4 Goal Setting Tips You Need to Follow in 2018

2018 fireworks

As the new year begins, it's time for thinking of the past year and making resolutions, promises to yourself, if you will, to make the next year even more successful.

Many of those promises and good intentions don’t make it past January 3rd. Don't let that be the case for your plans, hopes and dreams for your future career!

Here are some tips to make those hopes and dreams come true:

Level Up on What you Learned in 2017

2017 was my 42nd year in the insurance business but only my 2nd year working as a state regulator. I learned a lot this past year, earned the APIR (Associate Professional Insurance Regulator) designation and completed 4 parts of the next designation, PIR (Professional Insurance Regulator). I plan to complete the last part of the PIR designation in 2018.

Even after 42 years, I found that I can still learn and grow. 2017 showed me that I can be successful in this area, so now I'm taking the next step in 2018. You, as a young professional, have the whole world ahead of you. Think about what you started in 2017 that went well, and take it to the next level!

Be Realistic About What You'd Like to Improve

Of course there is always room for improvement. Realizing this is one of the best things I could have done throughout my career in the insurance business, where the world is constantly changing. However, when we make unreasonable resolutions or demands on ourselves, we find ourselves back in the position of failed resolutions by January 3rd.

Ask yourself, what can I do in the next 3 months that would really have an impact on my career? Is it spending less time on Twitter and making more in-person contacts in the office? Is it pursuing a new designation that you have wanted to work on for some time now, but just haven't gotten around to getting started? Perhaps you are in the last year of college and it’s time to seriously prepare for life after college by organizing your finances or growing your network.

Whatever it is, start with small steps that make you feel good about yourself, and then build on those small changes. Ask one co-worker out to lunch per month. Take a one hour webinar to introduce you to the new designation. Schedule time to sit down with your parents to talk about your finances. Making these small steps measurable and time-based will give you a sense of accomplishment a few months down the road. After awhile, all of these tiny steps add up!

Think About Next Year

Where do you want to be in your life and career at this same time next year? If you’ve been on any interviews lately, everyone asks the question: “where do you expect to be in 5 years”, which of course, the obvious answer is “working here”.  But I’m suggesting that you ask yourself just for next year, December 2018, where do you expect to be, what do you expect to have accomplished? 

Make Keeping Track Fun

There are all types of gadgets today that can help; smart watches, fitness trackers, bullet journaling apps, etc. I like the good old-fashioned spreadsheet. Keeping a list of accomplishments and plans has helped me tremendously in my time here as a regulator because it shows a solid record of what I’ve done and keeps me on track for my plans in the next month, year, etc. Whatever gadget, program or paper that you choose, I encourage you to get started and look at it often to keep track in 2018.

My plan for 2018:  To do a monthly blog on MyPath dedicated to the topics of property & casualty insurance, careers in insurance and tips for Interns. I’ve got it on my spreadsheet, it’s going to happen…. stay tuned.

Pat Murray
Vermont Department of Financial Regulation