Many of us are tired of the same issues at work and want 2017 to be different. This could mean anything from improving work/life balance or performing better, to finally changing roles and trying something new. Whatever it is, harness the New Year momentum and start planning how to improve things.
Here are four steps to help you on your way:
Get your ‘big picture’ firmly in your mind and think about exactly what you want to be different by the end of 2017.
For example, if you want to accelerate your performance, determine what excellent results you want to achieve by the end of the year. Or perhaps you want to switch careers, in which case decide what you will be doing by the end of 2017 – will you be in a new role or will you be working out your notice?
Whatever your ‘bigger picture’ is, consider what progress you will have made towards it by the end of 2017. Write down your thoughts somewhere safe (it helps not to only keep things in your head, honestly).
Now ‘go small’
Having clarified what you are aiming for, set out the main steps that need to happen over the year to get you there, and when they need to happen by. The number of steps will vary, but on average there should be about three or four.
For instance, will you need to have hit a certain target, attended a particular course, or set up an important conversation by a fixed time? What other tasks need to be completed?
Map these main steps out in a mini timeline so you know when your key milestones are. Now your plan is beginning to take shape.
Next, go even smaller and make a plan for the next month. Just look to the end of four weeks’ time and consider what you are generally aiming to have achieved by then. Again, write it down. If it looks daunting or unachievable, tweak your end of year aim or key steps so it feels manageable. Now you are ready to make a start!
Think about your true motivation. The New Year is a great opportunity to harness renewed energy and appetite for change, but that alone is unlikely to see you through the entire year. You will need to dig deeper.
Think honestly about the reasons you want to make the changes. Once you have identified the reason(s), pause and think about them even more, this time delving even deeper behind them – what will all this really mean to you and what will it help you to achieve? How will you feel if you do not make the changes?
People think clearly in different ways so do what works best for you to get some insight. You might want to go for a long walk in the fresh air, or sit somewhere peaceful in silence, or maybe put your thinking cap on in a cosy café with a hot chocolate. Wherever you go, note down the reasons that come to you and remind yourself of them whenever you can.
Do not forget to have fun along the way – this is all to give you a better life after all!
Reward yourself with regular treats (chocolate, spa visits, golf with friends– whatever it is you enjoy), take all your holiday days off to make sure you get a break, and try to sleep well.
Not only will this keep your energy up so that you can continue working towards the changes, but you should feel happier too, which is pretty great.
Want to try something new, to see if this time next year you could be singing a very different song about your work life? Go on, take a deep breath and give the steps above a go… good luck and Happy New Year!
(Want some extra support with all this? Why not consider some one-to-one coaching sessions with Red Arbre.)