The Planners Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

We’re in December folks—time to get out the ole’ pen and paper (or iPhone, iPad or MacBook) and jot down your resolutions for 2018. Sure, the process can be a little tricky. You don’t want to over- or underestimate your capabilities. Plus, for many, reflecting on the last year can be emotional. Never fear—we’re going make sure this is your best list yet. Here are some essential pointers for creating and following a list of New Year’s resolutions, tailor-made to suit the mind of the planner.

Making the List

Dip into the new and unfamiliar. Continuous learning is part of the job for meeting and event planners. Not only are planners expected to complete continuing education credits and certifications, but they must also keep up with the industry’s latest trends and newest technologies. A pledge to take a class, enroll in a training program or just learn one new thing a day can be an easy first step that leads to new experiences in 2018.

Let go. It can be hard to relinquish control, but at some point you need to let your awesome team fly. Delegate some of your many planning tasks, while leaving the most crucial decision-making responsibilities on your plate. Harvard Business Review suggests test running a less urgent project or two so you can gain the confidence to step back from other tasks to focus on the big picture.

Focus on networking. Say yes to networking events! You can make valuable connections by joining your local chapter of PCMA, attending the nearest trade shows and taking advantage of hosted buyer events such as Smart Meetings’ conferences. You never know who you will meet, what you’ll learn and the opportunities that may arise.

Strive for a balance. Don’t forget about making yourself happy and healthy. It’s easier said than done, but everything falls into place when you take care of yourself. If your relationships, hobbies, fitness or sleep are lacking the time they need, make a point to fix this.

Planning for Success

Be realistic. Being honest and realistic about your goals will definitely promote future success. It may take patience, but working slowly and steadily will increase the likelihood of sticking with your goals.

Make it measurable. This is the best way to stay focused on a goal, maintain motivation and accurately reflect on whether the activity was successful. What is measured gets prioritized.

Set multiple goals. Design your plan with the knowledge that progress involves many small victories and that it isn’t linear. Small accomplishments also deserve to be celebrated along the way. Each time you succeed, the satisfaction will keep you moving forward.

Involve others. By simply sharing your plans to make a change, you’re one step closer to making it. If it’s fitting to the goal, make it a joint effort. For instance, having a partner to enroll in a new course with is a great way to keep you on track.

Pencil in goals. Don’t just make a plan—actually schedule it, put it in your calendar. This way you eliminate the biggest all-too-easy excuse of “having no time.” Be sure not to override it with anything that comes up. These are priorities; treat them as such!


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