The New Year—and a whole new decade—has probably got you thinking about your career goals. In fact, odds are you’ve even set some resolutions. Yet research shows that while the majority of us make New Year’s resolutions, a mere 8% are actually successful in achieving them.
To beat the odds in 2020, start with an attitude adjustment to create the positivity and purpose you’ll need. Four tried-and-true tips:
Accentuate the positive. Maybe last year was full of wins at work. Or maybe not. Yet no matter how your 2019 wrapped up, celebrate what you did accomplish—and without comparing those successes to your colleagues and peers. Last year’s achievements will set the stage for what you realize this year and beyond.
Remember that goals come in all shapes and sizes. Yearly goals are great, but they’re just one option. There are also weekly and monthly goals, and thinking bigger, even a five-year plan. Bill Gates once said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Why not at least ponder where you want to be in ten years? Then ask yourself how your resolutions today line up with where you might be further down the road.
Keep your eyes on the prize. It’s easy to be positive when things are going your way. But when they’re not, it’s critical to remind yourself what you’re working toward and to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. One suggestion is to put inspiring, can-do notes on your smartphone or laptop, around your work space, and in any other spots where you can’t miss them. It’ll help you stay strong and focused when you may feel like giving up instead.
Think big, act small. By all means, dream big about that plum promotion, brand-new company, or major career change. But unless you take small, day-by-day steps to make it happen, it won’t. Break your big aspirations down into bite-size targets and tasks, and then go after them one by one. Little wins add up faster than you can imagine and will work to keep you motivated.
So 2020, here you come. With a little attitude adjustment and a lot of ambition, you can meet your career goals—and be a part of the 8% who actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.