Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Goal-Setting (Part II): Where Are You Going?

In hockey, it's easy to measure your accomplishments. The scoreboard reflects your success.
Photo credit: UNO Libraries' Archives and Special Collections

In yesterday's blog post, I talked about the importance of reflection in goal-setting.

Today, we're going to talk about intentions, which are a critical component in setting goals. 

Goals give us focus and direction. A goal is a statement of intention — about what you want, what you plan to focus on, and what you intend to accomplish. Choosing a goal gives you a destination to choose a path for. Only when you know where you are going can you decide how to get there. Goals get you into action, keep you on track, and allow you to measure your progress.

You're probably already familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. system for goal-setting. 

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for:

When creating your S.M.A.R.T. goals, use the present tense. See yourself achieving the goal. 

"I will create and launch a new signature system for jobseekers by January 31, 2019."
"I will earn $96,000 in revenue in 2019."
"I will pay off $6,000 in credit card debt by December 31, 2019."

Beyond setting the goals is making them a reality. It's one thing to write down a goal. It's another to look back a year from now and see what you've accomplished.

But writing down the goal is important. You're 42% (or 47%) more likely to achieve a goal that you write down. (I found both numbers in my research — either way, that's a lot!)

So take a few minutes — RIGHT NOW — and write down between two and four S.M.A.R.T. goals you hope to accomplish this year.

Read Part 3 here: “Goal-Setting (Part III): How Do You Get There?”

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Goal-Setting (Part I): Where Have You Been?

Goal-setting is one of the most important activities you can do to be successful. The start of a new year is a natural time to stop and take stock of where you want to go. To start 2019, I'm going to create a series of blog posts that will give you an opportunity to look back at the past year, figure out where you are now, and also determine your direction for the new year.

Today's post is about REFLECTION.

Goal setting isn't just about looking forward. It's also about learning.

In 2018, what was your biggest disappointment or regret? This one might take a minute to come up with — or it may spring right to your mind. Was there a project you didn’t finish? Something you wanted to get done in your business that you didn’t? Or how you handled a particular client or opportunity?

Did you have plans for yourself in 2018 that weren't realized?

Were there things that you wanted to accomplish this year that you didn’t get one? What was the reason — or reasons — you didn’t get it done?

Did other priorities and activities distract you?
Did you forget to work on it? 
Did you give up because it was too difficult to accomplish?
Was your “WHY” not big enough?

That last one is important. Your motivation for wanting to accomplish something is vital to you achieving your goal. This is sometimes called “Your Big Why.” Do you remember why you wanted to do this? If you don’t know that, you’re going to have a hard time achieving your goal because your motivation needs to be big enough to overcome the resistance that you’re going to face as you work toward your goal.

Change can be great — but it’s also intimidating (even scary!) and difficult. If you don’t have a big enough why driving you, it’s easy to do the stuff that’s more familiar and predictable. It can be very useful to look at why you didn’t achieve your goals — and figure out what you can do differently.

For example, if you want to stop smoking, you may have a great WHY behind the goal, but you probably also have a reason that you’ve been unsuccessful in achieving this goal previously. Maybe you have friends — or a spouse — who still smokes. Or maybe you’re afraid about gaining weight if you give up smoking. Recognizing the obstacles that have stopped you before will help you be more successful this time around.

But I don’t want to get too caught up in the past. This is about creating the future you want, becoming the person you want to be, and finishing things you’ve never been able to finish before. But the more motivated you are to achieve your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them — because motivation gives a lot of fuel to the fire.

That's step one.

Happy New Year!

Read part two here: “Goal-Setting (Part II): Where Are You Going?”

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"Tell me something I don't know already or don't waste my time."

Want to know how to get your client's resume to turn into a job interview?

Remember this phrase (or, better yet, print it out and tape it to your wall):
"Tell me something I don't know already or don't waste my time."

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a shift in resumes came about. Instead of the resume being a "career obituary" listing the job responsibilities, professional resume writers began focusing on accomplishments. Quantifying the numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts behind the job applicant's work remains relevant today.

But too many resume writers (myself included, sometimes!) are still including information that is too basic or should be "understood information" for any applicant with that particular job title.

Dig deeper. Ask the client more questions. Work to uncover information that isn't "basic" but that will "surprise" the reader by giving real insight into the client.

Tell them something they don't already know … or don't waste their time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"You Are Where You Are Because of You"

I posted this graphic to my Facebook profile today.

I excerpted it from the "Positive Encouragement for Jobseekers #4 (Tweetable Tips)" Pass-Along Materials content. (This content package gives you quotes that you can turn into shareable graphics, just like this.)

I like this quote because it has multiple meanings, and how you interpret it is up you.

Positive: I am responsible for my own destiny when it comes to my life and my career. If I don't like where I am, I have the power to change it.

Negative: If I'm unhappy with my life or my career, it's because of the choices I have made. I am a product of my decisions. If I've ended up somewhere I don't want to be, it's because I, and I alone, have made the decisions that have gotten me here.

I'd love to hear what this quote means to YOU. Comment below!