You know the drill. The old year draws to a close. Some good progress here and there, but perhaps some larger business or career goals not quite met or not met at all. In our pre Holidays optimism we start thinking how we will improve our business or career in the New Year.
It’s easy to make grandiose claims to ourselves about what we’ll do so much better in the New Year – through the haze of end of year lunches and imminent holidays.
Then, the New Year starts, we head back to work and we have (either written or in our heads) our grandiose new year’s resolution for our business, job or career. They say many personal New Year’s resolutions (e.g. quit smoking, run every day, to not lose my temper so quickly with my kids) start to lose their steam by the end of the second week of the New Year.
When it comes to our resolutions for business and career, it is safe to assume that many of us have fallen off the rails by the second week of February. Life and work gets back to full speed – traffic is back on the commute, kids back at school and life starts to feel the same way it did in November. Either without us really knowing it (or burying it)-we slip into the same work mode and habits – and our New Year’s resolutions for work or career have evaporated – or are clinging to life support at best.
So what can we do about it when we fall off the wagon when it comes to New Year’s business and career goals or resolutions?
Simple really – we get back on the wagon!
Here’s what you can do to salvage the situation, start progressing again and stop feeling so guilty:
Pick just one goal you set for the New Year initially. You’ll know the one – it’s usually the clanger. That thing you know you most need to do but causes you the most heartburn so you procrastinate. If you own a business it might be to finally confront your falling or ever-sluggish sales; as an executive it might be to finally map out a longer term career plan so you stop floundering or going through the motions for another wasted (or at best boring) year
Ignore any other goals you set for now
Write down (again if necessary) the goal in 1.
Commit to yourself that come hell or high water, you will give it sincere and genuine focus and time
Identify what success looks like with this item if you were looking back on the last day of the year
List 5 things you will do this month to make significant inroads or momentum towards achieving the goal
Identify a reward for yourself if you achieve it – overseas holiday, new car, new this or that – whatever excites you
Pat yourself on the back for getting back on the wagon, rails or whatever.
Falling off is easy and we all do it – we all did it as kids learning to ride a bike and it’s the same as adults. If we try and falter, get up and start again. In the end, any effort or attempt beats procrastination or lethargy any day.
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