If you’re looking to make a change this New Year—whatever feeds your soul and piques your interest—it’s smart to prepare with a little extra effort and direction.
Whether you’re looking for an industry change, company change, personal change or any change, you need to understand and commit to these four points.
1. Get Clear on What You Want
You’re not sure what a new job looks like, but you know you’re not happy and you’re ready for a change. Now what? You need to get clear on what you do want. It can take some digging, talking to people you trust, and refocusing on YOU as your #1 priority.
I’m not saying drop all other responsibilities, but as new commitments arise, ask yourself if committing to this will help you get clearer on your career journey. If it doesn’t, you may need to say no.
A few tricks to stay dedicated and reach clarity?
Dedicating time to self-care, journaling, stepping outside your comfort zone in some way, or doing things that sound fun and meaningful all can be ways to start figuring out what you love doing and how you can get more of it. Or as lululemon’s manifesto says, ‘Do one thing a day that scares you!’
2. Ask Yourself: “Why Do I Want This?”
Connecting with the reason(s) why a goal is so important to you keeps you going when times get tough. Remember your why. and go as deep as you can.
Asking the following questions may help spark change:
-How long have I wanted this career change?
-Why is this change so meaningful to me?
-What vision do I have for my life once I’ve made the transition?
-How does this change align with my personal core values and strengths?
Once you’ve figured out your why, think about the how and create action steps for turning those dreams and thoughts into a bright reality.
3. Make a Plan
That next step – plan! You know what you’re looking for, now you need a plan to get there. Dedicate chunks of time to brainstorm how you can execute the change. Get out your day planner or smartphone calendar and carve out time to write this down.
- Who do I need help from?
- What current commitments can I delegate or let go of?
- What’s my timeline?
- Is my timeline realistic?
- Do I need to save money or make any investments in myself or my education?
Give yourself enough time to really come up with a solid direction, so it’ll limit mishaps and expedite the path to success.
4. Get to Work!
Similar to making the plan, now you need to make a daily/weekly/monthly commitment to execute your plan. Ask yourself what obstacles and fears may get in your way. Make a promise that fear will not stop you from moving forward.
And don’t let defeatist thoughts get in your way. Reconnect with your “why” when these tough times happen and know that the best things come from challenges.
Remember that this is your growth journey, no one else’s, so while you can look to others for inspiration, you are not allowed to compare yourself to them. Instead of focusing on the immense challenge still ahead of you, reflect on and celebrate the progress you are making, no matter how small it may seem. Life’s too short to not enjoy the process.