Career Advice

The Number One Thing You Need to Do Before Going on Holiday Vacation

Traveling woman sitting on her blue suitcase next to wild landscape

Most of the world sets goals and makes resolutions around the new year, however, it’s estimated that only 8% of people actually stick to those resolutions. While it’s entirely possible that many people are being unrealistic with their goals, the number one thing you need to do before going on holiday vacation is to write down your achievements this year and goals for the new year. Doing this will set you up to be productive for the new year and enable you to go into the holidays with a clear direction and positive attitude.

Reflect on what you’ve accomplished

Part of setting realistic goals and priorities is reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and giving yourself credit where it is deserved. Here are some great questions to ask yourself at the end of the year:

  • How many accounts did you manage?
  • How much in sales volume did you secure? (weekly, monthly, or annually)
  • Did you reduce cost? (either by a percentage or dollar amount)
  • How many clients did you interact with? (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually)
  • Did you surpass a quota?
  • Did you manage a team? If so, how many team members did you manage?
  • Did you work with any notable clients or vendors?
  • Did you secure any partnerships?

The answer to each of these questions is something that you accomplished this year. Be proud of that! You may not know these metrics off the top of your head, so go ahead and calculate them. Do some research and figure out your personal statistics. This will help you see where you are in your role and in your career and will give you perspective on how you can grow and improve.

Define your goals, priorities, and tasks

Next, define what you want to accomplish and achieve in the new year. Do a self-assessment and figure out your priorities and tasks are, then build from there.

This can be short or long term, but the idea is to figure out where you want to be (the end result) and how you will get there. Make an outline or a to-do list so you can clearly see what’s on your plate. Once you have figured out what you need to accomplish and how to prioritize each task, you can actually get started on accomplishing it. You can also use applications like Trello to keep organized and keep others up to date on your progress. Telling others about your goals also helps to keep you accountable! (In a 2013 research study published in Translational Behavioral Medicine, participants who published their weight loss progress on Twitter lost more weight than those who kept their progress to themselves.)

Why this works

Research suggests that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down. This is because writing goals and dreams down holds you accountable, and also creates a physical reminder of what you’re working towards. Physically writing your goals down forces both sides of your brain to work together, stimulating a more powerful response and a greater ambition to meet those goals.

Be realistic

Writing things down is the simple trick that will help you reach your goals, however it’s important to note that reality comes into place here. If your goal is completely unrealistic in terms of logistics or science, it likely won’t pan out. Set a specific goal that is challenging, but still attainable. Science suggests that using these two factors when goal setting leads to higher performance 90% of the time.

For example, it’s unlikely that you will be able to leave your job and start a new job within the next month, however setting a goal of sending in three amazing job applications per week, with the result of leaving your current job and starting a new job within the next six months is very achievable.

Remember, the number one thing you need to do before going on holiday vacation is to write down your achievements this year and set goals for the new year. This will help you hold yourself accountable, provide a physical reminder of what you’re working towards, and let you enjoy the holiday season knowing that you’re being proactive in your career.


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