As July heads into our rearview mirror, we move forlornly into the last stretch of summer. Now that we are more than halfway through the year, it is the perfect time to evaluate your progress on your New Year’s resolutions and your career goals for 2018. How successful have you been in reaching your goals? What are the barriers preventing you from doing so? Although you may feel a bit frustrated or discouraged, it is not too late to achieve some of your goals in 2018. It can be done, but it will require a radical transformation, and a shift in your mindset. The following steps can be used to achieve your goals in 2018:
1) Change Your Narrative
you might attribute your lack of progress to being lazy, naturally unmotivated, or incapable of improving your circumstances. I find that this narrative is oftentimes false and always unproductive. Unfortunately, it is also very powerful and prevents you from moving forward on your goals. The reality is that you don’t put in the effort to reach your goals because you may be anxious, fearful or overwhelmed about making a major change. For instance, a job search or a career change can be emotionally draining and demoralizing, and can stir up a variety of negative emotions, including self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence. However, by acknowledging the actual underlying causes of your stagnation, you can seek assistance to overcome them, and break through to achieve your objectives.
2) Accept Hard Truths
once you have changed your narrative, it is time to have a difficult conversation with yourself. Are you willing to actually deal with the discomfort, uncertainty, and possible rejection of a job search or a career change? Is the risk of seeking a new job, transitioning to a different career, or starting a new business too great for you to take? Are you open to feedback about how you can approach the process more productively? Are you willing to sacrifice time and effort to make this change happen? By answering these questions, you can truly assess how motivated you are to achieve these career goals. Instead of beating yourself up, and continually feeling disappointed, it might be liberating to accept the truth of where you are currently. There is no shame in honestly saying, “I am not ready to pursue these goals fully.” Rather it may signal that you need support or must clear space in your life to do so.
3) Ruthlessly Prioritize
one of the difficulties in reaching your goals, is that you may have identified too many to tackle this year. It is great to be optimistic and ambitious at the start of a new year, but it is also critical to be realistic about what can actually be accomplished in a limited period of time. Therefore, it may benefit you to focus on 1 or 2 primary goals, and prioritize the time you devote to them. That may mean saying “no” to exciting opportunities or refraining from chasing the next shiny object. It may feel disheartening because you may truly believe that all your goals are equally important (e.g. losing weight, finding a new job, starting a podcast, etc.) and you feel passionate about each one equally. However, by effectively identifying the most pressing goals, you can allot adequate time to them, instead of being stretched thin and not attaining any of them. The other goals don’t disappear, they just move to the next phase of goal achievement, or they just may receive less time than the primary goals (e.g. 80% of your time for primary goals vs. 20% for other goals).
4) Do a Time Inventory
in the day to day grind of your schedule, you may feel that you don’t have time for your career goal activities. However, if you do a time inventory, where you document how you actually spend it (e.g. FB, binge watching shows, socializing etc.), you may realizeViral Quiz Builder that there is a good deal of “free” time in your weekly schedule. Once the inventory is completed, I suggest putting time in your calendar for the above mentioned leisure activities, as well as self-care ones (e.g. exercise, etc.), rather than berate yourself for not being focused or for wasting time. After those hours are accounted for, you will likely find the additional “hidden” hours you need to work on your career goals.
5) Aggressively Commit to New Habits
to effect change, we must change our behavior. To change our behavior, we have to develop new habits. You can easily fall back into your basic routine every day and every week, which may not provide room for the time you need for goal attainment. Therefore, you will need to obliterate your old routine, and introduce a new normal. If you are an early riser, you might try to do some of your goal achievement activities before work. If you are a night owl, you might commit at least one hour after-work to these activities. It might entail doing some work during your work lunch break or during the weekend, when you would rather rest & relax. It may seem daunting, but it is necessary, because new patterns must emerge for the radical transformation to occur.
6) Adopt a Sense of Patient Urgency
while the changes you wish to make won’t happen overnight, having a sense of patient urgency will be key. That is, you should approach your goal attainment with a steady consistency, making sure that each week you are making & noting progress, but also are not deriding yourself if you have a setback one week or two. Patient urgency means that you are challenging yourself to deliver on your goals, while setting fair expectations about how long it might take to reach them.
While it is easy for the glow of the New Year and the hope of summer to easily fade away during this period, you can still set your sights on reaching your career & other life goals this year. So take these steps and act now, because the time to radically transform your life is today!