You’ve had the same goals on your list for the last five years. BORING. Are you making the progress that you desire? It’s time to spice up your list of new year goals with activities that help you tap into your potential.
Here are four non-traditional New Year goals that probably weren’t on your list last year — but if you try them this year, they are guaranteed to take your career in unexpected directions.
1. Complete a Marathon
This may sound extreme if you can’t run two blocks without gasping for air. But you’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish when you commit to making small steps every day.
Your goal may be to lose 20 pounds or work out three to five times a week, so a marathon may not even appear to be in your reach right now. But think about it. If you envision yourself running a marathon in 12 months, your mind will start searching your environment for all the different ways that you can make that vision a reality — getting a coach, finding accountability partners, committing to a realistic nutrition plan, and using a fitness regimen that works best for your schedule.
Without even thinking about it, you achieve your goals of losing 20 pounds and working out frequently. Your marathon goal was just a target to stretch your imagination and expand the possibilities for your life. This may be the activity that you need in order to transform yourself into a fitness model or receive a contract to appear in commercials for an athletic company.
2. Compete in a Pageant
You may think pageants are outdated, restrictive, and sexist, based on what you’ve heard on TV and seen online. But have you heard about the Ms. Corporate America (MCA) pageant?
It’s a pageant that celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding businesswomen between the ages of 21 and 55. Women share their accomplishments onstage during a weekend competition that comprises interview, evening gown, and aerobic wear competitions. Women will also walk away with special honors for going above and beyond in areas such as community service, media, and sales.
Many career experiences result in women tearing each other down in order for them to climb higher; MCA focuses on women coming together to advance the ambitions of women all over the world. It takes courage to walk onstage in heels and publicly showcase who you are. But the courage you get during your pageant journey will help you gain the strength to make those heart-wracking career decisions that you can’t stop thinking about but have been too afraid to try.
3. Travel the World
You’ve been saying that you want to travel more, and seeing pictures of those dreamy-eyed 20- and 30-year-olds who do it just makes you want it even more. Well, if you have a definite purpose for traveling, the chances of your booking a flight to another country are much higher.
For instance, if you start traveling to complete 5K runs with your fellow runners that you met online, that’s a reason for you to explore another city over the weekend. Or maybe you want to become a future travel writer. This is your chance to explore a place, write about the experience, and pitch the article to various publications. That means you can earn some money while you do what you love. It’s a creative way to reach your financial goals for the year!
If you decide to be a savvy spender this year so that you can travel to the same country often, you may pick up a new language that will give you a competitive advantage over your monolingual peers. If you want to take advantage of a language immersion opportunity in another country, check out short-term language courses offered by Don Quijote.
4. Take on a Leadership Role
Is your goal to meet more like-minded people? Don’t just say that you will try to reach out to two to three people a day. That may seem more like work after a week of doing it, so you might give up early.
How about taking on a leadership role in a professional organization? Organizations such as Toastmasters, State Societies, and ethnic-based professional groups are always seeking leaders. When you commit to leading an organization, your name is publicized to a universe of professionals.
These professionals include people who are thinking about joining the organization and those who joined it years ago. This will give you an extended network of people in other chapters. You’ll also have a network to call on if you decide to travel to another city or country.
Don’t forget that your leadership position — if successful — will make you a highly sought-after candidate for other opportunities.