As with any New Year's resolution, it's important to set realistic goals that are within your control. So rather than setting such broad goals as "get a promotion" or "find a better-paying job," aim to "dress for success" or to "dedicate an extra 30 minutes each week to networking." By setting goals you can realistically achieve, you'll gain momentum with each box you check off your to-do list and feel positive about the changes you're making.
People tend to fall into one of two categories: Some have trouble buckling down and focusing on their work, while others work themselves so hard they burn out. Neither is the best attitude to have. It's important to give yourself time to rest and recharge, but if you take too much time off, you'll never get anything done. To achieve results, you need to strike a balance. Each week try to give yourself one big thing to look forward to, such as a date night or a movie break with a friend. That way you can push yourself toward your career goals during the week while knowing there's something relaxing at the end of it all.
Always putting others' needs first and going out of your way to not offend anyone show you're a caring and thoughtful individual, and being the kind person you are can help you in your career. But a bit of toughness is also needed to ensure your voice gets heard and you get the success you desire. That doesn't mean you have to turn into a "force to be reckoned with" overnight; it just means making a commitment to recognizing where you shy away from your desires and making a conscious choice to speak up. For example, if you think it's time to ask for a promotion, start by gently pointing out the areas in which you're excelling. Or if you tend to spend more time doing work for others rather than pursuing tasks that matter to you, start discovering those moments when it's OK to say no. Even just one small step per week will add up to a lot over the course of the year.
As much as you'd like to achieve your career goals overnight, that isn't likely to happen. Achieving the success you desire can take months or even years. So rather than being disappointed by what you haven't yet achieved, celebrate what you have. When you wake up each morning, take a moment to congratulate yourself for the hard work you've been putting in, and make a commitment to finding joy in what you're going to do during the day ahead. Focusing on the present will go a long way toward ensuring a happy and successful future.
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