The start of a new year brings a surge of enthusiasm to set fresh goals and make positive changes. Here’s how to make sure they stick

New Year’s resolutions are a time-honoured tradition, but they are notorious for falling by the wayside as the year progresses. The key to success lies in setting realistic, affirmative and achievable goals for the year ahead – including for your job. We explore the art of crafting resolutions that work and help you make 2024 a year of personal growth and career success.

Before diving into setting new goals, take some time to reflect on the year that has passed. What were your successes and failures in your current role? What did you learn from these work experiences? Reflecting } on the past can provide valuable insights that will shape your resolutions for the future and develop a solid work strategy.

Instead, make your resolutions specific. Define exactly what you want to achieve at your company and how you will measure your progress weekly or monthly. For example, set a goal like: “I plan to upskill myself by finishing this course in six months” or “I will practise mindful meditation for at least 10 minutes each day to reduce work stress”.

Realistic, specific resolutions are achievable. Setting goals that are too ambitious or far-fetched can be demotivating. Assess your current circumstances, commitments and resources, and set resolutions that align with your life as it is now. You can always set more ambitious goals in the future as you progress.

Large, daunting career aspirations can be overwhelming. Break your big goals into smaller, manageable steps. This not only makes them more achievable, and helps you focus, but also provides a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each milestone along the way.

Use positive language and specific details when formulating your action plan. Rather than saying, “I want to keep on top of my emails”, say: “I will prioritise emails that require immediate action.” Instead of “Don’t overload my schedule”, say, “Schedule time for breaks”. An affirmative approach focuses on what you will do rather than what you will avoid, fostering a more positive mindset.

Keep a record of your progress. Whether it’s through a daily diary, weekly planner, an app or a list in a notepad on your desk, tracking your efforts maintains motivation and keeps you accountable. Remember that life is unpredictable and circumstances can change. Be willing to adjust your work resolutions if necessary.

Adaptability and resilience are key to long-term success. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way. Each small project or minor task that you complete is a victory – and a step towards achieving your larger goals. Reward yourself and acknowledge your achievements. It’s not about perfection but progress, and every step forward is a reason to celebrate.

Use the SMART approach

This is a valuable framework for setting achievable goals:
Specific: Clearly defi ne what you want to achieve.
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress.
Achievable: Ensure that your goal is realistic and attainable.
Relevant: Your goal should be aligned with your values and long-term objectives.
Time-bound: Set a clear time frame for achieving your goal, such as “by the end of the week”.

Words by: Charlton Knight

STICKING TO YOUR CAREER GOALS 101 STICKING TO YOUR CAREER GOALS 101 Reviewed by Amaarah on December 22, 2023 Rating: 5
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