Did you set New Year’s resolutions for your career? If so, I want to help make sure you keep them! In my most recent segment on Fox 31 Denver’s Good Day Colorado, I share 6 simple strategies for success. Watch the video below.
I don’t want to scare you but…brace yourself…we’re in the final stretch of 2012!
(Cue screams of horror and outrage)
It’s now officially “Q4” and you know what that means: The holidays are just around the corner. And we all know that after Halloween, the days slip by like sand through our fingers until about a week after New Years. Yep. Before you know it, we’ll be writing 2013 on our checks.
Okay. Breathe. Don’t panic. You got this, man!
To help you feel a little more in control and ensure you get the most out of the final days of 2012, here are three questions to ask yourself:
1. What have I accomplished so far?
Go on, celebrate! You deserve it. We’re ten months in and I bet you’ve made some progress on those goals you set back in January. Pull out your list and make note of your victories. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
All too often, we focus solely on the future or the things that haven’t worked out. But take a few minutes to lovingly praise yourself for the recent past. Sure, you probably have a few things that could have gone a little better. But thankfully, you’re not perfect. (How boring you’d be if you were!). This exercise of celebrating your progress, no matter how big or small, will give you a nice boost of energy and motivation–two things that tend to dwindle this time of year.
2. If I had to choose just two priorities for the rest of the year (one personal and one professional), what would they be?
Now is the time to narrow things down. It’s easy to set monstrous goals in January as you look out at the long year ahead of you. But we’re getting down to the wire here. What really matters? What can wait? Scratch things off or postpone them. Focus on the two things that will make you look back on the year with a true sense of pride and accomplishment. Remember that priorities change naturally with time so don’t feel bad about adjusting your outlook for the year. Make these last three months count!
3. What intention do I want to set for the next three months?
Right now, you have the power to create a powerful and positive vision for the holiday season. What do you want it to be like? Stressful, financially draining and anxiety-ridden? Or peaceful, fun and productive? I’m guessing the latter sounds more appealing to most of you. Define what you want and what you can do (starting now!) to make it happen. Give yourself the tools you need to remain positive and energized for the rest of the year.
For me, this means I need to recommit to my yoga practice and focus on staying healthy even with all the travel I’m doing. My plan is to spend the month of December relaxing with family and working on my book (yes, a book!!). To do this, I need to wrap up a few big projects by the end of November and save a bit so I don’t feel anxious without money coming in.
See how easy it is? Just a few moments of thoughtful consideration can have a huge impact on how the next three months play out and how 2012 goes down in your personal history book.
Spend some time mulling over these questions and leave your answers in the comments below. Nothing helps create commitment like a little public accountability!
Photo Credit: Texas Photo Wrangler (Flickr)
Here’s a lesson I’m still learning: Changing your mind isn’t the same as giving up.
As most of you know, I’m kind of a goal junkie.
But recently, I’ve had to make some…corrections. And it’s been hard. In many ways, it makes me feel weak. Like I’ve failed. But I realized this morning that I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. I’ve been acting like “changing my mind” is the same as “quitting.”
And it’s not.
You see, changing your mind is YOUR RIGHT. No one can take that from you.
The trick is not to be fickle. Give your decision the thought and attention it deserves. But give yourself the freedom you deserve.
Here are a few questions to consider before changing your mind:
1. What’s Changed?
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Circumstances change, priorities shift. The world as we know it never stands still. At times, your choices have to adjust accordingly.
Think of it this way: If you’re planning to quit your job and go back to school, and then your spouse is suddenly laid off, you almost have no choice but to at least consider changing your mind. (In most cases and for most people this would cause some major reconsideration.)
It doesn’t mean the goal of going back to school has to disappear completely. It just might need to be adjusted in some way. The timeline would shift, perhaps.
Or maybe YOU are the one that’s changed. Maybe what used to be right no longer resonates. Maybe you’ve grown in an unexpected direction.
Now, it’s also important to recognize when the thing that’s changed is good old-fashioned fear disguising itself. That happens a lot. Fear has a clever way of convincing us that we can’t do things. It tricks us into thinking we never really wanted to in the first place. So be careful and be honest. If fear is what’s holding you back, pause for a moment. Typically, decisions made out of fear tend to backfire. Don’t change your mind just yet. You might feel stronger tomorrow. (This has happened to me many, many times and I’m always grateful when I follow this advice and simply pause.)
2. What Is Your Heart Telling You?
The process of changing your mind doesn’t only happen in your head. As a human being, you are filled with infinite wisdom. It’s there inside you. All you have to do is listen.
I wrote about emotions and their impact on decision-making recently. You see, sometimes, your brain is able to connect the dots of the information it receives in a way that’s so subtle, it’s not even understood by the conscious brain. It’s simply translated into a “feeling” instead.
So stop and listen. What is your heart saying? What is your body saying? Respect what you hear.
3. What Have You Learned?
The act of starting something—whether a project, a goal, a job, a New Year’s resolution or anything else—is a learning process in itself. Shifting course and “ending” something is just as valuable a lesson.
What do you know now about yourself (and about the world around you) that you didn’t know before? What, if anything, will you do differently next time? How will this experience and this decision change you?
As I’ve said before, this kind of thing isn’t “giving” up, it’s growing up. So focus on the growth and don’t beat yourself up. Course correction is a part of life. Few things move in straight, unobstructed lines.