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Four Ways to Get Back on Track With Your New Year’s Resolutions

Four Ways to Get Back on Track With Your New Year’s Resolutions

Over 40% of goal-setters drop their new year’s resolutions before the end of January. If the motivation for your new year’s resolutions is waning, here are four ways to get back on track.

[Related: Holiday Thoughts Stressing You Out?]

Reconnect with your reasons.

Reaching for a goal takes you out of your comfort zone, and this discomfort causes resistance. Andy Molinsky, professor of psychology and organizational behavior at Brandeis University’s International Business School, shares excellent advice for getting out of your comfort zone in Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence.

One of my favorite tips is to focus on conviction – the reason behind why you need to move out of your comfort zone. If you can connect strongly with your conviction/reason, you’re more likely to succeed.

If your new year’s resolution is to find a new job but you’re procrastinating on your job search, remind yourself what a new job will bring you – more fulfillment? More appreciation? More money? If you can reenergize your conviction that a new job is exactly what you need, then you’ll get back on track with your job search.

Reframe your setbacks.

If you are struggling with a new year’s resolution and feeling demotivated by your lack of success, try to reframe your setbacks more positively. Sam Weinman, digital editor at Golf Digest, shares many compelling, inspiring examples of learning from failure in Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains.

Weinman tells the story of how speed skater Dan Jansen used reframing to finally win an Olympic gold medal after multiple heartbreaking losses. Weinman shares additional tips with other sports stories, as well as non-athletes like soap opera actress Susan Lucci, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, and several failed start-up founders.

If you expected to be further along your job search than you are and are now questioning whether to continue, question instead your approach and take the time to course-correct. If you heard criticism for your resume, use the feedback to rebrand. If your networking outreach isn’t yielding useful leads, try different scripts – for how you introduce yourself or how you ask for help.

[Related: A Year-Round Guide to Self-Advocacy]

Get help.

Many new year’s resolutions require the help of others. If your goals are workplace-oriented, you may need to enroll your colleagues to help. Dee Ann Turner, a 30-year veteran of Chick-Fil-A, most recently as Vice President, Corporate Talent, shares hiring, coaching, and culture-building strategies in her new book, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture.

Among many insightful tips and strategies, Turner advocates being direct and honest:

Truth telling is an investment we must make in relationships — whether personal or professional. It takes a lot of time and thought, and sometimes, courage. However, there is probably not another investment of time that pays a greater dividend when done well. Most people desire to perform and achieve results. Most people want to preserve important relationships. Truth telling helps people perform better and often strengthens relationships.

Have you told the truth and asked people for what you need? You may need to take a chance and ask your boss or mentor for help. You may need to delegate to a colleague or direct report so you can work on different things. You may need to enroll your family in your goal, so you can work on your job search after work or on the weekend.

Rethink your goal.

If your new year’s resolution is the pursuit of more – e.g., more money – you may be chasing the wrong goal. Scott Sonenshein, professor of management at Rice University, gives a compelling argument against chasing more and more in his new book, Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined.

Sonenshein advocates for more resourcefulness over more resources. He gives numerous examples where constraints lead to creative breakthroughs. After reading this book, you may decide to select a different resolution altogether.

If your goal is a new job for more money, more responsibility, or more fulfillment, consider how you might get what you need where you are. Perhaps you can focus on negotiating better in your current situation, enlarging your role without changing companies, or finding fulfillment outside of work. Even if you still decide to continue your job search, getting more resourceful right where you are will help you land and thrive in your next job.

[Related: Fire Your Inner Critic and Unleash the Awesome You!]


Caroline Ceniza-Levine is the founder of the Dream Career Club and a career coach, writer, and media personality on job market issues. Caroline helps experienced professionals in tech, media, financial services and other industries make a great living doing work they love. A version of this post originally appeared on Forbes.

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