The Keys to Successful Resolutions: Measurable Goals and Deadlines

Over the weekend, we were shouting our New Years resolutions from the rooftops – and our keyboards.

I can already tell which of those will fail. So can you.

“I want to lose weight” – fail. “I will drink less coffee” – fail. “I will have better work-life balance” – sadly, fail.

Now compare that to the achievable resolutions that stand a chance of success…

  • “I’m going to lose 15 pounds by March 31st.”
  • “I’m limiting myself to one cup of coffee each morning for 30 days”
  • “I will track the number of hours spent working, I’ve set a target goal of 60 work hours per week.”

The same theory applies to career goals. If you want to achieve something tangible…

Set real goals with measurable results!

For instance… “I will renew my job search efforts with a positive attitude” is doomed for failure. Of course you need to have a positive attitude in your job search; the entire statement is mental masturbation.

However, “By January 31, I will have obtained 5 interviews with companies I have thoroughly researched for match and culture – and walk into the interviews with a competitive analysis for each company” is not only obtainable, the statement sets into place specific action items without unnecessary focus on “planning paralysis”.

This concrete resolution also allows for failure – and learning from the experience. Let’s say you only get 4 interviews while meeting all other commitments, an 80% success rate. Great! What do you need to do differently in February to achieve 100%? What did you learn from those four interviews that will make the next five better? How can you improve your walk-in plan for greater impact? Each of these is a tangible result generated by your efforts – and motivation for continuing down your set path.

Want to start the New Year right? Set real goals, with tangible benefits, measurable results and a challenging yet reasonable deadline – and gain confidence from the experience.

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