According to this article on US News, 80 percent of New Years resolutions fail by the second week on February. Dig deeper, and you will find that most people fail at their new years resolutions for many reasons, the most prevalent being selecting goals that were simply too much too early on. Deciding to lose 20 pounds is feasible in one year, but it takes time. Achieving what you truly want takes time because it does not all come at once, you have to take baby steps and, in my opinion, focus on smaller victories, which will add up to a larger one.
At work, I was putting the finishing touches on my 2016 talent profile. I was reflecting on what I had achieved during 2016 and how my performance rated in comparison to previous years. As I was going through my goals, I realized that while I achieved and completed every project I had set out to do, I really did not feel accomplished. The goals I had set where simply the boxes I needed to check for the year. I had created tweets for work, generated internal stories, and continued supporting the brand, but these were just tasks. Measurable in the sense that you could see, “Why yes, Sherrell tweeted x number of times this year,” but nothing outside of that. There was no result of my tweets other than the fact I made them, and gained some followers.
So, I started thinking about personal and work goals for 2017. Here are some personal/ work goals I have come up with. All of which I will take baby steps to accomplish throughout 2017.
- Network. This is something I have been doing a little. Often, I find myself getting self-conscious about meeting people in higher up positions at other companies because I think to myself, what the hell could I have to offer them? After all, at my job I am a peon and in my head, that transfers over to their company too. This is completely wrong. Networking is incredibly important in today’s business world and for 2017, I will do this more by attending 1 luncheon every month for professional associations, taking time out one day each month to touch base with people I have met, by making 1 new Linkedin connection a month, and engaging more with people at events.
- Relax. My husband, work, the dogs, friends, the house, and school tend to take up most of my time. In fact, I usually find myself “relaxing” in front of the TV or my iPad. However, my “relax” time is still spent in a place where I am surrounded by all those things that take up my time. In 2017, I am going to remove myself from these distracts and truly relax once every 3 months. Whether it is getting a facial, a pedicure or massage, I am going to step away for my mental and physical health and relax in a place that is not my normal life.
- Fitness. I weight train on average twice weekly to stay strong. I do cardio in the gym when I am not weight training. But it’s boring just staying on an arc trainer or elliptical. So in 2017, my goal is to be able to jog two miles straight without a break. This may seem like a low number but my shin splints beg to differ. Currently, I can go .70 miles without pain. By the end of the year, I hope to be doing three times this amount by increasing my time and shin strength a little each month.
- Save. One of our long term goals is to move to Colorado. And to make this happen, we need money. We have saved, but we need more. Right now, it’s sort of free for all. Our savings are automatically deducted each month and we just spend. I know there is a better way to live financially. The first step I plan to take in 2017 is to use cash budget to pay for groceries and then throw the surplus in a jar to go into savings perhaps once- twice a year. Also, shopping around for the best deal on stuff is another way I plan to save. Up until this morning, I participated in Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. I was just accepting price increases for convenience. I have already found roughly $20 in savings for my household items that I can also purchase online like Amazon. The difference, I have to shop myself. So basically, I was paying $20 a month extra for Amazon to auto-ship me stuff. What the hell? Big eye-opener on that one.
- Learn. School will cover most of this goal. When I look at my MBA classes, I am excited about the new principles I will be learning. I am excited about the books I will be reading. In fact, I started reading “Give and Take” for school and it has already struck a chord with me. But learning does not need to stop there. Those connections I make through networking will serve me here as well. Through those connections, I can learn what skills are valuable in today’s businesses. This will help me decide what sort of webinars I should be watching and what additional learning I can take. Would learning Google analytics be beneficial for me? What about SEO? This would be a rolling goal that I would adapt as I meet people and talk to them in order to learn where I should and should not focus my energy.
- Blog. This is healthy. It gets things off my chest. It’s good for developing my writing skills. I need to do this once a week. Funny thing is, this is the goal I foresee as being the most difficult to accomplish. 52 posts in a year is a lot, especially when you are a student and have a regular 6-3, but I know it is achievable.
So these are my personal goals for 2017. Seems like a lot, but many of them are spread out over the course of the new year and some are somewhat evolving. I think they will help me grow in my professional and private life. So, goodbye 2016 and all of your heartbreak (RIP Carrie Fisher) and watch out 2017.