This seems like an obvious point, but before you can accomplish your goals this year, you need to know what your goals actually are. Your professional goals shouldn’t be nebulous things like “be successful” or “work harder.” Instead, you should set concrete goals for 2017 and identify the steps that you’ll need to take to achieve them. Writing your goals down makes you more likely to achieve them, which is reason enough to emblazon in your office or on your cube wall so that you’re reminded of them every day. But don’t just stop there! Create action plans and identify any foreseeable barriers that you’ll need to overcome so that you can stay on track throughout the year. Then be honest with yourself about the progress that you’re making as the months pass so that you can amend your efforts as needed.
Over the holidays people tend to give the old “Follow up with me after the New Year” in response to everything! So, if your to-do list this week looks anything like mine, you probably have a bunch of connections that you need to follow up with – leads, prospective business partners, former colleagues, etc. Don’t forget about anyone on your list! Remembering everyone that you need to follow up with and giving them personalized attention shows that you care and that you’re serious about excelling professionally. Don’t let opportunities slip away in your post-holiday busyness.
It’s easy to lose track of people and let business relationship fade, but the new year is a perfect time to reconnect. Reach out and let your contacts know that they matter to you and you miss hearing from them or working with them. Offer to meet up for coffee to discuss what’s going on with them and then make a point to stay in touch moving forward.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!