Want Fulfillment? New Years Resolutions With a Twist

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to see 2010 go!  I’m ready to bring tons of good things into my life. But, instead of the old tried and true SMART goal exercises, I’ve developed a twist on resolution setting because fulfillment is the name of my game for 2011. 

Often new years resolutions and goals get incorporated into plans that end up in a drawer never seeing the light of day. Consider these essential twists to traditional planning to bring you greater fulfillment in the new year:
  • Success. What does it mean to you? I spent countless hours, weekends (and years actually) pursuing a master’s degree, not to mention the double shifts I worked to pay for school. I thought my degree would drastically change my life and make me successful. On graduation day I felt a sense of accomplishment — it lasted about two days. All that work and nothing really changed. That’s because I discovered I really didn’t pursue the degree for me, I did it for someone else. It’s easy these days to get caught up in scurrying on a treadmill or clawing your way to the top to reach what society or “someone” defines as “success” only to find it’s lonely, empty and awfully cold upon arrival. Knowing what success means to you makes it easier to choose the right goals before you put all that effort into pursuing the wrong ones.
  • Motivation. It’s a key ingredient for achievement. Some of us are motivated to challenge ourselves just to see if we can do something. Others may be motivated to prove something to someone. These two factors work in the short run, but long-term motivation is sustained by meeting an authentic need. If what you’re pursuing matches who you are it’s a lot easier to stay motivated, accomplish a goal and get fulfillment from doing it. For my clients who are unhappy at work, making a salary may motivate them but having sustained motivation to drag themselves into work every morning can wane. I help my career clients assess and discover their authentic motivators to determine the type of work that matches who they are so fulfillment is a natural outcome. In deciding your goals, explore what you like and dislike, what motivates you and what need you’re fulfilling by achieving the goal you set.
  • Planning. Written plans are the road map and foundation for evaluating opportunities, making decisions, and taking focused action. Without a plan and defined destination it’s easy to get whipped around by the agendas of others. A friend received an attractive offer to fill a position on a prestigious board. After carefully considering her goals she decided to say no because the board position didn’t really fit with her goals for a different kind of lifestyle she had begun to create for herself. To stay proactively in charge of your life, you’ve got to set the course to avoid the forks in the road that lead to wild goose chases and wasted time, effort, money and energy. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this twist on traditional goal setting. To create your Success Mapfor 2011, contact me. I’m wishing you a Happy New Year and much success. Let me know whether you believe making new year’s resolutions and setting goals is a worthwhile pursuit. 

Linda L. Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, helps executives, service providers and managers like you who have the challenge of staying as efficient as possible given your busy schedule, accomplish more each day, provide exceptional client service, and get free from that feeling of overwhelm that keeps your stress level way too high.