more) to promote your personal brand.  Don’t rely on a single site to do this.  That way, if one goes away or is hacked, you’ll still have the others to rely on.

Be consistent.  This is your personal brand, right?  No matter if it’s on Facebook or any others, you should be consistent.  That way, people can see that you’re the same person across the board.  It becomes very clear very quickly if you’re not being yourself online.

It’s a supplement, not replacement.  I can say this all day long.  Social media is simply an extension of your personal brand and identity.  Don’t let it serve as a replacement.  Instead, I would encourage you to view it as a supplement.  You still need a résumé, need to network face to face with people, and pick up the phone for a discussion. 

Own it.  Starting a blog can help bring together all your profiles into one centrally located portfolio.  There are several free hosting services out there such as WordPress, Blogspot, and Posterous.  All have extended services for a small and very reasonable fee.  Creating your own blog will allow you to own your information.  If Twitter, Facebook, or others go away, you’ll still have your blog. 

Those are just a few suggestions to help build and manage your personal brand online.  I’m sure that there are other ways, so please feel free to share them with us.  Leave a comment below, join the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CampusToCareer), and subscribe to the blog.  I’d love to connect with you as well.  See my information on the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top of the page.  As always, thanks for reading. 

Photo credit: Mashable

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

27 04 2010

Stemming from your encouragement, I entered this post in the Job Search Blogger Contest, hosted by Jessica Miller-Merrill (@blogging4jobs).  Thanks to your overwhelming support and the relevance of the article, I WON!!  Full results can be found here.  I was a featured guest (6/12/10) on the  Job Search Secrets Webshow. Thanks again for all your support – I truly couldn’t have done it without YOU!

Are you on Facebook?  Originally launched in 2004, Facebook has made its way from a “Hot or Not” platform (see Wikipedia’s profile) to a social media giant today.  Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Millions of people (over 300 million) use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.

Your friends are here.  Your family is here (I’m connected with everyone from high school classmates to cousins to grandma).  And guess what?  Employers are here now, too.  Did that give you a sick feeling in your stomach?  What if your boss knew what was posted on Facebook?  Would it matter?  These are all questions that I hear everyday.  The one thing that I would like everyone to know is: NOTHING is private on the web.  NOTHING.  It doesn’t matter if your status is set to “private” or if you’ve locked out certain people.  If a person is resourceful enough, they can find it. 

So with that in mind, here are a few tips to help make Facebook your friend rather than your foe:

Keep it clean.  We all have fun.  Some of us have even documented that fun (legal or not) with pictures.  You just don’t have to post it on Facebook.  Keep the pictures if you need to reminisce about the good ‘ol days.  But, would you want mom, grandma, church pastor, or your boss seeing your beer-bong contest pictures?  Probably not.

Be authentic.  Your personal brand is something that can really shine through in social media.  Be consistent and authentic.  Your true personality will come out after a little time.  There’s no sense in hiding it.  Use it to your advantage.

Connect and reconnect.  Facebook is a great place to learn more about the people you know or even people you want to know.  While LinkedIn is still utilized for more professional use, Facebook provides a personal side to the equation.  There are recruiters on Facebook – I would caution you to keep interactions professional, even on a platform such as this.  They could care less about your Farmville, Mafia Wars, or Sorority Life gaming online. 

Like it.  What was recently known as “become a fan” has changed to provide a more open forum of interaction.  You can now “like” something on Facebook.  This goes for all sorts of things from a certain company (great way to learn about culture, even jobs) to trivial things such as Mexican food or sandwiches.  As Joey Tribbiani said on Friends, “who doesn’t like sandwiches?” 🙂 

Integrate with other platforms.  If you’re a Twitter user (see earlier post: Tackling Twitter), you can now update your status there at the same time as your Facebook status.  If you’re a jobseeker, use this opportunity to update regularly with things that you’re working on, types of jobs you’re seeking, and snippets of the experience you bring to the table.  You never know who will be looking!

Facebook can be a great platform for personal branding, reconnecting with friends and family and prove to be a positive resource for jobseekers.  Just remember to be yourself, keep it clean, and have a little fun.  Make Facebook work for you, not against you.

As always, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing your insight with me.  You can subscribe to Campus to Career by clicking the button at the top right-hand corner.  If you prefer RSS, that link is below.  Additionally, I would invite you to connect with me and Campus to Career on Twitter and Facebook.  Check out the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top.

Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be an expert on social media.  Just like most of you, I’m simply interested in this topic and wish to share my experiences with others who could benefit from the knowledge passed on.  That being said, if you have a question, ask.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to get it for you!  I would value connecting with each and every one of you that requests adding me to your network.