October is a great time of year to check in on your career/business goals and work satisfaction as the season has shifted from summer’s external adventures to autumn’s internal reflections. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take a deep breath and connect with how you are really feeling about about your work in the world. You now have 9 months perspective under your belt from 2011. What have you learned? What have you accomplished? What remains incomplete? There’s still time to make it happen before the holiday flurry begins. So whether you have your own business or you’re building your career within an organization, I invite you to do a quick check-in exercise to guide your reflection process and help you create a career trajectory plan to finish your 2011 strong and sail into 2012 with clarity and confidence.
- How passionate and engaged are you in your current work? (scale of 1-10; 10 being really passionate & engaged)
- What aspects of your work are going really well and why?
- What is not going well and why?
- What’s one change you want to make in the next 2 weeks to increase your energy and finish October on a high note?
- What are 2-3 things you can do by the end of the year to increase your passion and/or engagement?
- What timeline will you dedicate yourself to in order to accomplish these 2- 3 things before December 31, 2011?
- What resources and support will help you be successful with these activities?
- Who will hold you accountable and help you stay on track?
- How will you celebrate achieving these 2-3 things?
Now step back and reflect on how achieving these 2-3 things to finish out the year can open up more space for you to excel in 2012.
- What’s your next learning edge or goal in 2012 to move your business or career to the next level?
- What resources or support will you need to activate and maintain this next growth spurt?
- What will you do to engage these resources and support to be proactive with your plan?
- How does this new learning or goal connect with your long term business or career goal?
To be successful in achieving your short-, mid- or long-term goals you’ll need three things:
1) An articulate map of your goals or ideas for growth.
By ‘articulate’ I mean you are as descriptive as possible – name the goal or idea, outline its meaning and importance to you, how you want to take action, then set up a timeline to track and maintain your steady progress. Be realistic with what you set out to do and then challenge yourself to take 1-2 things to a bigger or higher level to stretch your possibilities as there’s a good chance you could surprise yourself!
2) An understanding of how these goals are related to your overarching career/business goal.
Keeping the bigger picture in mind helps us when we get distracted or discouraged – it reminds us what we’re striving for! It also shows us the interconnectedness between our current actions and decisions with our future outcomes.
3) A support system to encourage, inform and hold you accountable for doing what you set out to do.
Any time you set out to change things up it’s important to have support to stay motivated, address the questions and challenges that inevitably come up, make progress and celebrate your successes. Surround yourself with people who support your growth and can relate to what you are aiming to accomplish. Share the highlights of your plan with 1- 2 people you trust and who will be positive influences in your process by checking in with you regularly regarding your progress and who can offer advice if you get stuck.
Let me know if you have questions and I invite you to share your ideas, feedback and progress with me by posting a comment. Here’s to your success!