How are those New Year Resolutions going?

If the research by British psychologist, Richard Wiseman, in 2007 was correct - then 88% of the New Year Resolutions we made just two short weeks ago are doomed to failure.

Many of the most popular resolutions are career-related and include; getting a new job, managing stress, improving education and winning a promotion.

It's a bit sad to think that most of these (as well as the lose weight, get fit, give up drinking) resolutions don't get achieved.

Quikology reports that they did an experiment that showed that women increased their chances of being successful by 10% if they told their family and friends of their goals or had encouragement not to give up when there were set backs. (We all know one chocolate does not mean your diet has failed and it's an excuse to give up on your eating plan and visit the closest fast food restaurant! It's the same with other goals). For men goal setting made an enormous 22% difference to the chance of achieving their resolutions.

So if you are wavering on your plans to advance your career in 2012 it's not too late to review your resolutions or even to set some new ones (I can't find any statute of limitations on when resolutions have to be set by!) 

Here are 5 Tips to give you the best chance to achieve your resolutions:

1. Review and ensure that your goals are what you really want to do - that when you achieve them you will have what you want and be, on a daily basis, doing something you actually like. In his book, "The Strongest Life", Marcus Buckingham says that talking with other people who are already doing what you are working towards is one of the best ways of understanding whether you will be happy when you are doing it. If you're really certain about what you want, it makes it so much easier to go from the grand planning / great idea over a glass of bubbles phase to the hard yards of implementation.

2. Focus on one or two really important goals - if you make too many resolutions it is unlikely that you will have the capacity to do them all. One goal, implemented, is more beneficial to you than a long list of fabulous ideas that never get off the ground.

3. Write down your goals when you do it makes them real rather than just a fleeting thought. It also helps validate if this is what you really want. And it becomes the start of your plan to achieve the goal.

4. Develop an actionable plan of specific steps that will help you achieve your goal. For example, if you decide you want to "network" more in 2012 - your action plan should address what you want to learn from networking (or who you want to get to know), who you are going to network with and when. If you schedule in one new coffee catch up each month - that's 12 networking opportunities by the end of the year. And most importantly you will have achieved your goal.

5. Break down larger, ambitious goals into smaller steps - write a list of the steps required and actually assign due dates - so that you don't lose track of the bigger goal. Putting these dates into your calendar with a reminder for each action a week before it is due will help keep the big goals on track.

The best resolutions are those that you know in your heart you are going to follow through and pursue!

There will be plenty of ideas and tips to put you in charge of your career throughout 2012 here on CareerChickChat - so feel free to follow the blog, subscribe by email or connect with my on twitter (@KarenAdamedes), Facebook or Linkedin .

I look forward to the chats! 

- Karen

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