What’s Your New Year’s CAREER Resolution?

career-changeIt’s a new year and once again, time to revisit personal and professional goals. Despite the best of intentions, “resolutions” alone do not support change. A 45% gym membership increase in January with a precipitous fall off in February alone points to very typical human behavior. We often imagine we have accomplished a goal by taking a single step. While that may indeed be a starting point, it is in fact, only the beginning. Without a plan in place, the likelihood of any change, let alone sustained change, is low.

According to this month’s Boston Business Journal survey, people do give increased attention to their career goals in January.
• 20% – Find a new job
• 17% – Do a better job of setting realistic goals and following through
• 17% – Achieve better work/like balance
• 14% – Get a pay raise
• 12% – Get more organized
• 10% – Delegate tasks more effectively
• 10% – Other

Finding a new job may certainly be doable, yet without specific steps, wishing, hoping and praying to be promoted or recruited isn’t the best approach. Begin with research.
• Are you doing work that you like and/or want to continue doing?
• Do you need a bigger challenge?
• Is the company/industry a good fit for you?
• Is there a new role you can identify there or elsewhere?
• Who’s doing something professionally that you would love to do?

There are multiple strategies to utilize in a robust job search beginning with an internal review of what you find most and least satisfying about your work. Sometimes we feel stuck because of personal or financial demands. It may be the department or the company that’s the issue but you love the career path you’ve chosen. Sometimes it’s truly a professional mismatch and time for a return to school or seeking new credentials. The clock is ticking and finding yourself in the same place in a year will be disheartening.

Quick tips:
• Review your LinkedIn profile. Is it up-to-date and with a professional head shot?
• Informal networking. Time to expand your circle.
• Hire a career coach to help you sort it out
• Start somewhere and keep going!



Making New Year’s Resolutions

adderall-shutterstock_170892518If you are contemplating setting a New Year’s resolution, here is an alternative. This year, go for your dreams!

• Do you dream of doing less and having more?
• Do you want to be more successful and less stressed?
• Do you want to be healthier or in better shape?
• Do you want more quality time with family and friends?
• What about a new job, more passion, more money and more FUN?

Dreams like these have a far better chance of survival than resolutions which are based on what you don’t want. Why? Your dreams and desires have more power than your doubts and dislikes.

There is a very different energy and joy when you are moving toward your dreams rather than when you are trying to “fix” something. For example, if your dream is to look and feel good, this energy is quite different than that applied to the drudgery of getting rid of weight by diet and exercise. In other words, developing a healthier and more powerful body will be easier than losing weight. Similarly, building a successful business is more exciting than getting rid of debt.

• Writing things down is more weighty than holding the ideas in your head
• Make a broad list
• Narrow it down to 3-5 goals that are really important to you
• Choose one to start!


The “Fitness Cliff”

Two Women Exercising With WeightsWhen I first read the term, fitness cliff I assumed that the reference was to another cutting edge training program. After all, it is spring and time to think about getting in shape, preparing to shed layers of clothing and improved conditioning for outdoor activities. Naïve on my part. Gold’s Gym graphed member check-ins from January 2010-January 2013. On February 18th, 48 days after most of us vow to eat less and exercise more, attendance nose-dives and continues on a downward spiral with a few positive spikes near bathing suit season. Surprised?

So, what happened and why does it continue to be an ongoing pattern? Similar to the New Year’s resolutions that many of us have been wont to make with certainty, over 50% never get beyond January 31st in changing some behavior. Fewer than 20% of us follow through on a resolution to its conclusion and actually make the proposed change.

Reassess your goal:
A closer look might help. According to fitness trainers, if you fixate on changing a specific body part and you don’t immediately see results like flat abs or thin thighs, your commitment is likely to wane. Instead, look at the bigger picture.

What’s important about being healthy?
• Greater endurance/more energy
• Improved mood
• Increased strength
• Sleep better
• Participate in more activities
• Develop greater discipline
• Gain confidence
• Clothing fit better
• Diet changes
• Exposure to more people/exercise buddy

Focus on why exercise is a positive activity that has both long and short term benefits. It’s energizing and de-stressing and can also add a social component. When the “pay-off” is not necessarily immediate, your goals need to be approached in small steps with built-in rewards, like a massage or another spa treatment.

©Mweisner 2014