This time of year blogs, Pinterest, Instragram, magazine articles, and yes, even newspapers, are full of New Year tips, resolutions, and goals. Year after year we get on the “goal” train only to find about 2 months into the journey we are tired of the process or feel unsuccessful in reaching those goals.

Job search is much like making a New Year’s resolution. To be successful in making any change in job search there must be:

1.         Desire. The desire must be strong to overcome the challenges and obstacles that sometimes get in the way of achieving goals. Rocket scientist Robert Goddard found his ideas rejected by his scientific peers on the grounds that rocket propulsion would not work in the atmosphere of outer space. Yet his desire to continue his research he proved that rocket propulsion did work.

2.         Intent. The measurement of determination is different for each of us, and you need to know what level of determination is required in order to reach the goal. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. His intention to bring joy to people of all ages has lasted decades.

3.         Persistence. How many times do you think successful people were rejected or unsuccessful in their efforts to reach their goals?  A reporter once asked Thomas Edison, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Now that’s persistence!

Change is exciting and scary at the same time. With anything new we add into our lives, there are obstacles and challenges that accompany those changes. Our approach to those obstacles has a direct result on the success of reaching the ultimate goal. It is human nature to avoid things that cause us discomfort.  Has your enthusiasm diminished because you are wrapped up in a negative mindset based on previous experiences?

Motivation is a key element needed to make changes in our lives and /or jobs.  It is the big WHY of your goal. Why are you motivated to make this change? What will reaching your goal do for you? Whether your goal is to get healthy or change jobs, you need to examine your motivation.

Planning is part of any goal. Take an analytical approach to this process. A task list helps to clarify what needs to be done to achieve the goal. In job search the list might look like this:

1.         Update resume

2.         Write cover letter

3.         Optimize online profiles

4.         Join LinkedIn groups

5.         Connect with 1-2 network contacts per week

6.         ……

Set a realistic timeframe for each goal. After all, it is unrealistic to think you could lose 25 pounds in a week, so don’t set yourself up for failure with impractical time frames.

Reward yourself as you go along. Build in rewards for your efforts and not just results. There is an important distinction. Celebrate because you took action. – which is a huge step for many job seekers.

Measure your achievements. Just like a company measures your contributions yearlong and measures your worth in an annual review, you can do this for your job search. By regularly tracking your goal progress, not only will it keep you motivated, but you will soon realize how you are that much closer to living out your dreams and accomplishing your goals.