It’s January and a little over one week into a new year. This is a time when people are feeling compelled to create some sort of change in their lives, to give up some habit, or develop a new one, in the name of self-improvement, or becoming a better version of oneself. There is a mass movement come the 1st of January to devise and implement a resolution that will mobilize some sort of transformation. One only needs to observe the influx of gym-goers at the fitness centers during this time of year, or the number of new runners dominating the park trails to witness this push for change. Despite good intentions, many of us return to our old patterns of behavior, feeling defeated and back to square one. Too often, these resolutions come from a place of lack, or deficit (I’m not thin enough, smart enough, etc.), which often dampers motivation and diminishes one’s esteem.
As we transition into 2016, I propose a different approach to creating the life you want—now, and post-graduation; start by thinking about how you want to feel. What do you want to be different? For example, do you want to feel more energized, industrious, grounded or present? If so, consider what behaviors and activities, including your ways of thinking, can help cultivate those feelings. For example, if you’re striving for peace, to feel more present and aware, perhaps developing a practice of mindfulness, meditation or yoga, will help cultivate the very feelings you seek.
As one of the University Career Advisors, I encourage you to reflect on your professional goals. Do you want to land a new job, change careers, earn a promotion, or even bring clarity to your life’s purpose? Some of the same processes used to create intentions for the New Year can be applied to career development. Let’s break out of the mold, get beyond the four walls of my office and take a walk across campus. Reach out to me at email@example.com and let me know what you’d like to discuss on our walk.
About the Author: Carolyn Sommers guides students through the process of self-discovery by teaching them the essential skills and knowledge for career planning. She has a passion for growth and development and is energized when helping students answer those key life questions: “who am I, where am I going, and how do I get there?” In addition to a Master’s degree in Counseling from Governors State University, Carolyn brings a range of career counseling experience from working in both community and four-year college settings and most recently, with a high school College & Career Readiness program in Michigan. As a University of Denver Career Advisor, Carolyn primarily supports students in the Colorado Women’s College, University College and undergraduate International Studies students.
Editor: Maria Kuntz, Marketing and Events Manager, University of Denver Career Services