Ditch Your “Shoulds” and Level-up New Year Goals

Career Blog

Concept of stress of a businessman with a big rockWe all have rusty goals, items that have languished on our to-do list for months or even years with little to no progress. Lose the weight, write the book, start the business, then snag that corner office. You know the one with a seating area you could land a Cessna on.

There are plenty of reasons for not making them happen. We’re all busy and sometimes we get distracted when other priorities press harder. A year-end reboot can help you refocus, but only if the goal is something you are truly committed to achieving.

Often the aspirations we cling to are not our own. They’re left over expectations from parents, family and a collection of well-meaning colleagues, mentors, and managers. These are the shoulds – ineffective items that elongate your list and steal your energy.

If you are to actually achieve something you need to need it. A want won’t do and a should all but guarantees failure.

So this year, instead of robotically setting SMART goals for a laundry list of should dos, make room for success by opting for a more selective approach. Simply dust off last year’s cast of commitments and honestly evaluate whether they belong to you any more. If not, get rid of them – cross them out, crumple them up, light them a blaze, or send them floating down a river with a hand-crafted Dear John letter. Whatever the method, the resulting white space will leave you invigorated and ready to take on challenges you’re truly passionate about.

It can be hard cleaning out your goal closet especially if you feel like you’d be letting someone down the process. But you simply can’t win a race by running in multiple directions. Those who have your best interest at heart will understand. As for the rest, consider crossing them off your list of friends. You’ll run farther and faster without the weights.

Need a career coach? Contact me via www.PlotlineLeadership.com.

Check out my latest book The HR Guide to Getting and Crushing Your Dream Job and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi or LinkedIn



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