If you could create the career future you want in 2012, what would it look like? Would you retire 10 years early? Get promoted into your boss's job? Find the job of your dreams? Get yourself 100 percent organized?
If you want radical work life improvement in 2012, follow these guidelines.
When setting New Year's resolutions, dream boldly. Small-time your dreams and you sell yourself short.
Whatever your resolution, fully commit. How many times have you announced a goal, yet given yourself a mental out?
You know what I mean if you declare as your New Year's resolution that you'll exercise more, yet in the next breath qualify "except for days when I really don't feel like it."
If you want real change in your work life, don't sell yourself out with weak resolutions. For example, if you resolve you'll keep your temper under control, don't qualify it with "unless a jerk pushes my buttons." Successful resolutions require non-negotiable commitment.
New Year's resolutions aren't what you commit to for others, they are personal. Do you want to get organized for yourself or have supervisor or co-worker comments guilt-tripped you into vowing to become organized? Make sure you mean the resolutions you set.
Once you declare your resolution, face what stops you. What are the mental conversations that get in your way? Do you have a dream but keep telling yourself you can't achieve it? No one can move forward with the parking brake on. You author your mental conversations; create ones that fuel your progress. If you think you can't find a better job, you won't even look for one.
Expect unexpected obstacles to create occasional derailments. While we can't direct the wind, we can adjust our sails. Make the decision that no matter how many times you fall off the resolution wagon, you'll pick yourself up and get back in the game after determining how to eliminate the sabotage that caused the stumble.
If you don't want your New Year's resolution to fall into the once-voiced, twice-forgotten category, keep it visible and enlist support. Frequently accessed reminders eliminate out of sight, out of mind excuses. Letting your boss or co-workers know what you intend reinforces your resolution by making your private dream public.
Overly ambitious expectations can turn dreams into dust. If you want results, consider your resolution the end goal and set realistic, interim targets you can achieve. After all, who loses more weight -- the star that exhausts herself running three miles as fast as she can the first day of her weight-loss pursuit or the realistic who burns a steady 200 calories on the elliptical daily? Initially the star, however, when her knees ache, she may decide she doesn't have the stomach for another run. While the star fades, the realistic keeps going and her slow one- to two-pound monthly loss equals 20 pounds lost by year end.
If you could create the career future you want in 2012, what would it look like? You can have what you want if you fully commit to bold resolutions, set interim goals and stay in the game.
w Lynne Curry is a management trainer, consultant and president of Alaska's The Growth Company Inc. in Anchorage. Email her at lynne@thegrowth company.net.