If this New Year is daunting, depressing or overwhelming, flip the focus to mastering the steps to success instead of only focusing on achieving a single outcome. Career coach Eunice Asante, founder of The Workers Journal shows us how.
New Year, new you, or are you still feeling the New Year blues (ooh, it rhymes).
Sitting in a business meeting in early January, a few attendees asked me if I felt the New Year blues. The third Monday of January, aka Blue Monday, is the most depressing day of the year as most people still reflect on the previous year and the end of Christmas celebrations.
This can, in some people, trigger negative feelings, especially if you have not achieved the goals you have set for yourself.
I found our conversation about careers, jobs and beating the blues interesting. Because although I felt upbeat in January, February and March have been different stories. I've had to work hard to stay focused and get things done.
Whether you are still feeling the New Year blues or are as happy as Larry, here's how to find motivation and stay motivated in 2023.
It's all about the process.
Don't only focus on the outcome but master the internal and external steps involved in producing results
I recently heard an interesting argument for why you shouldn't set goals, and for someone who is goal-oriented, I was intrigued.
The idea is this: goals are great at motivating and getting you to focus on a target. However, goals tend to ignore or lack the focus on the processes involved in producing success.
Let me explain further - goals tend to focus on the outcome - the end goal but there is a risk that – in the process – people can minimise the steps taken to achieve the goal.
But what if you flipped this on its head?
Right systems and strategies
What if, instead, you focused on the process needed to produce success, mastered this process and then repeated it?
The argument is that success will result from your work if you focus on building the right systems and strategies. And if you create systems around your process, then you could leverage this and get success on demand.
I love this idea because it's essentially saying don't only focus on the outcome but master the internal and external steps involved in producing results.
What I love about this perspective is that if you find a process that works, you can adapt it to make it work for you. In other words, you can borrow someone else's methods and adjust them to suit you.
If this New Year is daunting, depressing or overwhelming, flip the focus to mastering the steps to success instead of only focusing on achieving a single outcome.
Flip the focus
If you apply this perspective to your career, think about what area of your career you feel stuck about. Or the part of your job you wish you could experience more success.
Instead of creating a list of goals, are there processes you could improve? For example, if you need help delivering better presentations at work, which is essential to your success at work, do you have a process for creating and delivering presentations to guarantee success?
Is there someone you could study to understand how they deliver presentations and craft your approach around their example? This is what I have developed within my coaching sessions. I analyse career goals, break down the steps, and work on the processes to help achieve success.
Don't give up
When talking to my peers about their New Year blues, I realised that part of the issue was that people tend to give up on their career success prematurely.
If the habit of giving up is historical, then it's understandable why many feel depressed in the New Year. It's a reminder of the goals set in December and given up by January.
I wish I had an easy answer for this, but I don't. A dance teacher once told me everyone would be doing her job if it were easy. Career success feels hard because striving for success in any arena is hard; it's supposed to be.
But did you know that people are likelier to achieve goals that strongly relate to their why?
Goals that connect with who they are as people and what their purpose in life is are more likely to be successful.
Therefore, if you are struggling with achieving your New Year goals, stay away from superficial goals and instead think about goals connected with your ‘why’ in life.
Create a community
It's a shame that people have great ideas but don't share them for fear that others will disapprove. If you desire to do something new and different with your career or even to step out and show up differently, share your ideas with people you trust. Something amazing happens when you do this:
● You take the idea from your head, making it seem more real
● If an idea seems possible and real, you are more likely to achieve it
● When ideas are out of your heads, you can start working on the practical steps involved in achieving our ideas
● Saying your ideas aloud helps you to become more committed to your ideas
● Sharing your ideas with people you trust means more people will support you and hold you accountable.
When coaching, I love helping clients to think through how to achieve ideas they have around their careers. Often people hold onto ideas for so long, waiting to do something with them. I love showing clients how simple it is to turn career ideas into reality.
It's easy to feel disheartened about our careers when we feel stuck, bored or unsure about the direction we should take. If you are still feeling the New Year blues, let me encourage you to create career goals that connect with who you are and what you want out of life; why.
Once you've established these goals, think through what your processes need to be. The next step is to find support, people who can give you information, encourage, support, and hold you accountable, so you keep going. You deserve this; success is closer than you think.
Until Next Time