Goals or Resolutions? Personal or Professional? Both?

Raise your hand if you thought 2011 flashed by quicker than a blink of the eye? (For the record: both of my hands and my legs are in the air. How do I do that and still manage to type? I’m just that talented.) I felt like it was just yesterday that I was wishing everyone a Happy 2011 and blogged about resolutions. And here I am today, blogging about something similar. Oh and Happy 2012!

I think everyone should make resolutions and goals. Why? Because they give you something to strive towards. Resolutions, to me, feel like they’re a lifestyle change while goals have an end (when you reach  them). If you wind up changing your lifestyle along the way through a goal, well, that’s just a bonus then.

Well Sejal, how can I make career goals when I’m not even sure what to do? (Maybe that’s your career goal right there: figuring out what it is that you do or don’t want to do. Ruling something out is almost as important as picking a path.) If you’ve already picked a career path, then challenge yourself to reach new personal/professional bests or strengthen your career expertise.

If you’re not quite sure how to tackle a professional goal, personal goals are just as helpful. Setting goals helps you become focused and disciplined; both are characteristics that will help you in any profession you choose. I’ve also found that when you’re happy and satisfied in your personal life, it carries over to your professional life too!

I made a list of goals that at first blush seem more personal, but if you think about them, they can also help with my professional growth and work/life effectiveness. So here’s me taking the second step in goal setting: share them. (The first step being setting goals.)

  • Take the GRE. When I graduated from college, I felt pretty confident that I wasn’t finished with my formal education yet. (Informally, I’m always growing and learning. The day that stops…well, that’ll be the end of me.) By making a commitment to take my GRE this year, I’m taking steps in formalizing my plans to further pursue my education and seriously think about what it is that I want to get out of it. Relation to professional goals: this will force me to think more about where I want my career to go and how higher education would (or wouldn’t) help get me there. 
  • Read 12 books. Last year, I said 20 and I read 2. This year, I’m going to be a little more realistic and say 12. That’s one a month and completely reasonable. Relation to professional goals: If I can’t find the time to read a book a month, it’s a sign that I’m too overloaded and something’s got to give. And there’s no rule about what I read–it could be a way for me to learn from other thought leaders and build upon my own knowledge. 
  • Floss 3x a week. I’m that girl: the girl the dentist always tells that she needs to floss, but never does. Why? I don’t really know. But I was inspired after reading this blog post on how Ian always uses the time he brushes he teeth to reflect; what a great idea! Relation to professional goals: there will always be tasks that you have to do that you don’t want to. This goal will help me become more disciplined. And who doesn’t like nice smiles? 
  • Get my hands DIrtY. Not exactly, but more DIY-y. I have a new obsession (along with the old ones of cupcakes and traveling and …): Pinterest. I like to describe it as a visual way to bookmark the web; at least, that’s how I’ve been using it. Pinterest allows you to “pin” things you come across on the web and add them to a pinboard for you to look at later. You can pin articles that inspired you, cool styles that you admire, rooms or decorations for your dream house, simple remedies for common problems, recipes you want to try, books you want to read, quotes that make you laugh, places you want to visit and so on and so forth. I have a board called, “Experiment To-Do List” of cool pins I’ve come across that I want to try. In 2012, I want to do at least one project a month from this board. Relation to professional goals: I’m on a computer for most of my day due to the nature of my work. Even when I’m supposed to be unplugged, I find that I’m not. This will force me to unplug and truly take a break, which will give my mind the chance to refresh and return to work rejuvenated. 
  • Start blogging more, professionally and personally. Professionally I’m a contributor to this blog and I’m the blog editor over at the Jobs@Intel blog . My personal blog doesn’t exist yet, but I’m working on it. (Stay tuned and maybe I’ll share a peek of it down the road.) Relation to professional goals: consistency is key in building your brand. It builds your fan base, it helps your with your brand and it helps expand your network.
I might add goals down the road (there’s no rule saying you can only make goals at the beginning of the year?) but I think these are a good start. How about you? What are your 2012 goals or resolutions?


Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!

Related posts:

  1. Four Essential Job and Internship Resolutions for 2012
  2. You Can’t Buy Your Goals
  3. How You Can Support or Sabotage Your Goals

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

  • Connect With Dan

  • Chelsea Rice

    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

  • Connect With Chelsea

  • Recognition

    • Recommended resource - The Washington Post
    • "A terrific way for students to learn about branding" - Lindsey Pollak
    • "Worth checking out" - Psychology Today
    • HR World's top 100 management blogs