Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas break and you’ve come back feeling refreshed and ready for action. With the New Year comes a renewed sense focus and motivation to finally achieve your goals, and I’m all for surfing this wave of enthusiasm towards your most successful year yet. So how can you ensure your career success?
Here are 5 things that will ensure your career success this year
1. Define what success means to you
If you’ve been part of my community for some time, it will come as no surprise to you that the first thing I’ll recommend here is to define ‘success’. If you don’t set your intention for where you want to get to, it’s almost impossible for you to ever get there! Most likely, you’ll simply get swept up in other people’s definitions of success – your boss, your peers, your family – and those definitions may or may not be meaningful to you. It will also come as no surprise to those of you who are familiar with my beliefs that I’d encourage you to think of success in the broader sense, beyond the narrow conventional focus on work and career, to also consider things like your relationships, personal growth, and health and wellbeing.
It’s easy to get caught up in setting goals around your career and business but you need to ask yourself what’s ultimately important to you. I love my work and I do really push myself to achieve things with my business but I also make sure to remind myself of all the other things in my life that make up my own personal definition of success.
Discover the 5Ls model to help you think more broadly about success
In my experience - from my own life and from working with clients over the years - there are five key areas in our lives that need to be balanced in order for us to thrive and live a truly successful life in a more whole and holistic sense: LIVE - Wellness & Wellbeing; LOVE - Relationships & Romance; LEARN - Development & Growth; LEAD - Career & Impact; and LAUGH - Fun & Spontaneity.
2. Take care of yourself
Speaking of health and wellbeing, the next thing you absolutely need to do is look after your mind and body. Your overall wellness and wellbeing are absolutely fundamental to everything else in your life. A proper night’s sleep, getting the nutrients you need and staying active are basic and yet so important. Luckily, January is the perfect time to double down and refocus on your health, as more or less the whole world is committed to healthy eating and exercise at this time of year.
For me, last year saw me trying to address my worsening migraines, get an unexpected diagnosis of skin cancer, and, yes, gaining weight despite doing my best to eat well and exercise. It’s simply not viable in the long run to ignore your symptoms and to let your health suffer, so take this opportunity to deal with anything you’ve been avoiding.
3. Plan your time
In order to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself, you need to be intentional with your time. How often have you written a long to-do list, only to find that the whole day or even week has passed without you feeling like you’ve made any progress at all? With an endless list of things to do, you’ll never have done “enough”, and if you’re anything like me you’ll have started with the easy things and so the hardest and probably most important things are left undone.
I’m a big fan of time blocking to help you plan your time effectively. You can refer to my article on setting up your ideal week here >> If you don’t yet have a planner for the year, I’d recommend using the Best Self journal – I don’t get an affiliate commission or anything like that, I just really like these books for planning and reviewing your progress – which you can read more about and buy here >>
4. Get the support you need
Smart and capable people – and, it seems, particularly women – tend to think they need to do everything themselves. While they may well be able to manage alone, they’re likely to do so at a cost, whether that be time (as it takes so much longer when you muddle through on your own), money (you waste money on doing the wrong things) or their health (they burn out in the process). The truth is that it’s in no way a sign of weakness to ask for help. In fact, all the top people in their field – executives, athletes, entrepreneurs – have coaches, mentors, advisors to help them be the best that they can be.
I recently committed to another 12 months with my coach – a significant investment but one that I know will pay out. If you’re interested in finding out if my coaching might be a good fit for you, go ahead and book your free ‘one step’ consultation call here >>
5. Show gratitude and self-compassion
This is a relatively new addition for me but oh-so important. As a ‘high achiever’ – or an alpha, or whatever you want to call people like us who constantly set our sights higher and higher, choosing new goals and challenges and continuing to push ourselves further – we will always be focused on the next thing, and then the next. But if we keep on in this way, we’ll never be satisfied. We’ll never reach our destination, we’ll never feel successful, and it’ll all be for nothing.
So the final point is to be grateful, first of all, for what you already have; to recognise the progress that you have made and are making; and to be compassionate with yourself when you haven’t done exactly what you had hoped you would. I was hoping to have finished my new book, launched my podcast and opened up my group programme by the end of December and yet here I am with these things still on my list. I’m making sure that I’m supporting my existing and potential clients and doing all the fundamental things I need to do to maintain and grow my business and I’ve had a proper rest over Christmas, while still keeping an eye on these new projects that I know I’ll make space for as soon as I can.
I wish you all a wonderfully successful 2018 – whatever that means for you!