Set yourself up for success in 2017 – put your goals in writing
Whenever we get past the middle of December, there’s three things you can rely on: the gifting craze, the cooking craze and the productivity craze. It seems everyone is suddenly developing rapid interest in productivity hacks, retrospection practices and that holy pinnacle of personal planning – New Year’s Resolutions. You’ll see what we found out below – or you can check the Trello board that you can copy and use for your own planning.
The “left brain – right brain” planning differences
You can read a ton on the subject and it seems all productivity gurus claim their hacks work the best and their framework is the one that truly helps you follow up with your plan and achieve success. That was a major topic of discussion in our team over the past few weeks – and we found out there’s no one true answer and different solutions work for different people.
There surely are a lot of commonalities in our approaches – putting down your yearly focus, specific personal and professional goals and concrete next steps to kick the journey into gear. But from then on there’s a vast array of ways to approach the handling of those yearly goals.
At first we thought it’s a binary opposition of “left-brained” versus “right-brained” people – although the distinction is not actually backed by science, it’s a helpful metaphor to distinguish between those who seek a general direction and those who want detailed specifics. But we found out it’s more of a spectrum – you can find a comfortable position not just at the two ends of the scale, but also somewhere in the middle. If you look at the sample board, the first three columns are present in everyone’s planning boards – but after that some people prefer to have a detailed plan and others seek just a main priority.
Start with your values
When doing some form of planning, we too often rush into the action points. The more important (and much more difficult) part is the Why. Why do we want to run 5K by June or study the recruitment process of big companies? The answer lies in your personal values – the things you want to focus on, long-term and within the upcoming year. Your day-to-day may change, your yearly goals may shift, but you will still feel grounded and balanced if you make decisions based on your values.
Put down those values in the first list of your Trello board, so you can always keep them front and center when reviewing your upcoming actions and priorities.
Put down your goals – and mind the balance!
Your values will naturally lead you to your goals. Since harmonious development is something we all strive for, we’ll focus on both personal and professional goals. The best way to do it is to have two lists with 3 goals at the most in each – limiting them will give you the focus you need to thrive.
The next step is to visualize the goal – add a photo to the Trello card that represents your goal well. Sites such as Pexels or Unsplash give you lots of beautiful photos to choose from. In order to set the wheel in motion, you can include a checklist to the card with the first steps you need to take. Don’t spend too much time on this, though – you can get back to it later and the most important thing is to set the main goals first and think about the details afterwards.
Be as broad or specific as you like
As I already mentioned, there can be many different approaches to getting around the execution of your yearly goals.
Some people, like our CEO Georgi tend to prefer a more straightforward broad approach: “I choose one of the goals and make it my top quarterly priority. I choose the one priority that will make everything else much easier to accomplish or irrelevant altogether – the one goal with the highest impact. This gives me a specific direction without the hassle of going through the board every week and putting down specifics.” You can check Joro’s board and copy it to work on your own priorities.
Vassilena, our Growth Enhancer, lies on the other end of the spectrum: “I like to go through my goals on a monthly basis and set specific next steps. This gives me the sense that my monthly priorities are aligned with my yearly goals. I prefer moving a couple of goals all at the same time – I usually pair personal and professional ones, so I can work on my harmonious development.”
Vessy, our Strategy Enhancer, combines the two approaches: “I prefer to have all details laid down for me – I usually have a really long list of everything that needs to be done. But then I move only one or two things to my To do list and forget about the rest. This is my way of achieving focus on the task at hand. It also lowers the anxiety that I might forget something to a minimum.”
Krassi, our Creative Enhancer, prefers to visualize his goals in separate lists and get all to-do’s listed there. “Since part of my goals are related to habit-forming, I prefer to have everything down and visible straight away. There are also some tasks I’ve put in specific months – when the time comes, I’ll put down due dates to keep everything on track.”
Choose the approach that gives you the most sense of accomplishment – you can even test out a couple of approaches and see which one works best for you.
How to use your New Year resolutions when looking for a job?
If you’re looking forward to a new career challenge in 2017, your New Year’s resolutions can actually help. Add a section on personal development to your resume – that way you’ll show recruiters you’re aware of your weak spots and areas of improvement and you’re taking active steps towards personal development. That level of self-awareness and proactive attitude are just what recruiters want to see in a potential hire.
Tip: You can showcase your resolutions in your Enhancv resume by adding a Passions section and changing its name – just click on the heading to rename and add a list of items below!
Our first impulse is to keep New Year’s resolutions private. What if we don’t fulfill the goals? What will other people think of us? Although that fear is totally understandable, it’s holding you back. Research has been done that shows you boost your sense of accountability, even if you share your goals with your closest one only.
And if you expand that circle of trust, you can benefit from the support of friends and family. Maybe someone has run into a problem you’re having before or has the answer to a burning question. Maybe a friend can point you to good resources on a skill you want to develop.
Click on the word Private next to your board title and make it public, so you can share with friends. Then send the board link to people you value. If you feel especially bold today, share it with your friends on social media.
We’d love to see what you’ll focus on in 2017. We might even have some helpful suggestions and ideas. And we’ll also give you one month of Enhancv Pro. Here’s how to do it:
- Check Georgi’s board, copy it and create your own resolutions.
- Share your Trello board with friends on social media using the hashtag #enhance2017. You can share on Twitter or Facebook, and don’t forget to make your post Public, so we can see it.
- On January 15 we’ll go through the list and award all participants a free month of Enhancv Pro to use on their dream career journey.