Category Archives: Personal Development

It’s a New Year, Become a New You

NewYearNewYouSucessIt’s a brand new year and of course, we all have at least one resolution – or goal – to improve something about ourselves. A new career, new adventure, new life all sound like great things for which to strive. But, how many times have you resolved to change at the start of the new year, only to fall short and neglect the promise you are so eagerly committed to keep? No matter the goal, whether it’s simple or complicated, the frustration we feel when an interruption comes and challenges our commitment to the goals – often a lack of resources or will power – causes the resolutions to fall by the wayside.

No matter your goals, having the right- perspective and plan can help you meet- your goals for the  year.

Pick one goal to focus on and pursue it

Having a checklist of numerous resolutions can be overwhelming, and unrealistic. During my yearly personal strategic planning session, I identify the areas that may need improvement or adjusting, and prioritize the “to do” list, selecting just a few to focus on and pursue. Using the same approach to a New Year’s resolution can prove an efficient way to identify the top 1 or 2 concerns, allowing an opportunity to make real progress, since you are not overwhelmed with a laundry list of action items.

For example, if your goal is to get a new job, make that your primary focus and work on a plan for doing so, such as tweaking your job search process, updating your LinkedIn profile, working with a career coach, or actively participating in a networking event that draws potential employers in your job industry.

Get a support system

It is not always easy to pursue goals, and it can be downright daunting when you face challenges on your own, with no one to spur you on, or give you a little insight. Put together a support system, your personal cheerleading team, to help you with your resolutions and encourage you when difficult times arise.

For the new entrepreneur, your team of cheerleaders should include a mentor, at least one person who has expertise in your industry and viewed as an ally rather than a competitor, and a good friend who does not judge you and supports your dreams, but always tells you the truth. If you are graduating with an advanced degree this spring, your support system should include a trusted academic advisor, campus career center, and members of your professional or civic organizations who know you well. They are all resources for potential career opportunities, as well as resources for changes in the industry that may have occurred while you were pursuing your Master’s or Doctorate degree.

Celebrate the accomplishments

While pursuing a goal, it is always good to celebrate successes. In a culture where instant gratification is the norm, we can often be hard on ourselves if we don’t see immediate results. Focusing on the end-result without learning from and enjoying the process adds pressure, and you may, in frustration, give up on your goals.

Take a moment to appreciate each milestone and celebrate it! Take yourself out to lunch at a favorite restaurant, put on some great music and dance, check in with your cheerleaders, or give a token of appreciation to the mentor who coached and encouraged you until you reached your goal.

Shake off the setbacks

It is easy to celebrate our accomplishments, but it is often hard to be cheerful when we encounter a setback. Feelings of failure and frustration can erode progress made. While it can be difficult, view your setback as an opportunity for a do-over, and work on getting it right the next time.

Instead of abandoning a goal goes awry, use the setback as an opportunity for assessment and moving forward with your resolution. Evaluating why and how you detracted from your goal can help you zero in on how you can resume your progress, change your approach, or even abandon it if necessary.

Become the change you seek

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Become the change you seek in the world.” As it relates to maintaining your New Year’s resolutions throughout 2015 and beyond, your attitude will determine your ability to stay the course until your goal is fulfilled.

A popular practice is to create a vision board, a visual of what you want in life that you can look at to encourage you, or reinforce commitment. Whether you create a traditional vision board, or take to Pinterest or Instagram to create one online, they can be helpful in helping you identify your goals and motivate you to press on toward them.

What are your goals for 2015? Leave us a reply.

 About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

 

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

The Reasons Likeable People Succeed

Why are likeable people successful?
Why are likeable people successful?

I recall a rather animated conversation about ten years ago with my Sorority Sister and mentor about how much likeability has to do with success within an organizational framework. My assertion was that, yes, being liked contributed to potential success, such as being elected to leadership roles, but I also believed that a person could rise through the ranks if he or she showed acumen or potential, whether or not the person was ultimately liked by “the group.”

While we disagreed about to what extent likeability influenced access to opportunity, my mentor and I agreed that being likable is essential to meeting goals and influencing consensus, two generally accepted measures of success.

Yesterday, Huffington Post contributor, Susie Moore, a New York-based Life Coach, published 7 Reasons Likeable People Succeed. Some reasons likeable people succeed, according to Ms. Moore, are  a lack of ego, a positive attitude, and making others feel relaxed.

I’ll add three of my own to the mix:

1. Authenticity (an overused term, but true). A genuine person is less likely to give false praise,  spread gossip and rumors, and  truly wants his or her co-worker to shine, so honest feedback to make the employee – or department – better make that person a success in the workplace.

2. Adaptability. An employee who can adapt to any situation, no matter how difficult of a challenge, shows that he can accept change and find a way to make things work, despite setbacks. Someone who adapts will be viewed as likeable, rather than contrarian.

3. Keeps confidences. Whether it’s a corporate trade secret, pending deal, or tough personal issues her co-worker faces, someone who is trustworthy is usually liked more than one who betrays confidences, in the workplace and in life.

Why do you think likeable people succeed at work and in life? Share in the comment section below.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

Choosing the Right Mentor

The only way to give a good opinion is to validate it through experience.  A good opinion can be on any subject – life, art, style, politics, and projects.  But as young people, we have limited experience in any of these fields.  So look to a mentor, someone who knows the ropes, to help as a kind of unofficial coach.

Recently, in class, a student commented, “Find a professor who knows a lot about what you want to learn and ask them about it.  People love to talk about what their passions.” Even though this suggestion is one critical part of finding a mentor, it signals the bigger lesson: finding a mentor is a highly personal process. Thus, there are no set rules, no template, for doing so.

Despite the personalized approach to choosing the right mentor, there are some common denominators in what makes a good mentor:

  •  Identify someone with whom you can speak frequently
  • Select someone whose lifestyle you admire
  • Watch how they conduct themselves – remember they have experienced what you are experiencing
  • When you find someone who inspires you, look up to them.  There is no more special an experience than your relationship with your mentor.

Related: January is National Mentoring Month!

About the Blogger: Maddy Marshall

Maddy Marshall, Guest Blogger
Maddy Marshall, Guest Blogger

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow

I recently wrote an article titled Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow for Optimal Living Magazine. It appears in the January/February 2014 edition of the publication. Here’s an excerpt:

OLMArticleHeaderJanFeb14

ARTICLE EXCERPT Courtesy of Optimal Living Magazine

    A few years ago, I informally surveyed people whom I met at networking events or conducted workshops for about their career satisfaction. Out of sheer curiosity, I wanted to know if they were happy, just getting by, or utterly dissatisfied in their careers.

   Their responses did not startle me, as I’ve heard all types of career conundrums in my profession. Of the 100 or so people I spoke with, less than 10% expressed enthusiasm for what they did on the job, or were fully engaged at work.

   The top reasons these “focus group” members are not doing what they love, based on their responses, are the fear of not having enough money to pay the bills and not knowing how to seek career opportunities that allowed them to pursue what they love.

   They, like many others, sacrifice career satisfaction to fear of the unknown, and therefore, become immobilized and unmotivated to figure out how to make a living doing what truly excites them.

   Any life change, small or monumental, requires proper planning and strategy to achieve the desired outcome. The four areas to help you transition into a career you love, while making a living in the process, include identifying what motivates you, preparing for change, networking, and continuous learning.

Click on the magazine cover below to read the entire article, Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow, on pages 18-19.

January/February 2014 Optimal Living Magazine
January/February 2014 Optimal Living Magazine

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist