New Year, New You? This year make it stick!

Hands up if you have made a New Year’s Resolution and by February it was out of the window?  I’m sitting here with my hand in the air for certain as I’ve done it more than a few times.  We start the New Year full of ideas, determination and the will to change but then life kicks in and it all goes sideways.  So this year, I thought I would do some research on how to make those resolutions stick and here is what I found.

Make clear goals

One of the best ways to make goals and stick to them, according to psychologists, is to make clear goals that are achievable and have a path to that aim.  Don’t just say ‘I’m going to finally do something about getting a new job’ but instead, say you are going to update your CV, brush up on the latest interview techniques and review your qualifications.  Once you are sure that you have everything prepare, you are going to look on the internet job boards for roles and start applying.  You aren’t going to get disheartened if you get turned down but are going to keep working towards that dream job.

Take it step by step

Say your ambition for the New Year is to start a small business from home and you have an idea for the business that you have done a little research on and feel it is a viable proposition.  So rather than jumping into running it full time, making a profit and quitting your current job, set a series of aims to get the business running.  This might be things like get your products ready for sale, set up a website, start building a social media presence and do some advertising.  Have a series of steps that will end up with the business up and running and can then continue to a profit-making venture.

Change things one at a time

You may have a list of resolutions you want to enact over the year but don’t try to do them all at once.  Say you want to start going to the gym but also get on top of your housework.  Then why not hire someone to help around the house for the first few months while you establish your gym routine then work on adding the housework to it – or work on the housework schedule then add the gym trips, whatever works best.

Talk about your goals

Tell your friends and family about your goals and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it or if you are feeling down about your progress.  You might think you are doing poorly but others might think you are doing great and that boost can make all the difference!

Don’t beat yourself up

My thing is beating myself up when I don’t achieve a goal but often it’s because I’ve set unrealistic timetables for that goal.  So try to be realistic about your resolutions and then if something goes wrong, don’t get too stressed about it – just look at what didn’t happen or what went wrong and see what you can pick up from it.

Make Light Work of Job Hunting in the New Year

I’m not always one for New Year resolutions but I do think of January as a good time to take stock of things and to see what I want from the next year. One big element of this for many people is looking at their job, their career. This is why job hunting is a popular New Year task but if you do it right, it doesn’t need to be a hard one.

Preparing for job hunting

If my New Year plans involve starting job hunting, then I always do a little preparation work during the first week or so of the month (sometimes even on New Year’s Day if I’m up to it!) and the first place I start is my CV. There are loads of great templates available and plenty of good advice sites on the Internet to help you get the right information in it. Don’t forget to adapt it for the job in question each time and not simply send out a generic document.

As well as checking my CV is up to date, I also check through my social media feed and make sure all the professional stuff is in the right place. One of my friends recently had an interview where they asked her about something on her Facebook wall as she had published it for anyone to see (!) so that makes me a little cautious about what I saw.

Finally, it can be a great time to brush up on your interview technique. There are big changes in terms of interview styles and questions that have been inspired by the big US companies such as Apple and Google. This means preparing for the standard questions isn’t always enough – look out for those weird and wonderful variations.

Finding the job

Once you have done your preparation, you are ready to stand out from the crowd. Use job boards and other places around the internet to find the kind of jobs you want and start applying for them. if you aren’t ready to apply yet, start making contacts and keep records of the kid of jobs that match your ambitions and your skillsets.

New Year could even be the time to think about doing a little retraining if you want a change of direction. Many college courses that are shorter term do a fresh intake in January after the Christmas holidays and this can be a great time to prepare for that big change you want to take.

Keep at it

I know I am guilty of it and we probably all are – we build up for this job we have taken a liking to and set our hearts on it. But it is important that you don’t get disheartened if you’re unsuccessful – it may just mean it wasn’t the perfect job after all! Every time you get a ‘no’ then you are working towards that ‘yes’ down the line and you learn something – don’t forget to ask for feedback from the employer who said no to look at what you might need to alter next time around.