By Rosanna Berardi
There have been many lessons in 2020, and perhaps one of the most important ones is that hope is not a strategy. We all hoped COVID-19 would go away, but it hasn’t and—unfortunately—it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
As we prepare to flip the calendar to 2021, it’s important for working women to set better New Year’s Resolutions by thinking strategically through each and putting a plan in place. Setting a resolution and hoping you’ll achieve it won’t get you any closer to success than hoping you’ll be able to attend a concert next year. Neither will creating a list of resolutions that aren’t reasonable given the current state of the world.
If you want to set better New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s how to make it happen:
Create a Tangible Plan
As you’re thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, consider where you currently are in your career and where you want to be. Think about how you can be successful, get ahead, and climb the career ladder.
Then, create resolutions that allow you to put a tangible plan in place in order to achieve each. A great way to layout a plan is to think through each resolution using the SMART goal method. This will help you detail the resolution from concept to how-to to determining success.
Measure and Track Your Success
Part of creating the tangible plan, and SMART goals, is establishing a way to measure and track the success of the resolution. If a resolution is something that you envision taking multiple months or the full year to complete, set milestones throughout the year at regular intervals. This will allow you to keep track of your resolution and see the success you’re making along the way. Seeing your progress as success is also a motivator to help you continue to work toward achieving your resolutions.
Factor In Accountability
After you’ve established your goals and started planning, think about who can hold you accountable. Of course you can do that yourself, but research has shown people are more likely to achieve resolutions, or goals, when they have shared them and have someone cheering them on. This person can be a co-worker, significant other, therapist, mentor, best friend or anyone else in your life you feel comfortable sharing and discussing your resolutions with.
More often than not, accountability is the missing piece of success. It’s not enough to have a plan of action—or a way to track it—if you don’t have some kind of structure in place to hold you accountable to those plans.
Invest In Yourself
As you plan your resolutions, I encourage you to consider resolutions that allow you to invest in yourself. Think about completing educational opportunities to learn a new skill or a software platform. There are plenty of resources online, including Lynda.com from LinkedIn and SimplyE through the New York Public Library that offer access to things like online courses and how-to videos.
If you’re looking for more personalized opportunities to invest in yourself, consider hiring a coach or joining a group coaching program like my High Wire Woman Programs. These programs are designed to help you become a better employee, entrepreneur, and leader, and—having had a business coach and being one myself—I can tell you that it is the single most beneficial investment I have ever made in myself and my business.
In times like these when businesses and employers are often being forced to scrutinize everything, you need to have a plan for yourself. You can’t afford to keep working like you have.
Use your New Year’s Resolutions as an opportunity to put a plan in place to help you climb the career ladder while maintaining your sanity. Your future self will thank you.
Rosanna Berardi is the managing partner of Berardi Immigration Law and the CEO of High Wire Woman, where she helps working women create a blueprint to live their lives in a simpler way and take back their most precious commodity: their time. She has been featured in the LA Times, Huffington Post, Forbes, Bustle and more.
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