For several years, at this time of year I have addressed New Year’s resolutions. How they work …
or don’t. How to make them real. How often they fail and why. What is true is that resolutions seem to be jinxed. We often have good intentions on January 1st. Then, as we get days or weeks into the year, life and reality comes along and our resolve to do or achieve things gets buried at the bottom of the way we are used to functioning. Maybe next year. The fact is that New Year’s Resolutions are doomed for failure more than not.
Today, as we approach the end of 2018, I personally am not falling into that trap. Perhaps we are all tired of the great thoughts and ideas that, too often, get pushed to the side or even disappear.
Rather, especially as it pertains to careers and jobs, it is important that during these last days of the year we take advantage of waning business activity to truly consider and create a realistic and workable plan for next year.
Are you with me? If so, the question is where do you start and actually it’s pretty straight-forward and even simple. Perhaps you’ve heard the expression ‘If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, How Will
You Know When You Get There? The answer is ‘you won’t’. Therefore, you need a plan. To create that begin by asking yourself the following questions that will ultimately lead you to one that is clear and realistic.
- What is the ultimate position and responsibilities you would like to achieve in your work?
- What is the next intermediate step that will bring you closer to this goal andwhere you want to be at the end of next year (2019)?
- What is the learning you would need to do in order to achieve your next step and where can you acquire it?
- Who within the company needs to know about your desire to grow and advance so that it is a well-known intention of yours?
- Who are people within the organization who can be your allies in making this happen?
Congratulations! With this done you now have a vision of where you are headed and where you would
like to be at the end of 2019. Your next step involves setting specific goals that are related to where you intend to go. And the ideal tool to create them is having them adhere to the S.M.A.R.T format as follows: Goals need to be …
Goals need to be clearly defined. How much income will you generate? How many new accounts will you have opened? How many projects will you have completed?
You need to be able to know if you’ve achieved them … or not. What measurements can/will you use? Having a better year or quarter than last one is not measurable.
You can accomplish them because you believe them to be realistic given the degree to which you can maintain your focus on your goal plan.
- Results focused:
Goals should measure outcomes, not activities. Maintaining a daily focus on what you need and want to achieve is critical. Just ‘being busy’ will not do it
A goal without a timeline of intended achievement guarantees a moving target that can be very difficult to reach. The finish line provides the measurement that can keep you on track … something that everyone needs.
Once you have completed your plan you may find it an advantage to review it with another trusted person with your interest at heart. Perhaps a mentor in any capacity. Or it might be a boss who is also your cheerleader. Regardless of who it is, getting their input on your plan will allow you to make adjustments if needed and charge ahead with greater confidence that will enhance your enthusiasm and determination.
What progress! You have identified where you are headed and you have the defined goals as well as the way in which you can continue to measure and evaluate your progress. While this is all happening I would like to convey some things that you can do that will contribute to your progress, recognition and achievements. They have been identified by Andre DeVito in an article published in July, 2017 on ‘strategies for moving up in an organization’.
- Be Dependable/Reliable
this is at the top of the list in terms of judging someone and especially important to you as you are working to advance yourself in your career. Failure to be seen in this way can and will undermine all of the other good things you are doing in your march to achieving the goals you have set for ’19.
- Your opportunity will come from someone believing in you and championing your development
identifying your champion in the organization potentially plays a large role in giving you the very opportunity you strive to have. Identifying who can best play the role of your cheerleader(s) and treating them as such will provide a big boost as they champion your development.
- Step up, when others run
too often when a situation arises that requires people to take on some added responsibility or stepin to a unique situation unrelated to their job … they disappear in some fashion. The very person that you want to notice you WILL notice when you demonstrate that you can be counted on to do what is needed and asked of you.
- Take time to better yourself
given that you have your plan to move up in your career this often means learning new skills. As such making the time to do this learning is a necessary step and shouldn’t be viewed as anything but.
- Never turn down an opportunity for growth
a willingness to ‘put yourself out there’ is one way to demonstrate your intent and desire to grow. Although it might take you into a place that is initially uncomfortable, others will notice and see this as a positive attribute that can justify future advancement.
- Network, Network, Network
While well focused on your plan and achieving your goals for the year, make certain that you include the importance and value of getting to know others working around you and elsewhere in the organization. Advancement opportunities can come to you because of these efforts to network.
DeVito cautions “that moving up and succeeding takes the ability to keep moving forward when nothing seems to make sense or working right. It means putting your head down, getting your hands dirty, and doing what it takes to overcome. Don’t be afraid to take chances and go after what you want because if you don’t succeed the first time, adapt your approach and try again!”
Achieving your year-end plan only requires that you make this your focus as the way to end this year. Rather than an inordinate amount of time, it only takes that you see the value of doing this. It’s an exercise that, unlike setting New Year’s resolutions, will create a definitive plan and will serve as your personal blue print for building your path to achieving the very success that you foresee and strive to have in the coming year.
As this is the final blog for this year, I want to wish all the happiest celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s. I appreciate that you continue to stay with me and the various topics I address month after month. May 2019 bring all of the success that you want and for which you create the plan to achieve it in all aspects of your life!!!