As we approach the end of the year many people start thinking about their goals for the new year. I’m thinking about mine and, let me tell you, I have big plans for 2017, including polishing my TEDx talk, growing my business, and writing a book! Whew!
What about you? Did you accomplish what you wanted in 2016? What do you want to be different next year? What do you want to do in 2017?
If you need some help setting your goals for the new year, I’ve got some great resources for you!
6 Tips for setting and achieving your goals for 2017!
01. Set goals that matter
Set goals based on what you want to create, not what you want to get. Let me explain… Let’s say you want a new job in 2017. Why do you want a new job? What does that mean for you? Maybe your motivation is to enjoy a more flexible work schedule, or to make more money, or do work you love. Knowing why your goal matters to you can help you stay on track and even help you find alternate paths to create the life you really want.
02. Identify your one-word goal
Come up with one word that signifies the life you want to create in the new year. Let that one word guide your goals, your choices, and your actions throughout the year.
03. Avoid goal-setting mistakes
Avoid these 5 goal setting mistakes, such as setting goals motivated by shame, comparison, a false sense of happiness, basing your goals on your dreams, and being too results-focused.
04. Create a vision board to guide you
Vision boards are a great way to focus and motivate yourself throughout the year! A vision board is a visual representation of the goals you’re working to achieve. Looking at your vision board every day can keep you on track and inspired every day!
05. Say no to requests that are not aligned with your goals
When you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else- usually yourself! This year, consider yourself first! Say no to requests and opportunities that will take you away from your goals instead of towards your goals.
6. Get help setting and achieving your goals!
If you’re not where you want to be in your career, get unstuck and uncover your next career move. Download the worksheet to get clarity, focus, and direction on your career goals for 2017!Join the Conversation
“I don’t know, it just seems like you’re trying too hard,” she wrote.
That’s the feedback I received when I recently asked a colleague to look over my marketing materials.
At first I was angry. I thought, “what am I supposed to do with that?! That’s not good feedback!”
“Is there anything more annoying than nonspecific feedback,” I ranted to no one in particular.
Then it hit me.
The reason her feedback bothered me is because I was trying too hard. Yikes.
I looked back at my efforts the past few weeks and I realized the reason I was feeling frustrated and stuck was because I was trying too hard in just about every area of my business.
I call it the “I just need to work harder” mentality. Maybe you recognize this pattern in yourself.
When something isn’t working, do you try harder? Do you decide you need to do more? Do you say, “I just need to figure this out!”
Yes, my friends, all of those statemetns are variations on trying too hard. They’re also the patterns of people that try to control the uncontrollable.
Sure, we can call ourselves “determined”. We might describe ourselves as “hard working”, “thorough”, and even “results-oriented”. We may also call ourselves “stubborn”, “type A”, or “perfectionists“.
The problem with trying too hard is it’s not going to get results. Admit it, we feel better when we’re taking action, and “figuring it out” is just another way for us to distract ourselves from the pain of frustration, discomfort, or- gulp- failure.
The moment I realized I was trying too hard is when I realized I needed to stop trying too hard. I needed to do less, not more. Success happens when I doing the right things, not do more things. It’s about doing my best and forgetting the rest. All I have to do is take a deep breath, trust myself, and be myself.
Oh, so simple, isn’t it?
So tell me, friends, will you join me and stop trying too hard?
And while you’re at it, join my newsletter!Join the Conversation
There has been significant confusion, suffering, and pain since the 2016 Presidential election. Every day people vilify, rage, and criticize elected leaders, media, political and social organizations, and even each other.
I understand the pain many are feeling, but here’s the thing- I have a life to live and I have important work to do, despite the election results and what’s happening in our country.
It’s hard to get up every morning and go about the business of the day carrying the weight of the election on my head, heart, and soul.
The work that many people are doing related to politics is important, too, but what’s not important is projecting fear, insecurity, and hate, even if those are the very emotions you are feeling.
If you’re like me your important work is not directly related to politics. And before you can do your important work you need to find a way to heal from the election.
How to heal from the election
Suspend the snark
Looking at my social media feeds, over 90% of what I see posted is not intelligent political discourse, but rather sarcastic, snarky, and seething commentary on politics. Did you know the origin of the word, “sarcasm” means to “tear flesh”? Ouch.
The momentary sense of satisfaction you get from posting snarky memes is quickly replaced by anger, despair, and hopelessness. Stop sharing sarcasm and snark.
Create a container
Your feelings are important and it’s just as important to create a safe container for your feelings. Emotions can be overwhelming if we let them overrun our experience. Those same emotions are damaging if we project them outward on the people closest to us.
Write about your thoughts and feelings in your journal, or share them in conversation with a trusted mentor or friend. Create a safe container to express and hold space for your feelings.
Be the boss of you
Over the last several weeks I’ve seen a lot of people telling other people how to behave and feel. Putting yourself in charge of other people’s actions and emotions is a great way to distance yourself from others and feel really miserable about it.
Be the boss of you. Work on managing yourself and your feelings. Put on your oxygen mask. Take care of your emotional well-being. Be a leader and example for those same people you just can’t change.
Pay attention to your mental, emotional, and physical health. Take good care of you first and foremost.
Self-care includes getting a good night’s sleep, eating nutritious and healthy food, and some form of physical activity.
Nurture your relationships
We are social creatures, designed to live and work together. Now is the time to nurture our relationships and strengthen our connections.
Invite a co-worker to lunch or connect with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Call your mom, just to say hello.
Treating others with kindness will naturally improve your relationships, your outlook, and your mood. Besides, we can accomplish so much more together than alone.
Practicing kindness is a great start.
Accept before you act
Anytime you’re faced with a problem it’s important to accept before you act. Acceptance doesn’t equal approval but rather understanding. Do you fully understand the problem? If not, ask yourself, “what happened? Why? What can I learn from this?”
When you accept before you act, your actions are more thoughtful and intentional, and often yield better results.
Do something important
The best way to counter feelings of hopelessness is to take action. Instead of focusing on the problem, take a small step to create change.
Do something productive. Do something meaningful. Do something important that will get you one step closer to a personal, professional, or political goal.
If you’re going to share something about politics on social media, why not share this post? Begin to heal and encourage others to do the same. Do what you need to do and do it in a way that inspires, uplifts, and creates positive change.Join the Conversation
As a Career Coach, I work with career professionals and entrepreneurs who are looking to level up. They are usually looking for work or looking to increase their income. There are lots of tools and support I use to work with clients to help them reach their goals.
There is one tip I give every client I work with.
That’s right, one piece of advice that works for everyone in every situation! This advice works for everyone equally.
Now when I tell you what it is, you might think I’m crazy. You might protest, “but, Chrysta, what does this have to do with finding a job, getting a raise, getting clients?!”
So I hope you’ll bear with me for a minute here because I promise you, it works. And it might not be what you think. I encourage you to be open to the tip I’m about to share.
Before I tell you, I want to share how it’s worked in my life- very specifically the last two weeks.
A LOT has happened in the last two weeks. The floor drain backed up and partially flooded our basement. Then it was my husband’s birthday party, followed by his birthday. A few days later I participated in a 2-day event I’ve been planning for 6 months. While I was out-of-town at the event, my cat went missing. That weekend I moved into my new office. The very next day our garage door opener broke. A few days after that we found my cat.
That’s a lot to happen in two months, let alone two weeks. And through it all I stayed relatively balanced, centered, and ready to face the day. How did I do it? From this simple tip I have to share with you.
Are you ready?
My best career tip is to start a regular gratitude practice. Write a daily gratitude list and I do mean write- put it down on paper. Take 60 seconds each day to pause, reflect, and be grateful.
Yep, that’s it. Be grateful.
Still skeptical? Let me tell you why it works.
A regular gratitude practice gives you something positive and hopeful to hold onto no matter what happens in your day. In this way gratitude is an anchor to the good stuff in your life.
Gratitude tempers the highs and lows, the ups and downs. Gratitude helps you connect to the present, grounding you in good things you have right here, right now.
Gratitude also boosts your energy and mood, giving you an extra reserve of motivation, and helping you face challenges as they come.
I’ve heard lots of advice from successful entrepreneurs and gurus that suggest starting a variety of daily habits- from getting up early, to daily exercise, to meditation. It’s true, all of these positive habits will help you be more successful. But what I like about starting a gratitude practice is it’s so easy to do! The best thing about starting a gratitude practice is it takes very little time and everyone can do it. Gratitude will help you be more successful in all you do!
So, that’s it. Start a regular gratitude practice. Write down a gratitude list every day. Notice the difference in your overall attitude, energy level, and ability to handle problems.
If you get discouraged, start a gratitude practice.
If you’re feeling stressed, start a gratitude practice.
If your energy is low, start a gratitude practice.
If you’re feeling great, start a gratitude practice.
It won’t solve your problems but it will help you be prepared to solve them. Give it a try and see what happens!
If you find this advice helpful, sign up for my newsletter and get more tips, tricks, and positive motivation!Join the Conversation
For many years, I found it much easier to say no in personal situations and much harder to say no in professional situations. I feared being labeled “uncooperative” or “difficult”, and I was afraid saying no could even cost me my job.
I’ll never forget the time in early 20s when the CEO of the company asked me to work late and I said no. I was so nervous but I said it anyway. Or, well, what I actually said was, “I can’t stay late tonight. Can I get that report to you first thing tomorrow morning?” His response went something like, “okay, sure.”
HE WASN’T MAD. I DIDN’T GET FIRED. EVERYTHING WAS OKAY.
Huh, go figure.
Thinking back on my career, I can’t think of a time I regretted saying no. I can think of plenty of times I regretted saying yes.
Since I started my career coaching business, it’s even more important to say no. Saying no is a way to set boundaries with clients. It increases trust and accountability.
Saying no is the difference between succeeding and failing as an entrepreneur. Fortunately I get plenty of practice saying no with dignity and integrity.
When to say no
Saying no is one of the topics I often speak about in public. In my presentation, Communicating with Confidence in Business, I talk about why it’s so important to say no in business and how to do it.
Really, knowing when to say no is pretty simple.
Are you ready for it?
Say no when you’re unwilling or unable to agree.
See, I told you it was simple.
Easier said than done, am I right? Those fears I had before haven’t gone away. I still fear what people might think of me. I still fear loosing work because I say no.
I say no anyway. I say no because when people can trust my word, they know they can trust me. I say no because I don’t want to say yes and do a crappy job. I say no because if I don’t take care of my health and happiness I’ll be sick and miserable.
And then I realized my presentation was missing something. I was talking about when to say no, but I wasn’t talking about when to say yes.
I considered my own professional and business experienced and realized it’s just as important to know when to say yes as it is to know when to say no.
When to say yes
We are presented with opportunities every day- opportunities to get out of a rut, to change our situation, to challenge ourselves, to grow.
By my own advice I could let myself off the hook by saying no to a new opportunity but here’s the thing- when an opportunity is life-changing, it’s easy to say no. It’s much easier to do what I’ve been doing than do something different. Opportunities that require growth are scary, and it’s tempting to say no but that’s exactly when I should say yes.
It’s always going to be hard to say yes to change but if the change is for good then it’s worth it to face the fear and say yes.
The next time you’re faced with a choice, ask yourself if you’re being offered the opportunity to grow. If you’re being given an opportunity to change your situation for the better, you better say yes.
I’m going to test this out right here, right now.
If you’re in a job you hate, if you’re stuck in a career rut, if you know you have more to contribute at work- I am offering you the chance to change.
Maybe you’re in a job you should have left years ago. Maybe you know you were meant for something bigger and better. Maybe you’re tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Maybe you’ve tried to find another job and it seemed like staying put was your only option.
Most people reading this will say no to this opportunity. That’s okay. I’m looking for just one or two people who are ready to say yes. People who are scared but willing to face their fear for an awesome payoff.
“Chrysta really gave me the insight on where I was cutting myself short and what I should do to lift myself out of the slump I was having. So far I am starting my own business and slowly creating a client base along with a thicker portfolio and new connections.” –Rebecca Robinson
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule some time to talk about your career. If you say yes to this opportunity, I’ll help you figure out why you’re stuck and what needs to change.
“Chrysta has helped me with many professional struggles and always guided me to my truth. She is an ace you want in your pocket! “ -Amanda Oliver
Are you ready to say yes?Join the Conversation