Sometimes the best type of change is a small, gradual change each and every day towards the career and life of your dreams. I am all about the baby steps and imperfect action which is why I wanted to design a simple one year plan to help you make small changes over the course of a year.
Many times I speak with women who aren’t ready to jump onboard a new career next month but have goals of doing so over the next year. Totally fine! As long as you don’t forget what you are working towards and make progress slowly along the way. You don’t have to do things super fast just because other people are. Gradual is totally fine.
A Simple One Year Plan to Improve Your Career
A One Year Plan to Improve Your Career
January: Decide On Your Goals
Focus on small goals. Small goals are like little baby steps that are easy to take. Use these little steps to break up a long term goal that may otherwise seem almost impossible to achieve. Break the elephant into small chunks to help you stay fired up and excited as you move towards your goal. It’s all about the baby steps and imperfect action daily. Every 15 minute counts when you are focused on the RIGHT steps to achieve your goals! This month, decide on what goals you want to tackle this year and write them down. We recommend using our planning guide if you really want to get organized.
February: Repeat Affirmations
I have seen many women close to getting their careers unstuck BUT they have one thing holding them back, their mindset. I have always been a huge fan of affirmations. I actually do these every morning for 5 minutes and have notecards that I have by my bed to read. I am way more confident and calm throughout the day when I do this along with meditating. Here are some affirmations I recommend starting with. This month practice doing your affirmations every single morning and night if you too if you can!
March: Take Control of Your Calendar
If you don’t have a plan, your calendar will control you. One of the biggest mistakes is just doing whatever comes your way instead of having exact times when you will do certain things in your week. Discipline and planning is required if you want to achieve your career goals. This is why I have a weekly review session where I review what I am doing each day of the next week and everything is scheduled into my calendar. This month, take control of your calendar and make it a calendar you love.
April: Invest in Yourself
Back in 2014, I made the best decision of my life and invested in myself. I hired a business coach. I hoped that this would be helpful to push me to where I wanted my career to go, but I had no idea what was going to happen.
It changed my life and business. I pushed past my fears and did things I never would have done by myself. She helped me with accountability and make decisions rationally going forward. She helped me think bigger than I ever would have myself.
But I know, coaches can be expensive. Which is why we have designed courses with all the information that a career or business coach would provide, for a quarter of the price.
May: Start a Mastermind Group
Got some big goals? Great! Now, it’s time to get around the people that can support you and keep you accountable in reaching those goals. Because we all know, great accomplishments are never done alone, right? You need people to push you, help you think of new ideas and, let’s be honest, be there for you when you have a tough day and nothing seems to be going your way.
A mastermind group is a small group of people that meets regularly, in person or virtually, that provides honest feedback and insights and leads. Here’s my instructions on how to start a mastermind group. Start one this month.
June: Get Rid of ‘Shoulds’
Other people don’t really know the entire situation. They don’t know what you do everyday and what the best choice for you personally is. They think they do, but they don’t. You have to listen to your gut. Get alone. Buy a journal. Practice writing what you are thinking every single day. You will start to write out what your gut is telling you. Getting quiet and meditating helps you listen to your inner guide as well. This month focus on doing what is best for you. Start saying no more and doing what you want to do, instead of what you should do.
July: Improve Your Morning Routine
The biggest mistake I see made over and over is waking up and checking email first thing. I did this too when I was in corporate. It really ruined my entire day especially when I worked with people on the east coast who had been sending work emails for hours! No one should have to wake up like that!
So now my morning routine consists of: Journaling, meditating, affirmations, vision board, reading, praying, and exercising. This has completely changed my life. Even if you are not an entrepreneur like me, all these things I used to do when I was in corporate every morning. It involved waking up a bit earlier but it is SO much better to wake up and do something you are excited about instead of waking up and rushing out the door to go to a job you don’t like. So think about how you can revamp your morning routine tomorrow morning.
August: Challenge Yourself to Network
At the beginning of 2011, I was preparing to graduate from business school and trying to figure out the next step in my career. I knew that networking would be a key to success in the job search, but I also knew I was—and still am—an introvert, and the prospect of meeting new people has never been easy for me.
Still, I was determined to knock down my barriers to networking and meet the people who would help me reach my dreams and goals. So I decided to embark on a networking challenge: Every month, I would meet with four people I already knew but would like to get to know even better, as well as four completely new people. I called it the 4×4 Networking Challenge.
And at the end of 2011, I had added 48 new people to my network and strengthened relationships with 48 friends, co-workers, and family members. Not to mention, a year of networking like crazy gave me a lot of valuable insights on what it takes to be a good networker—something I never thought I’d be able to claim.
September: Visualize You Ideal Life
First, imagine the big picture. Visualize your goal already achieved. How does it feel? What will accomplishing the goal bring to you? Pay attention to how you feel and then write down these triggers so that you can access them any time you need a little push to keep going.
I also recommend making a vision board that represents what you want to CREATE in your life, not what you want to GET in your life. There are outside factors that you have no control over so make sure you remember that. Only you can be in charge of what you create. That is what you want to visualize and shoot for.
October: Improve Your Elevator Pitch
I try hard to follow the “You know how…” “Well, what I do is…” model of an introduction because it really helps me get away from the generic “I am a Consultant.” or “I am a Career Coach.”
So when I was just starting this blog, I had two jobs. I was a Corporate Consultant and a Career Coach. So that meant I had two elevator pitches for my two jobs.
Elevator Pitch for Job #1: You know how there are navy ships in the ocean that have communication systems onboard so they can communicate back to land? Well, what I do is help coordinate the funding so that those communication systems get onboard the ship in time.
Elevator Pitch for Job #2: You know how there are a lot of professional women stuck in jobs they hate? Well, I help them get unstuck and out of jobs they hate and into jobs they love.
Like it? Well, use my model! You know how….well what I do is…
The model is taken from the book, Book Yourself Solid.
November: Ask For Help
You can’t do this alone. If you are stuck, just ask. Get the fast track. I am here for you. I check in on our private Facebook group daily (if not hourly sometimes, I do love you!). We will make sure you get your question answered and that you are headed on the right track.
Know that people can’t help you if you don’t ask. There are people out there right now who are happy to help you, you just have to ask.
December: Do What You Fear
To get over these things, the very first thing I always do is hand it over to God and stop TRYING to be in control. And then I ask myself these three questions.
What is the worst thing that can happen if I go after my goals?
What is the best thing that can happen if I go after my goals?
Is it worth it to go all in?