By Megy Karydes, Next Avenue Contributor

When making New Year’s resolutions, some people choose to set an intention or goal and some choose a particular word to help them stay focused. Others, like Chicagoans Tracy Marks-Seglin, founder of Strategic Words Communications, and her urban planner husband Dave, think about what they want less (and more) of in the coming year and write those things down.

Regardless of how you approach the start of a new year, you’ll likely reflect on the past year and how you can make the coming one better. Since we’re entering a new decade, this type of reflection can take a bigger meaning in 2020.

So, here are 20 questions that can help you reach your goals in 2020 and beyond:

1. How do I define success? This may differ each year, so think about your definition for 2020.

2. What am I most proud of in the last year — or the last 10 years? Start 2020 by celebrating your wins, says Amy Throw, president and chief encouragement officer with Amy Throw Group, a Saint Charles, Ill.-based coaching firm for women.

3. What did I enjoy doing the most in 2019? And what didn’t you enjoy? Don’t waste those learnings. “If you jump into 2020 without taking a moment to reflect, you can’t leverage 2019’s lessons and insights,” says Cathryn Lavery, productivity expert and founder of BestSelf Co., a personal development firm in Austin, Texas.

4. Whom do I want to become? “This is a deeper question that once answered, allows you to set up a lifestyle, and consistently improve to get closer and closer to your goal,” says Jody Michael, executive coach and founder of Jody Michael Associates, a coaching and consulting firm in Chicago.

5. What are my nagging regrets or unresolved issues from this year or earlier? Michael Hyatt, author of Your Best Year Ever and former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, encourages people to write these down. Then, he says, consider what you can do in the coming year to address them.

6. What do I want more of in my life? Tracy Marks-Seglin and her husband, who are 54 and 58 respectively, write the answers on strips of paper on New Year’s Eve. Then, they hang the strips in a triple-ziplocked bag (to protect them from the elements) from a backyard tree and open them the following New Year’s Eve to see how many came to fruition. “At that point, we’re either really happy or mildly disappointed,” Tracy laughs.

7. What do I want less of in my life? Marks-Seglin and her husband repeat the above exercise of writing these things down on strips of paper. But rather than hang these from a tree, they burn them in the fireplace. “Burning the things we don’t want is so visceral and feels so freeing,” she admits.

8. What do I want to focus on? That’s a question suggested by Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, a professional and personal development coach at New York City-based TradeCraft Coaching and Consulting.

9. What can I stop procrastinating? Create a list of the “I SHOULDS” that you keep delaying and ask yourself what’s holding you back, says Throw.

10. What goals do I want for my own life, not for others? “A lot of the time, we set goals to please other people: a spouse, family member or colleague,” says Hyatt.

11. What support systems do I have in place to help me reach my goals? And, conversely, figure out the roadblocks to plan for; note these so you can think through strategies to deal with setbacks and slumps, says Weingarten.

12. What is one new thinking pattern I can discipline myself to use in 2020? Throw says that knowing this will require developing new habits.

13. What is one good habit that I have? Look for ways to better profit from it.

14. What is one habit I want to change? After you come up with this, determine how you can fix it.

15. What is one behavior or activity I will say NO to in 2020? Coming up with the answer will make it easier for you to say YES to an activity that will get you closer to your big bold audacious goal, Throw notes.

16. How can I parlay what I love doing into other opportunities? Marks-Seglin takes a hard look to identify what makes her happy personally and professionally. Then she works backward to think of ways she can incorporate these into other parts her life.

17. How can I be 1% better today than I was yesterday? For Jennifer Wisniewski, a certified life coach in Chicago, New Year’s resolutions seem to be more about the goal than the process. “If your concentration is only on the outcome, you will probably give up before that goal is reached,” she says. Use the “1% better” marker to focus on the present rather than looking at the future for your happiness, she advises.

18. When am I most relaxed to properly give myself the time I need to go through this process? Schedule the time, so it’ll happen.

19. What is the one big, bold audacious goal that gets me most excited? Throw says: Think how can you employ your natural skills, experience and successful behaviors to work toward this goal.

20. What can I do right now or in the next day, week or month, to help reach my one big goal in 2020? The hardest part for some people is getting started. “It can take longer than you thought it would to make real changes happen,” Weingarten says.

These 20 questions might be too many — or too few — for you. But you can use them as a starting point to help identify what makes you happy and what you need to put into place to help reach your 2020 goals. Good luck!


Quickly Achieve Your Career Goals With 10 Proven Techniques

A number of techniques make the challenge of achieving ambitious career and job search goals easier. Here’s a list of those that have either helped me or my clients to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. May they give you the boost you need to reach your goals.

Picture your goal to get motivated: Use physical pictures or imagery you conjure up in your imagination. The reason this works – visualization connects the goal with your emotions, and emotions are the key to memory. You’re essentially experiencing the result before you’ve reached your goal, which makes you want it more. Closely related to visualization is the Picture Superiority Effect, which says that images are way more powerful than text or words in getting an idea to stick.

For example, if you’re looking to find a more enjoyable job, imagine what it feels like to get up in the morning actually looking forward to going to work. Or if you’re seeking more money, find a picture that represents the nicer vacation you’ll be able to take.

Be specific: If your goal is vague, it’s hard to know where to start; stating your goal clearly can help drive action. I’ve used the SMART Goals framework to gain the specificity needed to drive action: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound. For example:

Overcome mental hurdles hindering goal achievement: The most common mental hurdles include:

Procrastination — Sometimes you can overcome procrastination by simply understanding what’s driving it. And here’s the key insight: procrastination is not a time management problem, but rather an emotion-management problem. You procrastinate to cope with challenging emotions or moods caused by the goals you’ve set.

When understanding isn’t enough, try this: take any tiny action towards your goal, even if only for just two minutes. For example, instead of saying “Today I need to figure out what I want to do next in my career,” say to yourself “I’ll spend just two minutes brainstorming career options.” You’ll often find that just by getting started in this way, you’ll be able to keep going way beyond the two-minutes you originally allocated.

PREcrastination — the opposite of procrastination, precrastination involves the tendency to move forward too quickly without taking a step back first to optimize your efforts. I see precrastination all the time with jobseekers. Many just start applying with dismal results; they don’t pause to strategically plan and organize their job search campaign before diving in. The same goes for my clients looking to move up in their organization.

Fear — for many fear is the action-killer, the key reason goals fall by the wayside. One excellent approach to overcoming fear comes from Tim Ferris. He flips goal-setting on its head to create “Fear Setting,” which involves getting your fears down on paper in a way that enables proper assessment (are they really warranted?) and mitigation. Check out his Ted talk on the subject, it’s well worth it, and download my Fear-Setting worksheet to help you get started.

Another way of overcoming fear and taking action: Tell other people about your goals, to create accountability (for my clients, I often serve as one of the people they’re accountable to).

Feeling overwhelmed – these two steps will usually do the trick:

  1. Break up big goals into smaller ones that are each more easily achievable. For example, a client wanted to land a new job that was more fulfilling. We broke this big goal up into: a) conduct a self-assessment to understand motivations and strengths, b) identify job targets based on assessment and research, c) write promotional materials (resume, LinkedIn profile, pitch), and so forth. We also made sure each of these smaller goals were SMART goals.
  2. Then take those goals and enter them into your to-do list. Creating to-do lists offloads the tasks from your brain onto the list, almost magically releasing you from that overwhelmed feeling. The list also helps you to be organized and efficient with your time. Plus, it’s well known that we humans enjoy checking things off lists! This enjoyment will help to counteract any fear that might be holding you back (there are many great free and paid online to-do apps). The key to success with to-do lists is to a) not be overly ambitious when scheduling your SMART to-do’s for a given day (just the ones you think you can really get done), and b) revisit your to-do list every day to reschedule items as necessary.

Perfectionism – You may have heard that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” From research, you’ll feel more satisfied if you just get it done, whether a decision or work you need to do, than if you had agonized over the task in the pursuit of the very marginal improvement you equate with perfection. Plus, you’ll have achieved your goal!

Personally, I live by the “80/20 rule” to prioritize, set goals, and combat perfectionism, and it’s served me well. The rule essentially says to focus on the 20% of your effort that will get you 80% of the results, and let go of the remaining 80% of effort that will get you only 20% of the results (search for “80/20 rule” and you’ll find countless entries documenting its effectiveness, here’s an example).

Register Here

What is Vet2Peer?

Vet2Peer is a training and job placement program designed especially for military veterans who want to support their peers as they transition from military to civilian life.

Participants will draw on their military values – Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Excellence, Devotion to Duty, Personal Courage – throughout the program and into their roles as Peer Specialists. They will reflect on their personal struggles and recovery as they acquire the knowledge, resources, and tools necessary to help their brothers and sisters dealing with mental health conditions or other life challenges.

Graduates of the program earn a Peer Specialist for Veterans Certificate and are prepared to fill peer roles in veteran-serving organizations, government agencies, community health clinics, recovery centers, and housing and homeless service providers.

Support is an integral part of the program and includes career counseling, job placement services and post-program support for six (6) months.

Why is this program important?

Adjusting to civilian life after the military can be a difficult transition, and too often it is accompanied by health challenges, mental health issues, employment concerns and more. Unless you “have been there,” it is often hard to understand these issues. As the home to the largest concentration of vets in the U.S., the need for Peer Specialists in Los Angeles County is high and increasing.

Looking for a hard-working, motivated, ethical employee? Try hiring a U.S. veteran. Veterans are disciplined team players that can bolster any employer’s business. What’s more, hiring veterans is not only a good idea, it’s good business.

Here are 10 more reasons to hire veterans: |READ ARTICLE

By Talia Wesley , Riverside County Workforce veteran career coach / Published August 18, 2012

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an organization whose vision is to develop and promote a culture in which employers support and value the military service of their employees, is partnering with the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces (EPAF) to provide hiring employers with the ability to post available jobs and for service members to post resumes, search for jobs, and make a connection with potential employers through




For Questions please contact:
John Gutierrez, Operations Manager
Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
1816 Figueroa Street, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90015


The Veterans America’s Job Center Has One Mission: 

To provide high quality, comprehensive career and employment services exclusively to veterans. Many of our team members are veterans themselves and we are uniquely qualified to assist you in the transition from the military to civilian workplace, to prepare you for the job search, assist with vocational training opportunities and provide the support you need to advance in your career.


Services Include:

• One-on-One Career Coaching

• Workshops including: Resume, Interview Skills, Linked In and more

• Educational and Vocational Training Opportunities

• On-the-Job Training Opportunities

• Access to computers, internet, phone, fax and copier

• Direct referrals to our on-site partners, offering a full range of services to veterans and their families


For more information: (213) 742-9560

Bob Hope Patriotic Hall

1816 S. Figueroa Street, 4th Floor, CA 90015


OCTOBER 23, 2018 – 4:50 PM

After serving in the Marines and Army Reserves, Elliott McKenzie struggled to find his new identity as a civilian. From dropping out of college, experiencing homelessness, then eventually landing a job with the help of the Call of Duty Endowment, his transition was a balance of highs and lows.

Like many veterans, adjusting from the high tempo and hyper-aware environment from deployments was a challenge. In a place like Ramadi, Iraq where McKenzie kept his head on a swivel at all times, he didn’t face the same threat when he went home. READ MORE…


Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leading standalone interactive entertainment company, will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square in celebration of the Call of Duty Endowment. The Call of Duty Endowment, the nonprofit arm of Activision Blizzard, Inc. , helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value veterans bring to the workplace. Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a member company of the Nasdaq-100 Index.

In honor of the occasion Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment, will ring the Opening Bell.