It’s Friday afternoon and prime time to celebrate this week’s effort with a tasty beverage. Who’s with me?
Wait! What? Why’s a career advisor writing about Friday afternoon cocktails? Great question. Let me explain. There have absolutely been times during my life when I reached for the beer, wine or margarita — a sliding scale depending on how deflated I was at the end of a thankless workweek. Fortunately I haven’t felt the need to do that in a very long time because I’m crazy about what I do professionally.
These days when I enjoy a Friday afternoon cocktail, I not only recognize my week’s accomplishments, but also celebrate the efforts and success of my clients. I drink to the health and happiness of my family and evaluate how well I honored my weekly intention.
Weekly what? That’s right, my weekly intention. You see, a few years ago I realized I was measuring success through a purely tactical lens (deliverables created, check lists demolished, revenue generated… you get the idea). A couple of challenging weeks sent me into a mild funk and forced me to re-examine how I evaluated ‘performance’. It struck me as deeply unfair to be measuring my efforts only in those terms.
Even though the week may not have been a roaring success from a goal crushing or revenue-generating standpoint, it didn’t mean I wasn’t succeeding in other areas. Something bigger was missing.
I embraced the idea of evaluating life progress over specific goals and objectives, and figured the best way to do this would be through setting a weekly intention. This practice became a habit and the habit quickly became the cornerstone of a more purposeful life and the single greatest measure of my progress.
Checklists are just checklists. Intentions permeate how we walk through life.
Intention setting is absolutely a practice I encourage with my clients. Yes, tracking and reviewing specific metrics is important as well. But during a career (or life) transition we often experience challenging days, weeks, perhaps even months. It’s especially important not to lose sight of the bigger picture during those down cycles. If we learn faster and grow more when we’re forced to struggle then shouldn’t those struggles signify success too? Shouldn’t we celebrate the lows as well as the highs?
Try this at home
Give yourself a really good reason to celebrate next weekend. Set a single intention for the entire week. Not sure where to begin? Review the suggested themes below for some inspiration. Set reminders, write notes and get into the habit of asking ‘how can I change what I’m doing right now (or my attitude towards it) so that it better supports my intention’? You’ll be amazed at how quickly things flow after the first few days. Then get ready to raise a glass next Friday and toast your own progress. Cheers!
|· Respect||· Forgiveness||· Gratitude|
|· Focus||· Mindfulness||· Growth|
|· Compassion||· Balance||· Courage|
|· Perspective||· Acceptance||· Purpose|
|· Love||· Peace||· Strength|
|· Open-mindedness||· Non-judgment||· Happiness|
|· Kindness||· Passion||· Relationships|
Example intention: Live with passion
‘This week I’ll bring passion, energy and enthusiasm to everything I do’