Embracing the New Year

It’s the new year, which for most business professionals means a chance to revisit your professional progression.  Analyzing your annual goals and adjusting them accordingly to your previous year is a great way to start.  It is important to revise these goals, as life dictates changes which affect goal progression and other areas.  In order to achieve progression in any area of life, be it in your professional life or in the distance you run, one must not simply be satisfied by meeting the same goals. 
Perhaps you achieved your goals, and want to push yourself toward reaching higher numbers in 2012.  In order to achieve progress you must set a higher goal for yourself.  If you keep that same goal, you won’t be nearly as motivated to work harder than if you are concerned with not meeting your new, higher goal.  Achieving consistently higher goals leads to more impressive numbers and eventually should lead to promotions and pay increases as the value you bring to your organization increases. 
While setting new goals is important, it is also necessary to remember that you need to set realistic goals, so you don’t get discouraged on the way to achieving them.  It is good to push yourself, but if there is no light at the end of the tunnel you may get lost along the way. 
It is also important to ask yourself whether or not your organization is still a good fit for your professional progression.  365 days is a long time for things to have changed course– Perhaps a coworker received the promotion you were in line for, or you are starting to realize the room for growth in your position is not very promising.  Being in an undesirable position professionally is something that can be changed, and whether the solution can be dealt with internally in your company or externally in looking for another job, doing nothing about your situation is not beneficial to you.
Reflect on both where you excelled in 2011, as well as where you struggled, in order to become a more well-rounded professional.  Focus on both of these areas when you make your 2012 goals.  It is important to embrace the new year as it comes, because it is somewhat of a fresh start.  Happy 2012!