By Featured Blogger Bob Williams, Associate Commissioner for the Social Security ’s Office of Employment Support Programs
The beginning of the New Year is a good time to make plans for what we want our lives to be like in the near future. Whether the future is six months, twelve months or three years from now, a new year provides us with a new beginning. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “…we must think anew, and act anew…" By doing so, you can identify and begin to achieve the goals that are most important to you. This is why I strongly urge you to make 2012 YOUR year to join the thousands of Ticket to Work participants who are achieving their goals through work. This year, you can increase your earnings and test whether earning your way off benefits can lead to a higher standard of living and a better future.
Ticket to Work is committed to providing YOU with the information and supports YOU need to build YOUR future. Here are some tips on how to start the New Year off right and create fulfilling goals in 2012.
Ticket to Work’s Top Seven Goal-Setting Tips
Choose your goal: Select an area you would like to improve and or change. This could be as simple as enhancing your skills, increasing work hours and earnings, or starting a new line of work or career.
- Define success for yourself: Think of what will make your life better and set out to achieve it.
Set a SMART goal: Set objectives that are:
- Specific: Be focused and know precisely what you hope to achieve. This is the only way you'll be able to tell whether you have actually succeeded in accomplishing your goal.
- Measurable: Measure and track your progress over time.
- Attainable: Make your goals achievable. Think about what you can really achieve over the next three, six, and twelve months. This will help you set milestones toward your goal. Remember, don’t try to do too much, too fast; otherwise, you can become frustrated and overwhelmed.
- Realistic: Make the goal relevant and realistic. It is ok to stop and think about whether or not your goal makes sense and can be attained with the right resources.
- Timely: Set a goal with milestones and deadlines to help you keep focused on the end result.
- Be committed and work hard.
- Be flexible and patient. Remember, you may experience small setbacks, but stay positive.
- Develop a network of family and friends to support your journey.
- Reward yourself and celebrate your progress and successes. By doing this, it will keep you motivated and focused on what you can achieve next.
One of the things I like to do most is sail. Thus, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to become a better sailor. What I enjoy most about sailing is the challenge—you can never get to where you want to go immediately. You have to be flexible; sometimes you need to zig to the right and then zag to the left in order to catch the wind and fill your sails. Eventually, through hard work and persistence, you reach your destination.
This is going to be a good year to set your sights high and sail slowly and steadily toward new goals and endeavors in 2012. It’s a new beginning. Happy New Year and Happy sailing!