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Are You Going to Make Big Changes Happen in 2017?

Are You Going to Make Big Changes Happen in 2017?

With the New Year here, everyone is talking about resolutions. As I hear the typical resolutions of losing weight, choosing healthier eating habits, or learning a new language, I can't help but challenge people to think bigger. 

Please know that I am not underestimating the importance of healthy eating and being fit, as those are crucial for success in both our personal and professional lives. However, those resolutions could be part of a bigger goal that encourages you to achieve bigger. For example, what if you challenge yourself to take your business in a new direction? Expand within your current role? Choose to be seen on a larger platform?

Now think about what resolutions or action steps you need to take to make those things happen. I know it might be more tempting to choose a one-dimensional resolution that feels attainable, rather than one that may push you beyond your boundaries, but think of how life-changing it would be if you did meet that goal.

Yes, taking on something more significant might be uncomfortable. It may require you to ask yourself some tough questions and do so some serious soul searching and reflection. However, change only happens when we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone and try something new. By exhibiting the same behavior you can’t expect a different outcome. It’s daunting but you can do this.

Here are five things that can give you the push necessary to reach for those big changes.

1. Surround yourself with the right people.

It’s believed that the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with have the greatest influence on your life, according to Aimee Groth, former editor of Business Insider. As such, it’s important to surround yourself with positive, motivated, reflective and constructive individuals that inspire and motivate you but will also provide constructive feedback. Take a look at who you spend your time with to ensure you have the most supportive team possible.

2. Share your goals and aspirations with others.

There’s power in saying your goals out loud, but it’s important to share with your trusted circle as well. It’s equally as important for you to be accountable as it is for your trusted circle to hold you accountable.

On the flip side, be equally as honest and vulnerable with your circle if you aren’t reaching your goals. They may have valuable insight on how to get past the obstacles in your way and offer the support needed to push forward. Support is crucial in reaching your goals and by surrounding yourself with the right group it allows you the necessary conversations and brainstorming sessions that may further motivate you to stay on track.

[Related: A Five-Step Plan To Achieve Any Goal]

3. Ask yourself the tough questions.

Oftentimes people figure they can reach their goals by doing the same behavior. That is actually the definition of insanity! It’s imperative that you ask yourself the tough questions about why you’re struggling to get past this one hurdle. What’s really the issue at hand and how can you get to the root of the problem? Answering these questions allow you to change your behaviour and get the results you’re seeking. It’s easy to ignore things rather than lift the hood and take a deeper look. So often this is what holds people back, so go ahead and take a peek!

4. Find inspiration.

In order to feel inspired you have to find inspiring people and environments. I oftentimes hear people say that they lack inspiration in their professional and personal lives. There’s an easy solution for this—find it elsewhere!

I recently joined a women’s network that has been life changing. Surrounding myself with like-minded motivated and successful women keeps me inspired. They push me out of my comfort zone and ask the tough questions that I need to hear. I choose to surround myself with women who support and motivate me but also push me to be better. You too, can find that same inspiration.

[Related: How to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated Once You’re on Your Way]

5. Set monthly goal check-ins.

One common mistake people make after setting their goals is failing to consistently check their progress. It’s important that you have monthly goals (for example, attend x amount of professional development events or find two leaders in my industry and take them to coffee) and are reaching those goals; you don’t want to have a mid year check in and realize that for last six months you were heading down the wrong path. Monthly check-ins keep you on the right track and if you can identify the deterring behavior, you’re able to re-orient yourself and continue making progress.  

[Related: Why Goal Setting Is Good for You]

Sarah O'Brien is the Senior Managing Consultant at Beacon Hill Staffing Group, where she specializes in placing administrative professionals across various industries in and around New York City. She has been in the staffing industry for 13 years.

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