I don’t know about you, but all of us here at Ama La Vida are still basking in the glow of the new year. You don’t have to have your entire year figured out by January 1st, but rather, taking the entire month to really dig into what’s important can help you be mindful about the success you are cultivating in the months to come (this is the approach our Fresh Start participants are taking, and it’s been pretty epic so far). If you know that you want to set some career-related goals and intentions this year, but aren’t sure where to start, read on for some inspiration that moves beyond the standard “get a new job” and “ask for a raise” go-to’s.
Impostor syndrome, fear of failure, or dragging your feet – whatever phrase you use, it’s absolutely normal to not live up to your full potential in the workplace. However, just because this phenomenon is commonplace, that doesn’t mean it’s right – or that it will work for you and the brilliance you can bring to your role. Do some soul-searching and figure out how you’ve been getting in your own way. Perhaps you’ve been passing up challenging projects because you think someone else can do them better, or you haven’t been attending networking events due to lack of confidence. What will it take for you to become the person you were meant to be in your industry or field?
We often overextend ourselves for a variety of reasons – perhaps we fear disappointing others by turning down requests, or maybe we want to make sure that everything is done just right. However, by never setting limits or boundaries, you’re risking overworking yourself and burning out – or looking like you don’t know how to prioritize what’s truly important. Especially in leadership roles, the ability to delegate (and, subsequently, let your team make mistakes and then use that as a learning opportunity) is critical. You simply can’t do it all yourself. What are you holding onto that needs to be released?
Ask for feedback.
Setting your own goals is important, but obtaining outside perspective on how you’re doing and what you should focus on is a humbling and vital experience. Understanding what your leadership needs from you can ensure that your goals are aligned with your company’s big-picture vision. In addition, asking for ongoing input ensures that there are no surprises when it comes to annual reviews. Demonstrating that you can accept feedback gracefully, and subsequently incorporate it into your workflow, is a great look. Whose needs are you responsible for meeting, and how are you ensuring you’re getting feedback from them in a timely and useful manner?
Any career success you’ve achieved – big or small – is probably not due to your efforts alone. We consistently receive guidance and mentorship from those around us in order to grow into the leaders we want to be. The opportunity to pay that gift forward is incredibly rewarding, and also ensures that the generation of workers to come after you is equipped for greatness. Michelle Obama once said, “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” Who are you holding the door open for?
The new year is an incredible time to set audacious goals – if not now, when? Get crystal clear about the huge success you want to achieve this year – is it expanding your patient panel, increasing revenue for your small business, or growing your team? Whatever is on your list, take your goal and then make it a little bigger. Challenge yourself to exceed your wildest dreams and create an achievable path to make your vision a reality. If you want big things to happen, you need to first declare your intentions. What will you do this year that will absolutely blow your mind?
It’s okay to take a breather. There – I said it! There are seasons where we pour everything we have into our careers, and seasons where we take a step back and begin to reap the rewards of our hard work. Perhaps this is the year you explore what the elusive concept of work-life balance means for you, or maybe you need to dial back due to family or health obligations. You can’t do it all, and sometimes making a conscious decision to slow down on your work means that your career is sustainable in the long-term. What do you need to give yourself permission to step back from?
Enjoy your first full work-week of 2019. We can’t wait to see what this year brings you and your career and look forward to helping you be more mindful and intentional as you define what success looks like.
This week’s challenge
Set an intention for your new year as it relates to your career. We promise you’re not too old, too young, too stuck, or too fast-paced to determine what you really need to focus on in 2019. Know that this intention can grow and shift throughout the months to come, but commit to beginning the process. You deserve this.
We know you want to learn more. Here are some of our favorite additional resources:
- Support your favorite local bookstore: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
- Read: “We set resolutions believing that our thoughts drive our behavior, even though we are often motivated to action by our emotions.”
- Food for thought: New Years Resolutions at Work, Can Work
- For working moms: “Rather than trying to connect with Sheryl Sandberg or Hillary Clinton via your neighbor’s sister-in-law’s coworker, use your energy getting to know the power players in your everyday life.”