Did you make some New Year's resolutions this year? Did you vow to find a new job? Get more education? Start a business? Discover your calling?
If you feel that God is calling you to make some changes in your work life this year, how is it going? Are you making progress on your goals? Studies (and one's own experience!) show that as time goes on, enthusiasm and follow-though on goals wane. But you can succeed! Here are some tips to help you turn your resolutions into your reality:
1. Write down specific goals. Putting your goal(s) down on paper will help you clarify what you really want. Work with your statement until it's a clear indication of what you desire. You may start out with, "I want to be successful in my work," but don't stop there. Think about what will be happening in your life when you feel you are successful, such as: "I will earn a 10% pay increase by excelling more in my work; I will be asked to participate in the XYZ project; I will be promoted to department manager; etc." The more specific your goals are, the higher the likelihood that you will achieve them because you'll know what changes you want to see happen.
2. Determine why you want to achieve these goals. Look at each goal and ask yourself, "Why is this important to me?" If you can't come up with a compelling reason, or if the truth is that the goal is something that someone else wants for you (like a spouse or parent), you probably won't have sufficient motivation to achieve the goal. Either come up with a compelling reason why YOU want to achieve the goal, or find a new goal that really resonates with you.
3. Make a plan for achieving your goal. Positive changes seldom "just happen" in our lives; they usually have to be made intentionally. Determine the steps needed to reach your goal, and assign a date to each step. Break down the steps until there is something you can do today, tomorrow, and the next day to get started. "Bite-sized" steps that get you moving create the momentum needed to take larger (and perhaps scarier) steps more easily.
4. Set up a support system. You will be most effective in making significant changes in your life and work when you have an appropriate support system. Friends, family members, and professional coaches can provide the encouragement, accountability and resources you need to keep moving forward. Changes aren't made independently; there will be other people involved. In today's workplace, the most successful individuals are not the independent "lone rangers," but rather those people who have learned to live and work inter-dependently-both giving to and receiving from others. A skilled professional career counselor/coach can be one of your greatest assets, helping you confidentially and expediently to make the changes you desire.
5. Be gentle but firm with yourself. Don't expect perfection from yourself in "working your plan." The plan, the strategies, the goal-or all three-may need to be tweaked or radically changed. That's OK-the important thing is that you keep focused on a meaningful goal and take intentional steps toward achieving it. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, get off track, be afraid, etc.-but don't let yourself get stuck in the status quo. Remind yourself why this goal is important and take a baby step towards it. (If you find yourself staying stuck, remember step number 4-find someone that can walk the road with you to success.)
6. Don't give up! If the goal matters to you, don't let discouragement, setbacks, or fear keep you from having the life and work you want. With a good plan, the right support system, and persistence, you can achieve your goals. God has created you with a divine design, and equipped you to live a life of purpose using your gifts here on earth. Don't settle for less than what God intends for you to be and to do with your life!
© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com. All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.
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