File this one under “Confessions of a career coach”…
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been putting off a number of changes that you could have started on in November and December until the New Year. Why? Well, procrastination is fun and easy. Plus, something sounds good about starting a new habit as of January 1st.
Of course, we all know that this is objectively ridiculous. The day the New Year begins is completely arbitrary… but it does make us feel better. (Not that a career coach would ever let you get away with this!)
Here are the top 3 personal goals I have been procrastinating until New Year’s Day.
#1 – Working out
#2 – Eating better
#3 – Meditating
And here are my excuses for not taking action on these things today:
Working out – I almost never need to be physically in shape for my day to day life. It is true that a spinnaker takedown during a sailboat race last year left me winded, but that was only one moment in 365 days. So, really, this is something I should do rather than have to do.
Eating better – I would like to eat better. Here’s the thing, I’m blessed with a metabolism that lets me eat whatever I feel like. I still weigh the same as I did in high school. To be honest, I’m a somewhat balanced eater by nature, but far from a vegetable eating health nut. I’m told that eating better will make me feel more energetic, but this is yet another thing I “should” be doing.
Meditating – Meditation is great. Except that it is a lot of work and it takes time. I’ve been practicing it since 2005, however I am very inconsistent about it, which means that I don’t reap the full benefits. Usually, I just use it as a relaxation tool when I feel stressed.
Recently I had a casual conversation with a friend about these things, and she said something to the effect of, “you have to figure out what is blocking you from making these changes.”
Of course, I know that what is “blocking me” from making these changes is this: I haven’t prioritized these changes. They are all things that I should be doing rather than have to do (or want to do).
I’m a guy who hates getting up early, yet woke up at 4:30am day after day to learn to fly airplanes.. in February… in Maine. I’m a guy who despises running, but ran daily for a month and a half to train for a 10k because my sister challenged me.
In other words, like my career coaching clients, I can make change happen when I want to.
So, what will make 2016 different?
If you read my post Why you won’t change your career in 2016, you’ll notice at least two things are required to make change:
- You need a significant amount of discontent with the present
- You need a clear vision of the future
Of course, there is a lot more to change than that. As we create changes in our lives we go through stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance, all of which fit into the above two themes.
However, as I look at my goals for 2016 (looking at my personal goals through the lens of a career coach) I notice four issues:
- I don’t have a ton of discontent with the present
- The benefits of these goals are somewhat abstract to me
- My goals are excessively broad and non-specific
- I haven’t been very clear about my action plan for working on these items
In other words, these may not be the right goals, and if they are, they require some strategizing and clarification to execute. A career coach would point this out in a split second, but sometimes we don’t notice the obvious in ourselves.
Here is what I’m going to do this New Year’s day (after I’m done celebrating in San Diego). I’m going to spend some time writing down all my goals for 2016 and see where my discontent truly lies. Then I’m going to create a clear vision of what I am trying to create. Finally, I’m going to create a specific action plan and be very specific.
-Just like a career coach would force me to do on career related items. (Oh, the irony.)
I would encourage you to do the same. Whether 2016 is the year you hire a career coach and make a career change, run a marathon, or just start flossing daily, take the time to think about what matters to you and who you want to be in 2016.
What are your career goals for 2016? How might a career coach help you? Let me know at [email protected] or in the comments below.