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When making New Year's resolutions, don't forget to include your career

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Ending the current year and moving into a new year is the time for reflection and looking to the future, especially when it comes to our careers. As New Year’s Eve approaches, it’s a good idea to mull over what resolutions we had made before starting the year and whether or not we accomplished what we set out to do or if we’re still working at it.

Sometimes we find that there are resolutions we made and never did anything with or there are others that were a constant struggle and left us wondering if we should scrap them altogether. It’s a process that takes a lot of thought and work to get us to our end goal. However, it won’t have direction if there isn’t an end goal at all.

When making New Year’s resolutions for our careers, it helps to follow these steps:

  • First things first, make sure the overall career goal is defined. It’s important to note that goals can be fluid. Our own career end goal doesn’t have to be set in stone and can be changed often and at any time.
  • Is the end goal still relevant? This is actually a question that can be asked and answered all throughout the year as things change. Again, think goal fluidity.
  • Think about the resolutions from the past including more than the previous twelve months. What were they? Were they accomplished? If not, why? Looking back on what’s been accomplished or not can help guide where we go in the future.
  • Write it all down: the end goal and all of the resolutions to work on for the upcoming year. That way, it can be adjusted and notes can be added to track progress or challenges that are occurring. This information will be very helpful when it comes to the end-of-year reflection.
  • Put it away and don’t think about it for a few days. Then, come back to it and see if it makes sense. Consider sharing it with a mentor, friends, co-workers, or a manager for feedback.
  • Have a support system to talk about challenges and accomplishments on your resolutions throughout the year.

Remember to revisit and review the overall goal and resolutions often. It’s okay to make adjustments. However, before scrapping a resolution, think twice. It may be challenging, but if it’s part of the end goal, it may not be wise to abandon it.

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