Don’t Go In Circles
Don’t do it! Don’t write down the list of all the things you are going to change and improve for 2015. It won’t work, you will fail and give up around day 20 if you are like most humans. To make it worse by February 1st your resolutions will be long gone and forgotten and you will be back to the way things were in 2014. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? But it is true! So let's lifehack how to make things different in 2015 and really make the lasting changes you want for yourself in 2015. No one taught me better how to do this than Amy, one of my former employees.
Amy and I became fast friends after I hired her to work at the Fortune 100 company I was with. She was a hard worker, she learned fast and she just “got it!” She was very successful and we would often talk about the role she was in and how to be more successful. Near the end of the year, Amy and I were talking about New Years Resolutions and I showed her my endless list of resolutions and everything I was going to accomplish that year. (2002!). She laughed at me and said she only had two New Years Resolutions and that she would bet me that she would attain both of hers and that I would come nowhere near accomplishing my resolution list. The bet was on!
When I asked Amy what her first New Year’s Resolution was she replied that it was to wear a seat belt every time she got in a car. Amy had a new family and she wanted to make sure that she was safe as she spent most of her time in the day driving to go see clients. I told her that it was a ridiculous goal, but come the end of that year guess who had reached both of her goals? She had worn her seatbelt every day and she had exercised at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. It was a lesson I have come to really appreciate. Amy’s example taught me that goals are reached through small steps taken one day at a time. Nothing overwhelming, nothing momentous, just a small improved step taken each and every day. Amy didn’t know it, but she was a genius. (She would actually say she knew it if you asked her!)
Motivation and goal theories teach that to reach goals and make the necessary changes in our lives we need to do it through small consistent steps. For example, if we want to lose weight and become healthy we don’t need to go on a drastic diet, join a gym and sign up for the marathon all in one day. The best way to achieve that goal is to start small, like giving up sweets for 6 days out of the week and only having a treat once a week. If we want to make a career change the decision doesn’t need to be drastic where we quit our job and put our financial lives at risk. Instead, put a plan together and decide what you really want. Do you want to be promoted, to change departments, or possibly go to another organization? Then start with being the best at your job and standing out over everyone with your competencies and abilities. Maybe you want to start your own business? Start it on the weekend and see how it goes before you give up your job. You are going to know in 3 or 4 months if a viable business is on your horizon.
Take small steps focusing on 1 change a month and in 6 months you will look in the mirror and be shocked at what you have been able to accomplish. Have a great New Year’s and watch for upcoming tips, articles, and workshops on how to create the career and life that you want. Remember it is your career!