Got a New Years Resolution? Are you looking to make this year your most organised, productive and healthy yet? Worried that all these good intentions will fall by the wayside? You need to read this.
Moving from New Years Resolution dreams to reality
Hanging up the wall planner in the new year is a big thing in my household. I like to look at all the blank space and just dream a little about all the possibilities each of those little white squares could bring.
But soon enough, the days get filled with school events and social outings, and it can be easy to push our own dreams aside while we run a household and manage a family. As a professional careers coach, I recommend several strategies for setting yourself up in the new year to keep your career plans on track.
1. New Years Resolution – set goals and write them down
Summer holidays are a perfect time to reflect on what you want to achieve this year, and set some goals. They can relate to any aspect of your life – work, health, home-life, or money. To ensure you stay focussed throughout the year, aim to keep the number of goals to about five or six. One of the best things you can do is write your goals down. Research shows that we are a lot more likely to achieve our goals when they are written down, and the process of writing them also helps you to be more thoughtful about the goals you are setting for yourself.
2. New Years Resolution – see your future every day
I like to do an exercise with my clients where we create a vision board poster. Cutting out pictures from magazines that represent what you would like your life to ‘look like’ can help to focus your actions over the years on reaching your ideal. It’s great to have the poster on display somewhere as a reminder of where you are headed in life. I keep mine in my office where it can clearly see me.
3. New Years Resolution – use your time effectively
Mums are famous for being able to do multiple things at once. Have a think about the ‘non-productive’ time in your everyday and how you could use it to your advantage. If you are running errands in the car or doing housework, could you also be brushing up on your professional skills by listening to a podcast or audio book? To get started, research what podcasts will suit your needs and subscribe. Or download a library borrowing app like BorrowBox and set up your own personalised catalogue.
4. New Years Resolution – tap into your network
Many of life’s opportunities come from our network of family and friends, and a new job is no different. In fact, it is a commonly held view that 70% of jobs are not even advertised. Jobs in this ‘hidden job market’ are filled via personal referrals and direct approaches from candidates. Draw up a list of people you know who may be able to give advice or assistance to help you get where you’re going. This provides a great resource you can use throughout the year. Most people are only too happy to lend a hand – all you need to do is ask!
Are you a mother returning to work? Or is your work situation changing?
Many return-to-work mums find it challenging to get started on their new year career plans once the reality and routine of the term time starts up again. But by using a little of your summer holiday down-time to get organised for the year ahead, these set-up tips can really help you to put your plans into action.
Donna Thistlethwaite is the professional careers coach behind CareerSmart Mums, a workshop that offers return-to-work mums the practical and motivational support they need to pursue a career that they love. For more information and free resources, and to join the CareerSmart Mums network, visit them online here!