2016 is upon us and it’s that time of year when everyone is making themselves promises – get fit, be more successful, get a new job.
It’s often a time when company directors reflect on the year just gone and plan for the future – things tend to be quieter around the holidays as everyone winds down for the festivities.
So what makes a good New Year’s Resolution?
A goal is a dream that you’re prepared to take action on …
First, let’s look at the things that are almost guaranteed to shoot your goals in the foot!
- A goal so big that it appears daunting – e.g. a just qualified programmer whose goal for 2016 is to become CTO!
- A goal without an action plan – e.g. a CTO who wants to change companies, but has not even contacted an agency or looked at a job board.
- No deadline for achievement – e.g. ‘This year sometime I’ll get a rise’
- A goal that someone else has persuaded you to set – e.g. ‘My partner thinks I should look for a better job’.
From those ‘Don’ts’ you’ll know that success depends on those well-known SMART criteria:
Specific – the more detail your goal has, the better chance you have of getting started – and succeeding. So not ‘a new job’, but ‘a senior programmer in XHTML for a medium sized digital consultancy working on a range of projects in health and lifestyle industries’. With a list of small tasks to do you’ll find it much easier to get results.
Measurable – if you get the specifics right, you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. Of course, you can measure ‘getting a job’, but you may hate it, if you just take anything that comes along. You need some more detail to measure true success.
Achievable – we’re not in the business of shooting down your aspirations, but you do need to aim at something that is within your ability to achieve in the time available. There’s nothing wrong with aiming to become a CTO when you’re just qualified, but it would make more sense to start by aiming to get the experience necessary to become a team leader (along with some plans for the years ahead for the next steps to your end goal).
Relevant – your goal should be relevant to your lifestyle for instance. It’s probably not relevant to have a goal about going and living on a tropical island, if your career path is set to become the next Steve Jobs. It’s unlikely that you only have one goal – so think about how your different goals work together.
Time-bound – there are different schools of thought about this; some people say nothing happens without a deadline, others say that deadlines hold you back. I think that you know what drives you best – do you plan and schedule work to meet given delivery dates or do you only get started when the deadline is imminent?
If you want your career to flourish in 2016 – think about what you want to achieve and apply the SMART formula – you’ll be surprised at what you achieve.
P.S. If you are looking for a new challenge, why don’t you give us a call on 020 3762 2020.