There’s no shortage of motivational articles floating around at this time of year, all focused on taking stock of where you are and setting goals of where you want to be.
Here are our top 11 tips on how to do each of these properly.
Taking stock means having a good look at what you have and what you haven’t got. So, if your overall objective is to become a firefighter, don’t forget to factor in the good stuff you already have. For instance, this might be your current job which could be great experience to draw on for you next job application.
When you start looking at what’s missing or not working in your life, stick to a top 3. Don’t keep digging for more things to worry about! It might be that you don’t feel your career has enough purpose/ adventure/ variety/ money/ opportunities. Pick the ones which are the most important to you.
Write it down! Lying in bed at night or pondering over a drink with your mates is fine, but you need something you can reflect on. If you like writing, a notebook might work for you. If you prefer you can have a note page on your phone so it’s never far away!
You will probably already have a good idea what you think is going to improve things – becoming a firefighter. This is the BIG objective to keep in mind and refer back to when you start to feel complacent or a bit lost in all the detail and smaller steps.
The big objective needs to be broken down into small components. If you have ever moved house or gone on holiday, its not the big idea that gets you there…it’s the series of small actions which each add up, one step at a time until you have your new keys in your hand or you are boarding the plane. Big objectives often seem fairly achievable. The small steps can be achieved one a day or one a week, and they all add up.
What are the small steps? Check out our blog on ‘so you want to be a Firefighter – our top 10 steps to get there’ for some ideas!
Set some targets of what you are going to do and when. These need to be VERY achievable, so no long to-do lists which need to be achieved in one afternoon! Give yourself one action that you can manage in a specific timescale without it seeming like a massive headache.
Build on your momentum – when you’ve done one task (or part of a task) move quickly onto the next. Always have something you are working on so you don’t get out of the habit, and keep reminding yourself why you are doing it. Not just for the Big objective, but to make all the things you wrote down about wanting to change better.
If you ever catch yourself giving yourself a hard time about what you haven’t done yet, flip it round to think about what you HAVE done. There is nothing quite as effective as putting you off achieving your dreams as your own inner voice telling you you’ve not done enough. Make sure you turn that voice on its head to say something encouraging to keep you going.
By summer time most people have forgotten their New year’s plans and resolutions. But you could be in a completely different place from where you were 6 months ago. You could have a clear idea where you want to work, you may have applied or you may have got some help to make sure you succeed first time. Wherever you have got to, if its progress from where you were on Jan 1st, then you deserve a reward, whatever floats your boat. And if you don’t feel you have made a proper start, that’s ok. Moving forward happens all year round, and doesn’t care when you started!
Find blogs, forums, anywhere other people with the same goal are hanging out.