Tag: new year


The Best New Year’s Resolutions To Boost Your Career

The best new year’s resolutions to boost your career aren’t just resolutions. They’re also commitments. If you commit to incorporating even just one of the following resolutions into your career for this new year and new decade, I guarantee you’ll see a return on your investment of time and energy.

Resolutions guaranteed to boost your career

1. Deepen your knowledge and become an expert

Take the favorite part of your job or know-how and deepen your current knowledge of it so you can establish yourself as an expert in this area. Doing so can open doors for you down the road.

For instance, it can lead to a promotion, or it could make you a sought-after consultant in your industry. This could allow you to become independent and set your own hours and salary.

Start by reading as many books on your subject as possible. Once you deepen your knowledge on your chosen subject, you can then start to share this knowledge along with your experience by writing articles and speaking on panels or podcasts about it.

This is a way to serve as a resource for others in your field. It also gives you credibility which can begin your journey toward career advancement and career independence.

2. Use creativity when solving problems

Does your current job allow you enough freedom to be able to solve problems in different ways? If so, don’t be afraid to try new ways of solving old problems and see what happens.

If you’re able to invent a better way from what’s always been done in the past and you’re able to share your best practices, you’re for sure on your way to becoming an expert in your field.

3. Learn a new skill

While you’re spending time becoming an expert in your field, don’t forget to also take time to learn a new skill.

For instance, if you think you eventually want to become an independent consultant in your area of expertise, take some time to learn some digital marketing skills to help you promote your service to your potential client base.

Or, learn a skill you may need in a higher-level position if you were to get promoted.

4. Adapt

In addition to learning a new skill to advance your career, don’t forget to also learn the things you need to keep up with your industry. Things change rapidly in today’s world of work. It’s important to adapt to industry trends and changes to remain relevant.

5. Always be networking

You knew I was going to say this, right? Always, always, always build and maintain your network. Networking is important throughout your career, especially if you decide to leave your job to work for yourself.

Reach out and reconnect with old contacts and create new ones. Set a goal for yourself in this new year for a specific number of people you plan to reconnect with. Then set a goal for how many new people you want to add to your network this year.

You may even want to set a goal for how many networking events you plan to attend each month or how many one-on-one conversations you plan to schedule.

6. Resolve to do less

While all of the above suggestions may sound like more things to add to your already busy to-do list, you may have to let go of some things to make room for your new commitments and resolutions. But it’s important to know which ones to let go of.

Learn to let go of and say no to anything that doesn’t support your personal mission statement (see my post entitled “How to Make Your Big Decisions More Simple“). Also, let go of and say no to anything that isn’t a building block for your personal and professional goals.

7. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, update your resume every six months, even when you’re not looking for a job. You never know when you’ll be invited to serve on a panel or speak at an event (especially when you start fulfilling the above commitments and resolutions). When this happens, the coordinator of the event will likely ask you for a copy of your most recent résumé.

You’ll want to include the new skills you’re developing, the results of your new creative problem solving, and the speaking engagements you’re giving and articles you’re publishing on your area of expertise.

You’ll also want to update your LinkedIn profile and add to it your new contacts from your networking efforts.

Resolutions work if you’re committed

Making resolutions and keeping resolutions are two different things. It’s easy to make resolutions. It’s not easy to keep them. Therefore they will require commitment on your part.

To help you stay committed to your goals and resolutions, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a free download of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. This free resource is designed to get you out of your rut and get you moving toward success.

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Sunday Inspiration: This Year Get Out of Your Rut!

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“The Lord spake unto me, saying, ‘Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.’” Dt 2:2-3

A biologist experimented with what he called “processional caterpillars.” He lined up caterpillars on the rim of a pot that held a plant so that the lead caterpillar was head-to-tail with the last caterpillar, with no break in the parade.

The tiny creatures walked around the rim of the pot for a full week before they died of exhaustion and starvation. Not once did any of them break out of line and venture over to the plant to eat. Food was only inches away, but their follow-the-crowd instinct was stronger than the drive to eat and survive.

The same thing happened to an entire generation of Israelites. They walked in circles in the wilderness for forty years, even though they were only eleven miles from the Promised Land.

If you’re in a rut today, ask yourself these three questions:

(1) Is this rut of my own making?

We choose a rut because it’s comfortable and requires no risk. And getting out of it requires courage and a willingness to make tough choices you follow through on.

(2) Who am I following?

We adopt certain patterns because someone has taught them to us directly, or by example. Instead of mindlessly following the crowd, seek God’s will for your life and commit yourself to doing it.

(3) Where am I going?

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Pr 29:18). If you want to get out of the rut you’re in today, ask God to give you a vision for your life—He will! And when He does, pour yourself into it.

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/this-year-get-out-of-your-rut

How to Make This the Last Year You Say Next Year

As I sit down to write this blog post, I’m procrastinating. I don’t feel like writing it for a couple of reasons. One, it’s my birthday and I’d rather do something else, but I can’t because I have too many other things I have to get done between now and when this post is due to publish. Two, the words for this post aren’t coming to me as I’d hoped.

While I don’t usually procrastinate, there are times when I do. And this is one of them.

Another time I was reminded of this morning was when I was a junior in high school. I had an English class assignment to read a book entitled A Walk Across America and write a journal entry for each chapter of the book.

I did read the book. But I was procrastinating on the journal entries. I told myself I’d go back and do them after reading through the entire book first. This was not a good idea.

After reading the book, the journal entry portion of the assignment now seemed too daunting. I never did finish the full assignment. I only turned in three or four journal entries and therefore did not get a good grade. Twenty-nine years later I still remember this.

Better late than never

About five years ago, I decided to re-read the book and maybe even journal on some of the rest of the chapters.

In doing so, I learned the author, Peter Jenkins, now lives near me just outside of Nashville. I contacted Peter and told him the story above. He got a good laugh out of it and of course said, “Better late than never!”

I often wonder to myself, “What if Peter had procrastinated and never took his walk across America?” He surely wouldn’t have high school English instructors using his book to teach young minds about the importance of pursuing goals and adventures.

How to stop procrastinating: get to the root of the problem

Procrastination isn’t a good thing. But it’s even worse if it’s causing you to put off your dreams and your goals for your life.

How many years (or decades) have gone by where you never did what you said you wanted to do? How many more years do you want this to continue happening? Make this year, 2019, the last year you say next year. Here’s how!

You first have to get to the root of what causes you to procrastinate, especially if you’re a chronic procrastinator. So let’s first figure out your reason for procrastinating.

1. Is your goal not urgent enough?

If you don’t think your goal is urgent, then ask yourself if you’ll be disappointed again if you haven’t completed it by this time next year. If the answer is yes, then your goal has now become urgent.

Look at some of the other goals you have for yourself and ask the same question. Then choose the most urgent of those you said yes to, and commit to beginning it now.

2. Do you feel like you don’t know where to start?

Well, whether you realize it or not, you’ve already started just by reading this post and determining which of these reasons are causing you to delay your goals. And if you’ve read last week’s post (“Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?“), you should’ve already started with the first few steps in the complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. If not, go back and do so.

Now you have a place to start, so you can no longer use this as an excuse.

3. Are you afraid of failing?

You won’t be considered a failure if you at least give your goals a try. It’s when you don’t try at all that you’ll be seen as a failure.

I’ve written a lot in my blog about the fear of failure. If this is your reason for procrastinating, I suggest you type the word “failure” in the search box of this blog and read what pops up!

4. Do you work better under pressure?

This might be about the only legitimate reason to procrastinate, but be honest with yourself about it. Is this really true about you? Or are you just saying this because you don’t want to admit any of the other reasons might be the real reason?

If you know this is true for you and you honestly produce your best work having a tight deadline, then keep working this way (since it seems to work for you!). But go ahead and set your deadline for your goal.

5. Do you just not want to do the work that’s involved?

If the amount of work it takes to accomplish your goal feels overwhelming, choose some other goals you’re excited about and won’t easily get either bored or overwhelmed with. Start with those.

Once you see how you’re able to accomplish these goals, you’ll find it easier to accomplish your other goals.

How to stop procrastinating: take action

Now that you’ve figured out which reason or reasons for your procrastination, next set and prioritize your goals. Again, use the free 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan I gave you in last week’s post.

Then, find an accountability partner. Someone who you can report to periodically on your progress (but not someone who’s going to nag you about it). Someone who wants to see you succeed but doesn’t necessarily have a personal stake in the results of your goals.

Also, write down dates in your calendar and set alarms on your phone for check-in points (either every month or every 90 days).

I recommend using a Passion Planner since it’s specifically designed to help you accomplish the goals you’re most excited and passionate about. I’ve used one every year for the past four years and just started filling out my fifth one for 2020. I honestly don’t think I would’ve accomplished as many things as I have in the past four years without my Passion Planner.

Finally, at the end of each quarter in the upcoming year, look back over what all you’ve accomplished thus far. This will give you the confidence and the momentum you need to finish out the remaining steps and tasks for your goals.

“The truth is 2020 won’t be any different than 2019 if you don’t make the choice to change.” Yasmine Cheyenne

By this time next year, instead of saying, “I’ll do it next year,” you’ll be saying, “What’s next?!”

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Are You Happy With What You Accomplished This Past Decade?

This time last year, I found my very first vision board I’d ever done. I made it in 2011 after noticing a colleague’s vision board hanging in her office. She told me ever since she’d started doing vision boards, she was able to see so many of the items on her board come to fruition. It intrigued me so I decided to give it a try myself.

When I found my first board while de-cluttering my house, I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to see how every item on my board, except for one, has since come to fruition. They didn’t all happen in just one year however. They happened over the course of the past decade.

What I find interesting about my first vision board is I designed it in the form of a mind map, and at the center is the word “God.” All the items branching out from the center were things I realize I never could’ve accomplished without God’s help.

You may not share the same faith or beliefs as me, but I think it’s important to have something solid, a strong foundation, to anchor your goals. But even just writing down your goals and vision for the future makes you 50% more likely to accomplish them. This is a true statistic. I even notice this in my weekly and daily calendar. If I write down what I want to accomplish for the week, it gets done. If I don’t, it doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.

My past decade

Since making my first vision board, I’ve created a vision board every year. However, I haven’t always followed the same mind map format. Some years I’ve done a collage with photos cut out from magazines, other year’s I’ve created a private Pinterest board. I’ve also used a tri-fold board with Post-It Notes, but I seem to always gravitate back to the mind map. So you can imagine how excited I was to see Canva.com now has over 35 mind map templates to choose from! (See example below.)

The past decade I’ve been fortunate to have experienced and accomplished a lot of cool things. I’ve published several books, changed the focus and mission of my business for the better, traveled to the jungles of the Amazon to advance the Gospel, served as a career consultant in various capacities, took up stand-up paddling and added two boards to my fleet.

I’ve also experienced the challenges that come with life. I made the difficult but healthy decision to end a relationship, almost lost my eyesight in my right eye and endured a very painful surgery for it, and cared for a family member who had to learn how to walk again after an accident which could’ve left him a quadriplegic.

Looking back over the past decade, the good definitely outweighed the bad. And even the bad had enough good sprinkled in to make it possible to persevere and achieve my goals.

Your past decade

What has your past decade looked like? Are you happy with what you accomplished this past decade? Do you still have some things to accomplish?

If you’ve accomplished what you hoped to, good for you! Take some time to celebrate it. Then start planning for the next decade.

If however, you’re the type of person who tends to procrastinate, you’ll want to stay tuned for next week’s blog post entitled “How to Make This the Last Year You Say Next Year.”

Your next decade

But this doesn’t give you another week to procrastinate! In the meantime, you can learn how to create your own vision board for a whole new decade with my free download, The 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

This plan is designed to get you out of a rut and help you not just set goals, but also stick to them and achieve them! I promise if you follow this plan, you’ll start to see things happen in your life. Things you always hoped to do or planned to do but never quite got around to it.

You’ll now have both a plan and also the confidence to get started on your goals for the next decade! For your free copy of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan, go to howtoachievemygoals.com. Stay tuned for next week’s post!

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How to Improve Your Career With Physical Fitness

We’re well into 2019 with the beginning of February on our heels. If you made any new year’s resolutions, it’s likely you’ve already slacked off on them. Good for you if you haven’t!

If you have, it’s not too late to use February 1st as your fresh start.

For some this may mean getting back into a workout or exercise routine. Even if your new years resolutions didn’t include anything fitness-related, they should. Not only because it’s important to your health, but also because it’s just as important to your career!

Why Physical Fitness is Important for Your Career

The BBC recently published a story on the importance of exercising during the work day and how to fit it into your work schedule. Studies have also shown how important it is to continue a regular workout routine when you’re out of work and conducting a job search. Including exercise as part of your job search or work day helps you:

  • perform better and with more energy in job interviews or on work projects.
  • stay positive when job opportunities or projects don’t work out as you’d hoped.
  • increase your confidence in your skills and abilities.
  • sharpen your mind.
  • grow your network.
  • relieve stress.

I’ve found this to be true in my own career. If I don’t stay active on a regular basis, it’s not just my body that suffers. My work also suffers. But when I carve out the time for fitness, I see amazing results.

The Career Benefits of Physical Fitness

For example, when I go stand up paddle boarding, all my stress melts away. I come back to work with a clear mind resulting in clarity on how to approach a difficult situation or my next project.

The jiu-jitsu classes I’m currently taking not only are making me physically stronger but they’re improving my mind’s reaction time and ability to problem solve.

Spending a day in the trees doing various ropes courses builds my confidence and improves my focus.

And my workouts designed by my personal trainer help me sleep better at night so I’m refreshed for the day’s work ahead of me.

In almost every one of these activities I’ve also grown my network. I’ve met potential clients, some of whom have turned into regular clients. I’ve met others who’ve referred their friends to me. And I’ve also made strategic alliances and business partnerships through the various activities I’m involved in.

An Invitation to Improve Your Career With Exercise

I believe so much in using the benefits of fitness to better coach my clients on their careers and to help them make more connections. I do this by often including my clients in some fun activities.

In the summer I frequently take clients paddle boarding to help them gain clarity over their current career situation. I’ve taken clients to do ropes courses. I’ve invited clients to be my guest in my jiu-jitsu class. And a few weeks ago I even had a client mixer that included a self-defense class and time to network with each other.

All activities are conducted with the client’s ability and fitness level in mind. They’re designed to get clients far enough out of their comfort zone that they don’t end up too far out of it. The goal is for it to be fun, healthy, and helpful. When the weather gets warm again (which I hope is very soon!), I plan to have another client mixer at the Adventure Park Nashville ropes course.

If you have a passion for fitness, want to step outside your comfort zone, and need help getting unstuck in your career, click here to complete the paNASH intake form.

And if fitness isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Clients are never required to participate in any physical activities. Maybe your resolution for 2019 is to simply focus on finding your own passion or making a career change. If so, let’s talk!

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