It’s six weeks into the year, which means the time is ripe to revisit — and possibly adjust — your New Year’s career resolutions.
Here we are in mid-February, the perfect time to check in on those New Year’s career resolutions you made last month.
Perhaps you decided that 2017 is the year you’re going to change careers, ask for a raise, get a new job, start your own business, and/or go back to school. Have you run up against any roadblocks?
Chances are the answer is yes.
It’s even possible that you haven’t actually started yet. Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to us all. Here’s a secret: We are all a little afraid of our dreams. When the stakes are high, fear of failure is very natural and real.
Fortunately, you can start working toward your dream at any time (even, say, mid-February). You are also allowed as many false starts and reboots as you need. In fact, you may find you’ll need to start over many times.
Perhaps you have written up a plan clearly spelling out your goal and the steps needed to attain it (congratulations!), but are now stuck. It may be that your steps are too massive. You need to break them down into smaller, more concrete tasks. You will know if they are small enough when they feel “doable.” Then aim to accomplish at least one of these tasks each day or week.
Perhaps you are at the point where the whole project seems like too much. A good way to combat feeling overwhelmed is to rank tasks in terms of (a) what is the most important and (b) what has to be done before something else can be done. At that point, determine to focus on just one task at a time.
Perhaps you’ve made a plan, identified action items and set priorities, but are now at a standstill. Find a friend and talk it through. You may discover that your goal itself needs tweaking, or just that you need to rethink your strategy to reach that goal.
Recognize that setbacks happen. Sometimes it may even seem you are moving away from your target, rather than toward it. This is normal. Forgive yourself for any “lapses” and look for ways to avoid or resolve those issues in the future.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate small successes. Well-timed rewards and treats will help keep you motivated.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use and of the novel “The Paris Effect.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.