Are you happy with your job? Are you happy with your life? The beginning of the year is a natural time to take stock of the past year and plan for the year ahead. This Career Planner is designed to guide you in taking a look back at 2015 and looking ahead to 2016. Most important, it will help you identify, define, and clarify your personal and professional goals.
This is not about setting New Year’s resolutions. It’s about goals. It’s about dreaming about what you want your life to be like and putting plans into place to make it happen. Resolutions seem to fade with time. By February, they’re usually forgotten. Goals, if you articulate them, get stronger over time.
Goal setting is critical. Research shows when you write down your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, conducted a study on goal setting with 267 participants. Her research found you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.
Goals give you a destination so you can choose your path. Only when you know where you are going can you decide how to get there. Goals get you into action, keep you on track, and allow you to measure your progress.
But before you can set your future path, it helps to look at where you’ve been. The first step is an assessment.
You have very likely accomplished a lot in the past 12 months, even if some days it doesn’t feel like it. These exercises will help you assess your accomplishments — both professionally and personally. You don’t have to do every exercise, but the more of them that you complete, the more you’ll get out of this!
Download the Free 2016 Career Planning Workbook and answer the questions on the worksheets on the following pages. Really take some time to complete the exercises. Set aside time — either each day for a couple of days in a row or a block of time in one day — to spend on this. It’s important. If you don’t stop and think about these things, life will just happen … but it may not be the life you want.
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. ~ Lewis Carroll