Goal Setting

January is generally the time that we conduct a quick "stock take" on the year just completed and then cast our eyes forward on the year ahead.

This comes in many forms and processes, with equally mixed results. Rather than send this newsletter out too early in January, I thought I would leave it until some of you may have reached the point of discarding those traditional New Year's Resolutions, as 2023 gathers pace - "are we through January already?"

I have listed below the steps I follow in setting my goals for the year and the strategy I use to make the outcome a little more predictable. You may find this of interest.

I was introduced to Mind Mapping a few years ago and so I have long been a convert of this form of note taking, as it helps my flow of thinking.

Steps in Goal Setting

1. Reflection and Review. You can't establish your goals for the year ahead without first reflecting on the previous year. What worked, what didn't, did some of the goals lose their relevance as the year progressed. If you were starting that year again, what would you do differently?

2. Your goals need to be both a Stretch and Achievable. Sustaining your motivation is very important throughout the year and goals that are either too soft or hard will negatively impact your motivation and focus;

3. Categorise your thinking into headings that are relevant to you. I use 4 segments:

  • Business - Stating the obvious here, but this section may take a few days to finalise, as you come back to it as you think of additional goals that need to be achieved. You will find that additional sub-headings will be required within this section - Sales, Operations, People etc. If you complete this section too quickly, it is probably likely that some quite important goals might be forgotten, so take your time;
  • Personal Finance - Here you list out any specific goals you may have. This is the "numbers section", so make sure you are quite defined in your goals in this area;
  • Personal - The "danger zone". This is the area where you list goals that often become casualties of the business of being busy. Reduce your golf handicap, improve fitness, learn another language are some examples. Again, be specific about your goals in this area to keep yourself accountable;
  • Fun - We all must allow ourselves some time for fun activities - time away, concerts, family celebrations are all examples;

4. Prior to the beginning of each month, review your listed goals for the year and identify which of those goals you will focus on for the next month and either write them down, or list them in whatever system you use to assist with focus. This will provide you with a stepped process towards achieving each of your goals;

5. Celebrate each win as you "tick off" each goal achieved. How you celebrate is entirely up to you and dependant on the size of the goal, but celebrate you must!

Hopefully this will provide you with a process worth trying and I look forward to hearing how you find it. As always, I welcome any suggestions for improvement in the process also.

Wishing you every success in 2023.

Back to Articles