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
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
Woody Allen said, “eighty percent of success is showing up.”
But is that really true?
Well, I say success is the result of how you show up. I’ll give you an example….
The first few months of the year I was showing up in my coaching business without much success. I ticked off my to-do list every day. I attended between 3-5 networking groups each week. I wrote blog posts. I followed the advice of my coaches and mentors. I was showing up, right? So why wasn’t I seeing results?!?!
Then I changed the way I was showing up and I started booking more and more clients. New leads were coming to me instead of me chasing the leads. I am so successful I’m booked up through the rest of the month!
So what changed? How was I showing up differently?
The first thing I did was get vulnerable. I admitted my faults. I stretched the boundaries of my comfort zone. Then I became focused. I stopped trying to show up everywhere and showed up where it mattered. I listened instead of talking. I remained open and curious.
What are you struggling with today? What success are you reaching for but haven’t yet achieved?
Want to know how to change the pattern from struggle to success? Read on, my friend!
5 ways to show up for success
01. Be curious
The minute you think you know something is the minute you know nothing, Jon Snow.
Be curious. Ask questions. Ask more questions. Remain curious about the answers.
If you’re really pretty sure you know something, verify it. Don’t assume!
Being curious was key for me in conversations with potential clients. I stopped assuming I knew the answers. I listened more than I spoke and I signed more clients.
02. Don’t make it about you
I get it, when you’re struggling your thinking gets self-focused as you think about what you want and wonder why you aren’t getting what you want. The problem is the more you think about yourself, the less you’re connecting with others.
Success isn’t about you- it’s almost always about your relationships. Your relationship with your boss, your co-workers, your clients, etc.
My success is based on my client’s success and I had to make it about my client’s results to get my results.
03. Do the thing you’ve been avoiding
What is the one thing you know will move you forward but you’ve been finding all the reasons to avoid actually doing it?
Have you figured out what it is? Okay, now go do it.
I had to start having more sales conversations. I knew I needed to do it and business didn’t pick up until I started actually asking people to work with me instead of waiting for people to come knocking on my door.
04. Focus your efforts
Stop applying to any and every job that could maybe-possibly-kinda work. Be very specific and focused about what you want.
When you’re focused you’re more passionate, more intentional, and more likely to find what you’re looking for.
At the beginning of the year I was trying to market to entrepreneurs and career professionals. When I started focusing on career professionals, I started attracting clients like crazy!
05. Ask for what you want
Too often we assume other people know what we want and too often we fail to ask for it.
To be successful, ask for what you want. Make it specific!
To find the clients I wanted I called a few connections and asked for referrals. I asked them who they know that is struggling at work, stuck in a job they wished they quit some time ago. I got the names of people who needed my help, and I helped them!
So I guess it’s true, showing up is 80% of success. Just make sure you show up in the right way. How are you going to show up today?
And before you go, let me ask you for what I want. Sign up for my biweekly newsletter and get more inspiration and motivation straight to your email!Join the Conversation
Can you “fake it ’til you make it” in life? What about your career?
Fake it ’til you make it is a practice that suggests you act “as if” something is true until it is true.
The idea of fake it ’til you make it is similar to positive affirmations. You repeat a positive message or statement, giving that idea your attention and intention. Positive affirmations take an idea or belief and give it focus and meaning in your life.
Fake it ’til you make it is a way to encourage, motivate, and change yourself for the better.
So does it work?
Well, yes and no.
When it works to fake it ’til you make it
Fake it ’til you make it is a great practice when you’re trying to change your own attitude or behavior. Change is hard and sometimes you have to act as if you’re already changed before you actually change.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to build your confidence around a new skill. When you tell yourself, “I can do this”, you’ll believe it’s true, even if you’re still nervous or uncertain. You’ve planted a seed of confidence within you.
Next you stand up tall, holding your head high- a sure sign of confidence! Okay, maybe the butterflies in your stomach are really bats. The physical cue of standing tall moves your body and mind towards feeling confident.
Faking confidence helps you be more confident.
In another example, let’s say you want to create a new, positive habit. You want to stop complaining and be more grateful. You can absolutely fake it ’til you make it!
If you have a habit of complaining, your thought patterns are conditioned to notice and lament the negative. You do it without thinking- but this is pattern you want to change!
So you act as if you are grateful. You write a gratitude list when you’re sure it’s all a bunch of bullshit. You say “thank you” even when you aren’t feeling appreciative. You compliment a co-worker on a job well done, even when you think they could have done better and you know exactly how they can improve.
You adopt an attitude of gratitude and, in doing so, you condition yourself to notice and praise the positive. You turn your complaining habit into a thankful habit!
How do I know it works? Because I learned to get good at public speaking by telling myself “I can do this” and standing tall every time I was on stage. I stopped complaining and starting being grateful by acting grateful, even when I didn’t feel especially grateful at the start.
And it hasn’t just worked for me. It’s worked for my clients, too. Though some of them were skeptical at first, they soon found that you can change your own attitudes and behaviors by faking it ’til you make it!
When it doesn’t work to fake it ’til you make it
Fake it ’til you make it doesn’t work when you’re trying to change someone else’s attitudes or behaviors. For example, if you want other people to see you as friendly, faking friendliness usually has the opposite effect! It just doesn’t work to try to influence or control what other people think of you.
I attended an Art of Feminine Presence class and in that class the teacher instructed us to think about what quality we most want to project when in a social or networking situation. I want people to see me as approachable and friendly, but when I tried to project friendliness in class the feedback I got was not so friendly!
Trying to fake it is not an effective tool to change someone else. Well, let’s face it, there’s no method that will change someone else’s thoughts or behaviors. It’s better to keep the focus on yourself, being your best version of yourself, and being the generally awesome person you are!
Have you tried to fake it ’til you make it? When has it worked for you? When hasn’t it worked for you? Let’s start a conversation- leave your comments below!Join the Conversation
Every day I talk to people who are stuck in a rut. They’re in a job with no future or in a job they hate. They’ve been running their own business for years and they still aren’t making any money. Many of the people I talk to are broke, bored, or burned out. They want to make a change but change is hard, and it’s even harder to motivate yourself to make a change.
Even I’m not above feeling unmotived. I’ve been working hard all day and the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and write. I thought about skipping my blog post this week- who would notice? Who would care? What’s the harm?
Well, I suppose there’s no real harm in skipping a blog post this week. I don’t feel like doing yoga this evening- maybe I’ll skip that, too.
The truth is complacency does hurt- it’s how we get stuck. Sure, getting stuck doesn’t hurt so much at first, but years of feeling the pain of a mediocre life hurts us in the long run. Confidence wanes, mild depression sets in, and we suffer from unfulfilled potential. You want to get out of that job, you want to make money, you want to live a great life! Right?
If you want to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, you’ve got to do something different. If you want to feel challenged by your work, you have to do something different. If you want to be happy, you have to do something different.
The problem with doing something different is it’s hard work. You’ve got goals and dreams but it’s difficult to stay on track. You’ve got to motivate yourself to change your habits every day. Of course that’s assuming you know the right steps to take, and if you don’t, you may want to hire a career coach to help you lay out your next steps! But for the sake of this post, let’s assume you do know what steps to take, and what you really need is motivation. How do you get it? Let me tell you how!
How to motivate yourself
What are you working toward? Why is it important to you? Knowing your why can motivate you when you don’t feel like taking action.
Make a commitment
Achieving a goal means getting results results, whereas commitments are promises of action. Focus on commitments instead of goals. What actions will move you closer to your goal?
Block out time in your calendar to meet your commitments. It’s easier to follow through on plans than hopes and dreams.
Sharing your goals and commitments with others will motivate you to follow through. Tell your family and friends what you’re trying to accomplish and why. Chances are they’ll cheer you on because they want to see you succeed.
Find an accountability partner, mentor, or coach to help you stay accountable. You’ll accomplish more when you have to answer to someone other than yourself.
Celebrate your progress. Give yourself a reward for every step forward. Keep up the good work!
Do you feel more motivated? I managed to motivate myself to write a post I didn’t want to write so I guess it works! May it work just as well for you!Join the Conversation