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6 Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

2015 is going to be the year! You’re going to …

  • Get a great new job
  • Finish a certification or degree program
  • Find a mentor
  • Get a 15% salary increase
  • Pursue your entrepreneurial dream

Whatever your goals, you probably set them with great enthusiasm. But only a week or so into the new year, do you still have that drive and determination?

Research tells us that just 8% of people achieve their new year’s goals. Consider these tips if you want to be in that elite 8%!

  1. WRITE IT DOWN.

The famous Harvard study on writing down goals may be fact or fiction, but those of us who practice it know that committing a goal to paper does indeed increase the chances of it coming to pass.

Be specific about what you want to achieve – e.g., “get in shape” is vague, while “go to the gym 3X a week” is specific and achievable.

  1. TAKE SMALL BITES.

Q: How do you eat an elephant?

A: One bite at a time.

Don’t think you’re going to reach an ambitious goal in one step. But if you break it down into steps, you’ll be encouraged because you’re making progress toward the goal – rather than frustrated that you haven’t achieved it.

  1. MAKE IT A HABIT. 

We all have bad habits … but we can also form good habits! We develop “muscle memory” from doing things over and over again, and good habits usually lead to more good habits.

For example, if you make it a habit to spend 30 minutes organizing your job search notes, plans, and materials for the coming week, you’ll be rewarded by feeling organized and focused. Your efforts will be more purposeful and probably more effective.

  1. CELEBRATE INCREMENTAL SUCCESSES.

Haven’t found a new job yet? That’s OK! Rejoice in each success along the way, because together all those small successes will lead to the result you want.

  1. DON’T GIVE UP AT THE FIRST FAILURE.

Let’s say you miss a goal or make no progress during a certain time period. It’s very easy to say, “this is useless!” and give up entirely.

But be kinder to yourself. Accept the fact that we can’t succeed at everything all the time, but we can get back on the horse and keep moving forward.

  1. FIND A SUPPORT TEAM.

Your support team can provide practical and emotional support at various phases of your goal. In career transition, you’ll want to have people on your team who will:

  • Let you vent when you’re frustrated.
  • Give you candid feedback on your career marketing messages.
  • Suggest companies and individuals for you to contact.
  • Brainstorm fresh ideas to help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Help you prepare for an interview and de-brief you afterwards.
  • Share their own success strategies for making a career move.
  • Introduce you (and recommend you) to their contacts and colleagues.
  • Encourage you to try a new approach.
  • Be honest when you ask their opinion.

And a whole lot more! Your team might include colleagues, friends, your spouse and other relatives, your children, career professionals (resume writers and career coaches), classmates, and others.

Share with your team your goal, your plan, and your progress. Ask for help when you need it.

Before you know it, you’ll be checking off all the small “bites” and reaching the top of your ambitious resolution!

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