Did You Meet Your 2012 Professional Development Goals?

By: Helen M. Thamm, APRN, CPC

Hope that wasn’t a stress producing question.  I learned some time ago that an all-or-nothing answer is probably not the most productive one!  For 2012 I committed to fourteen both professional and work/life balance goals.  Totally completing all fourteen of them, did not happen!  I did complete ten of them and at least partially attained two of the other four.  Being a high achiever, only partially achieving what I prefer to call my year-long “promises” was at first a bit disappointing.  Since I was taught as a child to “always keep your promises” I could easily have felt like a failure as a result.

How to Redefine Only Partially Completing Goals:

  1. Redefine not completing some of your goals.  List which goals were fully met, which were partially met and which are still “in progress”.
  2. Be gentle with yourself.  Know you are still living in integrity with high achieving values as you have made an effort to move forward with your career and work/life balance goals.
  3. Identify whether time/energy constraints have kept you from finishing all of your “promises”, and if you might need to re-prioritize some of your goals at least for right now.
  4. Allow yourself to “roll over” some of your incomplete goals to the next year.  I needed to continue working on eating more healthily and maintaining an exercise schedule more regularly, for an example.
  5. Be realistic that some behavioral change goals may take more than one year to accomplish, such as better time management, or other work/life goals (like number 4 above).

Now that you can be a little kinder to yourself if you have not accomplished everything you wanted to do professionally (and/or personally) last year, what can you do differently for 2013?  My first suggestion is to take some contemplative time to choose what areas you may want to work on, and what you can realistically accomplish in one year.  Then use the secret that most successful registered nurses and other professional people have discovered: write your goals down!

Why are written goals helpful for dynamic professional and work/life balance growth?

  1. If you write down your goals they become more real and tangible.
  2. Clarifying, then writing your goals helps to keep you focused on what is most important for you to accomplish.
  3. It is easier to measure your progress and you can more easily honor your efforts towards their completion.
  4. You can celebrate when you achieve a goal—or a step towards a large goal.
  5. You can review your goals daily (or at least weekly) to stay motivated, and if you wish, it is easier to share them with a supportive friend (emphasis on “supportive”).  I have a buddy coach so I suggest you pick someone who cares about you to both help you stay motivated and celebrate your achievements with you.

If you have not yet developed this dynamic practice of writing down your yearly goals (and I suggest also using a monthly planner and break down big goals to smaller steps), 2013 is not yet here, so this could be your time!

Write down your professional and work/life balance goals, remember even partially completing goals is still a huge accomplishment and make this your best year yet!

 

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About the Author: Helen Thamm, APRN, CPC is a licensed nurse therapist. Author, Certified Professional Career and Wellness Specialist. She is the Co-Author of the bestseller “The Wellness Code” with Dr. John Ellis. Visit www.NurseCareerSuccess.com for a free copy of her ebook “How to Manage with a Magic Wand (No, Don’t Hit Your “Problem Employees” over the Head with it!)” and tips on career success and wellness issues.