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How to set goals for the New Year and stick to them

The start of the new year is an excellent time to review both business and personal goals. Rather than making unrealistic New Year's resolutions let’s make 2020 the year of setting achievable goals and stick to them. Hood Sweeney’s Ben Taylor shares his insights.

Having goals can help keep you aligned, on track and focussed (Source: Shutterstock)
Having goals can help keep you aligned, on track and focussed (Source: Shutterstock)

OPINION - “And just like that it’s 2020. A New Year and new decade in what feels like the blink of an eye. 

I remember the concerns over the Millennium bug that was going to stop all of the world’s computer systems as we ticked over to the year 2000, which was 20 years ago, just let that sink in for a moment.

Even in the past 10 years, we have seen a growth in technology ownership, social media and advances in business practices which have changed the way we do things day to day. 

What hasn’t changed though are our goals and aspirations as human beings...or have they?

When was the last time you looked at your goals, business and personal, so that you give yourself direction? Now is the perfect time to reflect on the last year and ask yourself:

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What have I learnt?

I encourage you to really take the time to answer these questions. This will allow you to understand what you are proud of, what challenges you overcame and how you have grown over the past 12 months. 

By doing this every year and keeping a record of it shows you how much you grow over time and how your priorities can change.

Now, take some time to think about what your business and personal goals are for 2020 and beyond. I often look at it from a short term goal, i.e. the next 6 to 12 months and then a more long term goal for the next 3-5 years. 

Having these goals helps keep me aligned and on track and when challenges do arise, ensure I remain focussed. Do this from a business and personal perspective as well, so you have some real focus in both aspects of your life. You may see some alignment between your business goals, which enable your personal ones, or vice versa.

My personal short term goal for last year was to spend Christmas in New York with my family. One that I am very proud to say I achieved. This was met by me having a successful year at work that enabled me to save the money to have the trip. When I wrote the goal down it read like this:

“To spend Christmas 2019 in New York with my family so that I can see the joy on their faces when they see the Rockefeller Christmas tree.”

The important part here, which is often overlooked, is the “so that” part. This really helps to bring the goal to life and outline the real reason why this goal was important to me. It helps lift the goal off the page and make it mean more to you, so take the time to think about your “so that” when you write your goals down.

Finally, when you have decided on your goals I encourage you to share them with your friends, family and colleagues. Sharing the goals brings in accountability as people will ask you how you are going with them so it adds another level of focus as you don’t want to let yourself or those around you down by not achieving them.”

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor is a Business Coach with consulting firm Hood Sweeney in Adelaide. Ben has extensive leadership and change-management experience having delivered a number of operational and cost efficient improvements.

Heavily trained in Systems Thinking (LEAN methodologies) Ben is adept at process enhancements to reduce cost, waste and increase productivity. Ben is also highly skilled in the art of sales, sales training, and performance management processes. Ben is very much a people person, an active listener and a great communicator, with lots of personality.

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