How to Set Your Best Career Goals for 2014

When do you set your career goals? Because my birthday is in December, the month of December has always been my preferred time to reflect the year ending, and then to set goals for the year ahead. As someone who tends to be very goal oriented, it can be tempting for me to overlook the time of reflection. But I have learned that I will be more successful moving forward, if I first spend some time looking back. You too can begin to set yourself up for your best year ever by reflecting on the following questions – so you can celebrate your successes as well as identify things that didn’t work so well.

So pour yourself a glass of wine or a mug of hot cocoa, sit in your comfiest chair in front of the fireplace, and think back on the past 12 months.

  1. What were your goals for 2013? What did you hope for, dream of, and set out to achieve this year in your career and in your life?
  2. What did you accomplish in 2013? Consider what you actually completed and achieved in your career, and in your life. How do you feel about those things?
  3. What did you overcome in 2013? Life and work always hand us challenges, obstacles, and opportunities. What were yours this past year?
  4. What were your pleasant surprises in 2013? Life also brings us gifts and unexpected treasures. Did you take note of them? You might even think of these as blessings.
  5. What did you fail to achieve in 2013? What are some goals you didn’t hit? We all have them. No beating yourself up here, just identify them.
  6. The final question, and my favorite: What did you learn in 2013? What lessons can you use as you move forward into 2014?

I imagine your year had some ups and downs, some accomplishments, some heartache, and some real joys. Mine did. I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on the road you traveled in 2013, and how you got where you are right now. What was the journey of 2013 for you? As you do this, you will be better able to identify your dreams and set your goals for 2014.

I’d love to hear from you personally, with any discoveries you make as you reflect on these questions.

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Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me. In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that!

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with.

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake. With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop. Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!