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Sarah Erickson: Six Tips for a Successful 2012

I like to spend the last week of every year developing my goals for the upcoming year. This has been a tremendous help in reaching major achievements—and conquering even the small goals that can sometimes be cumbersome. Here are some tips for achieving your goals in 2012.
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Sarah EricksonI like to spend the last week of every year developing my goals for the upcoming year. I have a folder with my goal-planning sheets from previous years, and I always enjoy looking through it to see what was accomplished. Taking the time to plan has been a tremendous help in reaching major achievements—and conquering even the small goals that can sometimes be cumbersome.

Below are some tips on achieving your goals. Happy planning, and best wishes for a prosperous 2012!

1. Develop Your Cabinet. Who says the President is the only person who should have a cabinet? Develop a cabinet of people you respect on myriad of topics: business, volunteering, relationships, faith, finances, and the like. When you are faced with a crisis or are making an important decision, you will have a trusted group of advisers to help you navigate through life’s biggest decisions and challenges.

2. Share Your Goals. Informing your boss, cabinet, and others (as applicable) of your personal and professional goals will provide them with the opportunity to help you achieve them. People serving in mentor-related roles generally enjoy helping those they are mentoring achieve their goals.

3. Be a Leader. There are followers and there are leaders. Being a member in an organization means nothing; anyone can pay $200 and join just about any group. Being a leader in an organization is rare and respected.
Achieving this goal, in most cases, is easier than you think. Call the current leaders of the organizations in which you are currently a member and ask if they need any volunteers. You will likely be shocked at how responsive they are to your offer. Volunteers become committee members, who become committee chairs, who become board members, who become the chairperson of that particular organization. See, I told you that becoming a leader was easy!

4. Dress for the Position You Want. So many people dress for the position they have rather than the position they want. Those same people then wonder why they are not seriously considered for promotions and career advancement. Changing the way you dress can quickly change the way others view you (literally).

5. Pay Off Your Debt. I know several people who hate their jobs but have so much debt, they literally cannot go one month without income. As a result, they cannot afford to change jobs.  Living debt-free will enable you with the flexibility to act boldly to accomplish your dreams. Paying off your debt may seem overwhelming at first, but start by paying off your smallest debts (e.g. credit cards), then focus on larger debts (e.g. cars and mortgage). You’ll sleep better at night, too!

6. Dream Big: Set your sights on big goals. When you look back a year from now, you might be surprised by what you accomplish!

Sarah (Payne) Erickson is senior vice president and co-manager at Stream Realty Partners. Contact her at [email protected].

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