Ah New Years, the time of unrealistic hopes for the year to come. But actually, it’s exactly that dreamer attitude that fails you before you even begin, with studies finding that less then 10% of resolution makers are sticking to it by the end of January. Why? Because when everyone’s all loved up and full of grog anything seems possible. Sorry kids, it’s not.
What IS possible, is setting a real goal, at any time of the year and setting realistic steps and timelines to actually make it a reality. And then basically, just get started.
“Any time of year is a good time to make a positive change in your life,” says Katie Roberts, Director of Katie Roberts Career Consulting, “Some people are more motivated to make resolutions at the start of the year, however, their achievement of the resolution really depends on what actions they take after making it.”
“The success of resolutions depends on a number of factors such as how realistic the resolution is, how committed you are to achieving it, whether you track your progress and whether you give yourself a specific timeframe to achieve it,” says Katie,
First Things Fist, Be The Realist
Ok, I’m sorry, genuinely so sorry, but I couldn’t resist that title. Forgive my indulgence. My lameness does not change the fact that I’m also correct though. You will not have your dream job in 2 years if you haven’t even studied for it yet. Well, at least it’s supremely unlikely…if you have managed it please share your secrets!
“Write down a list of all the benefits of making the change in your life and all the downsides of not making the change. This will help motivate you to take action and move forward.”
Don’t Overload Yourself
Even when they’re realistic and well thought out, 10 resolutions at once is not a thing that the average person can successfully handle. Less is more guys, less is more.
Give Yourself Steps & Timelines
So you have the end goal of being a vet, maybe even owning your own clinic. That’s great! But if that’s all you have it’s hard to stay motivated. First step? Get studying, that one can be almost immediate with mid-year intakes happening now. Second step? Graduate. Well actually there could be a bunch in between and you should check out what those are for your chosen profession.
Tell Someone, But Not Everyone
Telling someone you trust can help keep you accountable. Telling everyone might have the opposite effect. A study that came out of New York University showed that the sweet hit of happiness-inducing dopamine we get when we reach our goal can actually also happen when we get praised for setting the goal in the first place and boom, there goes all our motivation to actually try because you’ve already got your happy hit.
When Is It Time To Make A Change?
But when is it time to make a resolution, particularly when it comes to your work life? How do you know if you just need time to get used to a course or new job, or if it really just doesn’t suit you?
“If you no longer enjoy your job and spend all week looking forward to the weekend, it might be time to consider a career change,” suggests Katie “Ask yourself why you don’t like your job. If you don’t like your boss or the company you work for, then you may just need to work for a different company. If you don’t enjoy the job itself and there is no opportunity to move into a different area within your field, then a career change may be the way to go.“
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t normally give yourself some time to settle into a new gig before you judge it. You usually can’t tell how a new gig is going to pan out in the first couple of months.
“You should aim to stay in your job for at least a few months before moving on if you can. This will give you time to assess your role and the company, and adjust to the work environment. Some people hate their job in the first few months as it may feel foreign to them and they may not fit in with the company culture. Over time, however, they may adjust and find they enjoy it after all.”
If you really need a New Years vibe for motivation, just gather your mates then pop a cork and let off some party poppers. Trust me, feels exactly the same.