Every New Years Eve I remember my Italian mother was adamant that we stay up until midnight and then smash a pile of old plates to bring in the New Year. She was certain that it bought good fortune and once she got rolling, would do it with such emotion and rigor, saying it had something to do with removing any bad omens from the past year and bring on fresh new beginnings.
It was great fun, made loads of noise and meant someone else had to clean it up the next day. This was a tradition that lasted well into my teens or…… until we ran out of plates.
I had more success with this tradition than I did with New Years resolutions. It always seemed that committing to being thinner, healthier or quitting smoking without a plan was doomed for failure. These resolutions meant changing well-entrenched habits and their success was contingent on having increasingly stronger will power.
So given most resolutions end in failure by February and make us feel worse about ourselves, then why bother?
Maybe another approach is to think about what specific outcomes you want to achieve over a 12-month period, and then create a simple plan made up of many mini chucks to get there.
Work out what people, resources and systems you need to bring into your life to help support you to succeed.
And if your momentum is prone to slow down, then consider what would make you accountable to these goals…say it out loud, tell your friends, write a blog post or share it on Facebook.
Consider technology that can be used to remind you of these goals. You can schedule times into your calendar, set email reminders and use Apps to track your progress. I was recently introduced to Lift- a website that helps you reach your goals with simple reminders and plans within a like-minded community. (see https://lift.do)
And most importantly acknowledge and reward yourself when you have mini wins.
Try using these strategies if you’re thinking about career change. If you’re not clear then start with a small side project. Create a low risk strategy, explore and build up your confidence and insights.
Don’t waste time wondering and over thinking it- make a commitment that will really matter and see where your career could go.