New Year. New Start. New Goals.
I don’t know about you, but for me a new year always means a new opportunity to get a fresh start. It gives one a chance to look back at the past 365 days and to reevaluate whether life is going in the right direction.
Especially when it comes to career goals it can even kick-start the motivation again. But in case you don’t know how to make sure your new year is off to a great start, here some tips for you:
Set realistic and trackable goals
In order to set goals you first have to figure out what it is you want to accomplish in the long-run. Once you have done that, you can start breaking your long-term goal into smaller, easier to achieve goals. This does not only enable you to track your progress throughout the entire year – or even years – but also helps to stay motivated.
And here I can speak from experience. I tend to set myself pretty big goals and while trying to accomplish them I often feel I’m moving on the same spot, that my progress is not going fast enough. Big mistake!
So how to break these goals down?
There does not seem to be THE ultimate strategy but depending on whether you’re a free spirit or tend to be super organized, it makes sense to write down an agenda with quarterly goals, monthly goals or even weekly if that’s what drives you forward. Set yourself deadlines so you have dates to focus on and don’t get sluggish after that rush of motivation that pumped through your body at the beginning of the year has worn off. Don’t wait for miracles to happen.
How can such a to-do list look like?
Here is an example from my last exam phase. Exams always come with a surprise, it’s just like Christmas. You technically know you have to have presents for your family and friends on the eve of the 24th of December (or 25th for our British friends) but I could bet most of us rush every year in the shops – maybe even on Christmas day itself – to find some last minute presents.
So exams: the closer you come to exams week, and you still haven’t started studying for them, the more you feel like this is going to be an impossible mountain of information to climb.
You may even downgrade your goal from writing an excellent test to a simple pass… Don’t panic! Break your ultimate goal of “writing good grades” into smaller ones, such as Monday: Chapter 1-3, Tuesday: Chapter 4-6 etc. and you will be able to go motivated through the pile of presentations and books and eventually you will be able to accomplish your goal!
I am just not that kind of person!
All of this may sound like nothing you can see yourself doing. Maybe you think you are too lazy, to unorganized, or you simply don’t want to live off such an agenda, and want to be more flexible and free than that. Well fair enough, you cannot be blamed for that. However, you probably have some sort of goals in your life you find hard to achieve, may they be of a private or career-oriented nature. In that case, write yourself some sticky-notes so you don’t get off track – even without a detailed agenda.
Give yourself a break! No matter what you are trying to achieve, passing your exams, writing a thesis or even starting a business, make sure to reward yourself for small accomplishments. It is impossible to power through from the early morning to the late evening on a daily basis. Have a conscious break! Have a coffee, meet or call a friend, go for a short walk to get some fresh air or anything else that could distract your thoughts for a little while and gives your mind a chance to relax.
Try something new!
If you don’t feel like you have the energy to go through an entire process of finding new goals, breaking them down, working hard every day to achieve them, then try something new! Maybe you just need a change. Explore a new country, do an internship abroad, volunteer, educate yourself about possibilities so start off entirely new! Don’t get stuck in a life you don’t feel comfortable with.
Stay flexible and be open to adapt!
A last tip for a great start of the new year is to be flexible and open-minded for changes in your environment. This is definitely easier said than done. But I’m sure if you made it all the way through this blog and you are ready to pursue new goals, you are fully prepared what 2016 has in store for you!
In case all of this wasn’t motivational speech enough, check out what Shia LaBeouf has to say:
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