The New Year is a time when we reflect and plan for the year to come.
Setting professional targets to get to the next career stage is something that many people do.
As we enter the third year of work, many workers will be considering how they can get the most out of their job, or change things up entirely.
Anthony Klotz, a professor at Texas A&M University, said that there are lots of great opportunities for individuals to pursue new career goals in the New Year.
It is difficult to define goals and stick to them. CNBC Make It spoke to psychologists who specialize in workplace behavior to find out their top tips for staying on track.
It may seem obvious, but the first step towards achieving your career goals is figuring out what you really are.
Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, said that goals are not really goals for many people.
You can figure out the steps towards your goals once you have defined them.
The professor of psychology and behavioral economics is at Duke University.
The author of "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness" said goals should be concrete and specific.
Taking on a new project, getting a raise or finding a mentor are examples of tangible targets.
You can figure out the steps towards the goals once you have defined them.
When you tie down your goals, the next step is to make sure they are doable within a year.
The key is to ensure they are realistic, achievable and allow for margin of error, according to an organizational psychologist.
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People set huge aims that can take several career phases to achieve. Doman said that they should simplify their goals to make them happen in a year.
According to Doman, the key to mental health at work is micro- goals.
Work out the steps required to reach those goals, whether they relate to your current company or elsewhere.
With many organizations trying to accommodate their employees better, your manager may be more willing to help you work toward your aims, said organizational psychologist Klotz. He said that many employers want to reward loyal employees.
He said that it was good to have a conversation with your current employers and ask if you could take the job that you have.
If your career goals lead you away from your current company, try speaking with other people in your field to figure out the steps required to meet your targets.
To keep on top of your goals, find a way to make yourself accountable.
Finding an accountability partner or network to share your journey with could mean both successes and challenges. Doman said it could mean creating visual reminders to keep your goals in mind.
The E+ is pictured.
Doman said to schedule regular check-ins with yourself or your accountability partner. It could be weekly, monthly or quarterly, depending on the cadence that works best for you.
Doman said that personal accountability can be painful, but it is an important way to stay on track.
It is important to know when to say no, as well as defining your aims, according to a social psychologist at Cornell University.
A lot of people from their goals are reluctant to turn down external requests. If they are peripheral to your main goals, they can become a distraction.
You want to make sure that you're careful with the things you agree to.
The person isVanessa Bohns.
An associate professor at Cornell University.
She said to be more aware of the things you agree to. You want to weigh your decision carefully because you are taking time away from something else.
It doesn't mean saying no to all requests. The professor said that that is often neither possible nor advisable. You should think about how the requests fit with your goals and give a response.
If you want to agree to something or if it is actually something that might take too much time away from your work, buy yourself the time and space to think about it.
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