Try Making A New Year’s Agenda Instead Of Resolutions,

Dec 30th, 2012 | By | Category: abundance, Career advice, career challenges, choosing a mentor, new resolution. agenda, professional image, strategy, success, tactics, yearly review

The New Year is at hand, and most of us are rethinking what we did over the last year, and making New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Problem is very few resolutions survive the first month of the New Year. There are a host of reasons given by psychologists why we make and fail to keep New Years resolutions. Many of the resolutions are really are ideas, they are tried and worn concepts of our society. The reason we don’t keep our resolutions is not lack of will power, it is there is no real emphasis to change things. Most of us have craved out a comfort zone, and there is no real need to change.

Most New Year’s resolutions are oriented toward personal improvement, and seek to correct a perception that we could improve, but since we are in our comfort zone, why bother? Quit Smoking, Loose weight, exercise more, work harder, etc. for what? We like our current life style, and the benefits from these resolutions are actually abstract. What do you really get if you quit smoking, loose weight, exercise more, work harder? There rewards are realized over such a long period that they seem infinitesimal. When you are 20, 30, 40, and even 50 the consequences of out bad habits seem so far off. I have a friend who had a minor medical problem, it appeared to be cancer at first, but turned out to be benign. His attitude was if he were in his 60s he would be ready to just let nature take it course. Of course he wasn’t 60 and it turned out to be something easily corrected, but my point is when you are young the threat of events down the road don’t hold a lot of power over most of us, until we get there. So why make and keep personal improvement resolutions? There is no perception of a pay off.

The difference between New Year resolutions and a New Years agenda is unlike resolutions an agenda is a set of goals you would like to achieve. Depending on your goals set forth on your New Year’s agenda, the reward will move you further toward your life goals. While an agenda may include personal goals, when drafting an agenda we usually focus on our careers. More thought goes into framing an agenda, and, for some reason, an agenda is more of roadmap than a list of resolutions.

A New Year’s agenda should contain what you want to achieve over the next year. You may have long range goals which will take more than a year to achieve, and your yearly agenda should set the stepping stones you need to reach your goal. For example if your goal is to become a Vice President in your company, then you need to plot a path from where you are to where you want to be. Most likely there are several positions you must move through to reach the Vice President level. What step should take this year to get further down the path? Perhaps you should start applying for supervisor or management positions. Perhaps you should enlist your boss’s help to move you to the next step. Perhaps it is increasing your status in your current position. There may be a series of goals you want to complete in the coming year. List them all.

The next step is to develop a strategy for achieving the goals set out in your agenda outline. This is the hard part. Most people including myself think that if we knew what to do we would be doing it. So how do you figure it out? One way is to look at what you have done over the past year. What worked, what didn’t work, and what did other’s in your group do. There is nothing wrong with copying winning traits. While we are all individuals and have different personalities, we all share a lot of common attributes. Maybe if you are not getting along with your boss, what can you do to improve your working relationship? Maybe reading some books or posts on the topic may give you some ideas. Don’t give up, the more you roll a challenge around in your mind, the better the chance of coming up with something that works. If after thinking it over for a while you are still stumped seek out a career coach or a mentor to help you. It may cost a little, but if it gets you started on the road to completing your agenda, it is an investment in your career. Happy New Year

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