What do you want most for your life and your career in 2017? Go ahead and dream big.
You can make those big dreams come true if you take the right approach. That advice comes from executive coach and bestselling author Wendy Capland. Now, with 2016 winding to a close is the perfect time to consider our "stretch" goals for 2017.
"Ask yourself what worked and what didn't? Where do you want to step into your leading edge, the kind of thing that makes you come alive? How can you play in a bigger game?" Once you've figured out what those big goals are for the coming year, make sure you do what you need to reach them:

1. Surround yourself with extreme support.
No one achieves any huge success or happiness without a lot of help from others. So do what you need to to get that support. Join trade groups or groups at work, go to networking events and network, call on your best friends to help you through tough times. Make sure you have what Capland calls "extreme support"--the certainty that whatever comes your way, there are others who will have your back. Capland herself has what she calls her "board of girlfriends"--many of them relationships that go back for decades--that she can call on for advice, comfort, and whatever else she needs when pursuing a big opportunity or facing down a crisis.
To get extreme support, you need to be ready to ask for help when you need it. It also means being ready and willing to give that same kind of support to others when they need your help. Depending who you are, some of these steps may be difficult for you. I myself have a lot of trouble asking for help because I dread being rejected if I do. Whatever stops you from creating the support you need in your work and life, work through it. Because you will need that kind of support if you want to reach big goals.
2. Take care of yourself.
It may seem counterintuitive, but working ever harder and ever longer hours won't get you where you want to go. Think about the most successful people you know. Yes, they work hard--very hard. But they're not staying in the office till late into the night several nights a week. They don't throw away their family relationships in pursuit of one more customer or one more opportunity. Working ridiculous hours will damage your relationships and your health, so don't do it.
Take the time to care for yourself, both physically and emotionally, during your time off. "That's a softer, gentler way to go through life," Capland explains. "You can be a hotshot and still wear fuzzy slippers sometimes."
3. Don't give up too soon.
The highest-achieving people understand that most things don't go as planned, and only rarely will events unfold exactly the way you want them to. So when the inevitable happens and something goes wrong, or you encounter a setback, don't let it discourage you from continuing toward your goal. "When you put an address into your GPS for a long trip, you may have detours along the way," Capland explains. "You don't say to yourself, 'I'm not there yet, I must be off course.' You stay on the route until you arrive."
In the same way, she says, stay focused on your goals and plans so that when you encounter the unexpected, it won't prevent you from pursuing your objective. "Pay attention to your intention," she says. "Ask yourself what your focus is. How do you stay the course?" Keep that objective in view and--just like your GPS destination--sooner or later you'll get there.

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