By Caroline Levchuck, Yahoo! HotJobs
Every January, millions of people make New Year's resolutions, many of which are work-related. Get a new job. Get a promotion. Get a raise.
Unfortunately, many of these vows will fall by the wayside before the month is out. Folks lose momentum. Some get overwhelmed. And others lose their nerve. Use these tips to make your resolutions a lasting reality this year.
Be Clear About Your Intentions
Terry Wilson-Malam, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, believes that all resolutions must be born out of clarity if people are going to stay the course. She counsels clients to be as honest as possible about what they want. Not sure what your intent is? "Start a log of your accomplishments, small and large over the past few years," Wilson-Malam suggests. "Those things will tell you where you are and where you can go next."
Also, ask yourself what you want more of and less of. Do you want more flexibility? Less stress? More responsibility? Fewer meetings? Keep a list of your intentions, as they will inform the action you need to take.
Make a Plan with Actionable Steps
"An action plan is absolutely imperative," says Wilson-Malam, owner of Wilson Malam Coaching and Consulting. Create a plan that works toward your goal, whether it's growing your network or looking for new work. Then, she advises breaking the plan down into actionable steps. "Focus on small steps that are realistic," she says. "If your plan is to network, choose events that you'll go to, but choose them carefully to make sure they are in line with your overall intentions."
Getting promoted is a bit harder to be actionable about, Wilson-Malam says. "But you can learn to be in the right frame of mind -- think and act like a manager in certain situations at work to help you move toward your goal," she says.
Measure Your Results
Results motivate changers to stick to their plans, so it's very important that you see measurable results as you adhere to your resolution. "You have to be very clear as to what those results will be," Wilson-Malam says. This stems from having a straightforward plan of action and clarity on what you want to accomplish.
"Being able to tick off things from your action list can even be a result," she adds.
It's easy to start the year with the best of intentions only to lose your nerve as your goal is within sight. "If you've been in a job for a long time, it's really easy to hate it but love what you know about it," Wilson-Malam says. "A new search and a new job often mean more work and more time and going out of your comfort zone."
To muster courage, she urges job changers to go back to their list of intentions. "If you look at that list and it reminds you that you're stagnating, that will make you less afraid of changing now."
She also suggests enlisting the help of a trusted confidante, mentor or coach who can cheer you on and remind you why you undertook this challenge in the first place.