It’s something that we’ve all mentioned just a few times this year: 2020 has been a wild ride. It’s shaken up life as we know it and living in unprecedented times has been anything but easy. When we celebrated New Year's Eve last December, I don’t think any of us could guess where we were headed. Many of us had goals, plans, and aspirations for 2020; many of those unfortunately fell to the wayside.
But here we are again. It’s December, and we’re watching 2020 quickly come to a close (thank goodness) and 2021 loom ever-so-brightly on the horizon. And while none of us know what 2021 is going to look like or what could happen (Aliens? Return of the murder hornets? Free ice cream for all? Four-day work weeks?), it’s still imperative that we hold a sense of normalcy and set some New Year's goals.
Goal setting is helpful for you and your business because it creates a sense of direction and, hopefully in the end, accomplishment. When we’re motivated, we’re at our best. We stay ahead of the game, we work diligently, we meet and exceed expectations, and, simply put, we get things done. By taking the time to set goals and resolutions in advance, like in December, we’re able to carefully choose and navigate the best steps for us to get there.
Now, these goals can be external like getting a new job, landing that promotion, buying new equipment for our rental fleet, achieving substantial business growth, or paying off debts, or they can be internal, like learning how to handle change, increasing our confidence, learning how to be a better leader, and practicing mindfulness. Or they can be both! My favorite thing to do is pick a certain amount from each category, like three external goals and three internal. Maybe you have one big goal in mind, and, hey, that’s okay too!
In order to stick to your goals for longer than January 1, 2021, or even March 1, 2021, I have some helpful tricks for you that I found from scrounging through the internet. First, be as specific as possible. Instead of “grow my business,” try, “I’d like to gain 10 new customers in six months.” Breaking big goals up into more specific achievements can help the process seem less imposing and generalized. Which leads me to our next tip: make your goals measurable. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Focus on daily, weekly, and monthly steps you can be taking to achieve your goals. Once you take one step, take another.
Another tip? Put it in writing! Either jot down your goals in your Notes app on your phone or write them on a sticky note on your desk. Whichever way you want to do it, make sure it’s easily accessible. Seeing your goals written down and in front of you allows you to keep yourself accountable (not to mention, you can remember them easier!).
And my last piece of insight for you is this: don’t get discouraged. Things happen. Let me gesture wildly and broadly to everything that has been 2020, for example. There’s no doubt that you will hit speedbumps, roadblocks, sinkholes, trap doors, and insanely large boulders that come out of nowhere and chase after you as you run away with a priceless artifact (or maybe I’ve been watching too many Indiana Jones movies, but that’s neither here nor there).
You might not accomplish your goal, and that’s O-K-A-Y. The point is to try your best and take small steps each and every day to get you closer to your goal. Maybe you don’t accomplish it this year, but you give yourself a good foundation to tackle it in 2022. That’s something to be proud of, too. So, stay positive and keep working.
Finally, maybe goals aren’t your thing, and this entire blog post has left you angrily cursing me for writing it. Well, there’s something else you can do instead. December is the perfect time to reflect on where you are now and where you want to be. What can you work towards? What can you change? What’s going right? And how are you succeeding? Maybe you don’t want to set a goal with all the unknowns facing the world today, but taking some time for reflection is just as important. After all, without critiquing our "now,” we can’t properly plan for the future.
What are your goals for 2021? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.