You can set goals for yourself anytime you want, but the beginning of a New Year is a great time to sit down, reflect, and decide on what you want to achieve over the next 12 months. Setting goals gives you extra purpose, focus and motivation. A solid short, medium and long-term plan will focus your skills and knowledge, and help you effectively prioritise your time and resources, both in life and business.
The first step in goal-setting is simply to write them down! Studies show that you’re far more likely to follow through with goals if they’re set in stone. Having a list of things you want to achieve, and keeping it in a place where you’re forced to look often—say, on your fridge—acts as a kind of accountability partner. Ticking off each goal as you reach them will feel great; having none of them ticked off by the end of the year, not so much.
When writing down your goals, ask yourself two questions:
- What are the five big questions facing me and my business in 2023?
- Where would I like to be in 12 months’ time, personally and professionally?
Once you’ve answered these questions, we recommend thinking of two BIG goals that, if reached, would mean you have achieved your objectives. Then, with these two goals in mind, implement the following six steps:
Step one: Decide why each of the goals is important to you, and what the benefits of achieving them are.
Step two: Consider the obstacles that could get in the way of achieving the goal. It could be a lack of money, resources or a skill set. Define the obstacles and do everything you can to eliminate them.
Step three: Think of people who can help you achieve these goals and/or get rid of your obstacles—it could be friends, family, people in your network, a life and/or business coach, even someone whose books or online presence inform and inspire you.
Step four: Write down five immediate next steps for each goal.
Step five: Set deadlines for completing those next steps.
Step six: Decide who is going to be your accountability partner for these goals. Having an accountability partner is vital, because they can check in on you. Being part of a peer group is great for this.
Step seven: This is probably the most important step—no matter how big or small, do something each day that takes you one step closer to attaining whatever it is you’ve set out for. Daily striving like this will turn the pursuit of your goals into a habit. Breaking down goals into daily, manageable chunks instils a belief that your goals are achievable and enables smoother, faster progress towards them.