There’s always some controversy when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Some people love them, others despise them. But whichever camp you’re in, ‘New Year’s resolutions’ is going to be the buzz phrase for the first few weeks of 2018…especially around your career.

To me, I’m somewhat averse to making career New Year’s resolutions. In her autobiography, Yes Please, Amy Poehler says that “success is filled with MSG”. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that only leaves you craving for more. What I think Amy Poehler is saying is that achieving career goals rarely satisfies for long – the ego is an unsatiated beast that needs constant feeding.

Poehler goes on to say that we should treat our careers like a bad boyfriend: it will never call you back if you chase it. Instead, play it cool. Act like other aspects of your life – such as hobbies, relationships and passions – are more important. When you do this, you’ll start enjoying your job.

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t set career goals, or that you should slack off in your job. Career goals have a great way of keeping you focused on the prize (whatever your prize is: promotion, an increase, being a better leader, etc), but what I am saying is that you need to set goals that are 100% attainable, and should be in line with the rest of your life.

Setting attainable goals will encourage you and push you in the direction you want to go in your career. And you will find that you will actually ENJOY your job!

Putting your career further down your list of priorities will allow you to focus on the aspects of your job that you love, and do those well! It will help you focus on your passions. Maybe you realise that you actually don’t want to be promoted because it will mean more hours at work, or doing an aspect of the job that you dislike. Or, maybe you realise that the goals you have set are hindering your passions, and you want to push a promotion.

The thing with resolutions is that they are not usually based on what you want to be doing, but rather what you think you should be doing – and at the end of the day, this could be more discouraging and a joyless existence than if you hadn’t set a resolution at all.

Studies show that happy people do better at work and are more productive. Set realistic, attainable goals. Set goals that will make you happy – in yourself and in your career. Set goals that will inspire you and that will take your career to YOUR next level!