Make Something Happen-- Turn your resolutions into results

Make Something Happen-- Turn your resolutions into results
by Annette Richmond

Ever make a New Year's resolution? If you answered yes, you're not alone. It's one of our favorite pastimes. There's something about a brand new calendar that suggests the opportunity to start all over again.

Whether your resolution is to find a new job, get a promotion, market your business more successfully or to make more time for yourself, you'll get more results if you set some concrete goals. Yes, goals.

Think about it. How many times have you promised yourself that You would "eat healthier" or "exercise regularly" or "whatever?" And how many times have you followed- through? If the answer is "not often," I'm guessing that you probably didn't write down specific goals.

That's ok. Each New Year or month or day, offers another chance to make a fresh start. The key to turning resolutions into results is to make a plan. Create one that includes long- and short-term goals, and plenty of opportunities to measure your achievements along the way.

Remember when you were in school? When you started first grade you weren't thinking about getting into junior high school. Sure, you knew that was your long-term goal, but your focus was on a series of short-term goals: passing your first test, getting through the first semester, then moving on to the second grade.

Whatever you want to do, the strategy is the same: set up long-term goals, short-term goals, and concentrate on overcoming one hurdle at a time. Maybe today is the day you decide to adopt a "healthier lifestyle." This is a common resolution. Often prompted by a run up the stairs that left you gasping for air or a day spent shopping for bathing suits. But where should you start? Begin by determining what you really want to achieve.

Let's say the long-term goal of your "healthier lifestyle" is to become stronger and loose weight. Exercising regularly is one of your short-term goals. Neither of these is specific enough. Start by clarifying your long-term goal. Instead of being stronger and loosing weight, plan to drop 10 pounds and be able to walk a 15-minute mile.

These are measurable goals. Rather than saying you will start to exercise, plan to exercise for 20 minutes three times a week, starting on Monday. This is something you can mark on your calendar, a visual reminder of your accomplishments. Begin today by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Think how great you'll feel because you've taken action.

The same is true for your career. If you want to find new job or start your own business, you'll be more successful if you have a plan. Let's say your long-term goal is to get another job. Your short-term goals may include reworking your resume, networking and looking for job openings.

Break each of these down to relatively small, measurable tasks. For example, if you're sending out resumes, commit to sending out at least five each week. Get started by working on your resume or making a list of job-search sites today. If your goal is to change careers, schedule some time this week for self-assessment and research. Plan to investigate at least one career that interests you each week.

Changing your life isn't easy. Just contemplating it can sometimes be overwhelming. But, developing a plan for change will make the process easier. You can make it happen by taking it one step at a time. And if you think one step isn't significant, remember: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." (Confucius)

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Annette Richmond is a writer, career coach and founder of, The smart woman's online career resource. It's your life make the most of it. We can help you take control of your career, find a new job or start your own business.



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