How has the New Year started out for you?

My year is starting out with excitement about a project my team and I have been working on for months which we’re about to announce – more on that later!

But back to the start of your year…

Whether you’re off to a roaring start, feeling underwhelmed, or somewhere in between, this is a natural time to do some thinking and planning for the year ahead. And as my father says, “chance favors the prepared mind.”

While having a strategy in place is important for achieving big goals, it can feel daunting to do that preparation. It’s tempting to put it off until “later” or to ditch the idea altogether in favor of “winging it”. Both are suboptimal if you want to have a great year.

Since I want you to have an awesome year, I’d like to share with you some super simple ways to set yourself up for success without spending lots of time or spinning your wheels.

Here are three things you can do right now to get your career off to a great start in the new year. And you’re not alone. I’m putting these to use as well.

1. Choose your theme for the year

This can be an overarching theme that will sustain you through the year, like a touchstone. For example, it could be “the year of the promotion” or “the year of getting your degree”. Or it could be “the year of living dangerously”, which is the name of a movie.

You can also choose a set of words or phrases that really embody the theme you want to live out for the year, such as “let’s make everything simple, easy and fun this year”.

In the past, I’ve used “staying focused” as my theme. For this year, it’s The Year of Being “Badass”.

For me, being badass is about going forward confidently, playing big, and not talking yourself out of things. It’s about living life with confidence, leaning into your best strengths and being authentically you.

It’s doing things that are “on mission” for you with energy, positive intent, joy, and zest. And no matter what happens, trusting you’ll figure it out and land on your feet.

What theme would feel energizing for you?

2. Identify the three big wins you want to have this year

The second thing to think about are your wins. In fact, I want you to pre-determine and pre-select the three big wins that you want to have this year.

They can be any three things. It could be a combination of landing three new clients, passing an exam you need to pass in order to get to the next level of your career (e.g., the CFA or CPA exams), and getting over your fear of speaking by giving a big talk.

In my case, my three big wins I’m pre-determining for this year are:

  • Grow Career Mastery™ into the “executive coach in your pocket” to help people in their day-to-day career challenges so they can succeed faster and more easily
  • Successfully create and launch a new internal coaching development program for one of my clients so we can develop more leaders and help more people than ever, and
  • Plan my next big travel adventure. (Recommendations welcomed!)

So, think about what your three big wins are going to be. It's a more energizing way of asking yourself, “what are my three big goals for the year?”.

3. Decide what investment you’re going to make in yourself

Think about how you’re going to invest in yourself this year. Think about which exact things you're going to spend your time, energy, mind-space and money on this year to build your foundation and make you even better in new dimensions.

Last year I made an investment in myself to create my life plan (my “Hero’s Journey”) with Donald Miller’s Storybrand program. It’s helped me stay on track with my goals, mission and purpose.

This year, my investment is joining a mindset coaching group. This will not only shift the negative narratives that are holding me back but also help me with the new coach development program I’m creating.

What are your investments going to be?

In summary, to get your career off to a great start this year:

  1. Pick your theme for the year
  2. Identify your three big wins
  3. Decide what investment you're going to make in yourself

BONUS way to get your career off to a great start this year

There's a special fourth way to help you further in getting your career off to a great start.

It's the Career Mastery™ Challenge. And it’s free to join!

Over 5 short days, you’ll get to create a clear and actionable game plan for your career that helps you be more intentional and successful this year and beyond. This will really move the needle for you and your career.

Get the details here and join the free Career Mastery™ Challenge.

What are you going to choose as your theme for the year? Leave a comment and let me know.