As 2015 winds down, now’s a great time to look back at all those promises you made yourself in January and see what kind of progress you’re making. If you haven’t achieved all your career-related new year’s resolutions, fear not: There’s still time to make some headway.
In a recent U.S. News & World Report post, career expert Vicki Salemi outlines five great tips for knocking out those ’15 career resolutions. Her first piece of advise is to review and reprioritize your goals. Things change over time, and in just 15 minutes, you can take stock of how your priorities have shifted since the beginning of the year.
Once you’ve done that, Salemi says, you should pick two goals to focus on. Way back in January, you might have had 10 goals, but with just a couple months to go, you want to be realistic and set yourself up to succeed. What are the most pressing things you’d like to accomplish before 2016 rolls around?
Once you’ve got those two goals, you’ll need to create an action plan. According to Salemi, you want your goals to be SMART, or “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.” Say the ultimate goal is landing a new job. You should begin by figuring out the type of position and company you’re seeking. From there, outline clear objectives, such as attending a certain number of networking events or scheduling telephone or in-person meetings.
Next, it helps if you “create micromanaged tasks” and break really daunting tasks into a series of more manageable smaller ones. For example, the act of finding a job entails updating your resume, searching for openings, and doing loads of networking. “Breaking down your goals into digestible, weekly bites can ramp up those resolutions as you quickly see results and forward movement,” Salemi writes.
Lastly, Salemi suggests you reward yourself for each bit of progress. You can become the “master of your fate,” she says, by associating things you enjoy — tasty treats, trips to the movies, etc. — with your career actions.