The start of a new year is a great time to reassess where you are in life, your career or business – decide what you want to achieve and put some strategies in place to work towards achieving even your most ambitious goals.
The start of this new year is a little unusual as for many of us, 2020 was a challenging year. The hopes and dreams we had for 2020 may not, in many cases, have come to fruition as planned, whether they were related to your business, your career or personal in nature, were put on the back burner. So let’s look at how to ensure that 2021 is the year to get things back on track and achieve what you are aiming for.
Let’s start with the fundamentals, it’s impossible to get to where you are going, if you don’t know the destination and challenging to make the journey without a road map of how to get there.
Identify your goals
This involves some soul searching. What do you want for yourself personally and professionally? What are your priorities? Do you want to climb the corporate ladder and set your sights on that senior management position, or spend more time with loved ones? Have you got an idea for a new business or are you wanting to take your existing business to the next level?
Make sure you are specific about what you want and don’t be afraid to aim high. Studies show that specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than “do your best” type of goals.i
Once you’ve identified your goals – jot them down. People who write down their goals, have been found to be 33 percent more successful in achieving them.ii There is something very powerful about the written word.
An incremental approach
Once you’ve got an idea of what you want, it’s time to devise some strategies to achieve them. It’s important to dream big but sometimes big dreams can seem intimidating. The way to make a big task less intimidating is to break it into smaller tasks and approach it incrementally. What do you need to do to set yourself up for that management role? Do you need to go back to study? Start taking on more responsibilities at work?
Set up your plan with things you need to do which will act like a series of stepping stones leading to your destination.
Allocate time and resources
The next part of your strategy is to think about what you need to have in place to support each incremental step in your plan. Do you need to set aside time on a daily basis, each week or every month? Do you need financial support or a loan? How will you access that support?
You don’t have to go it alone – think about whether you can get some external assistance in the form of a mentor or just someone you can use as a sounding board. If you are running a business there may be government support packages you can access or external consultants you can engage to help you on your way.
Staying the course
It takes discipline to stay on target when there are so many distractions along the way. Make sure that your strategy has some review points at particular times or when you have completed the tasks you have set yourself so that you can celebrate your wins and recalibrate the plan if necessary.
If 2020 showed us anything, it was that the best-laid plans can and will change and be subject to circumstances beyond our control, so it’s important to have some contingencies in place. Even more importantly, be agile in your approach so that you can adjust and refine the plan as needed.
Having a strategy and a methodology to implement your strategy will give you the best chance of reaching your goals in 2021 and beyond. Add in a dash of determination and self-belief and you’ll be flying high on your way to the success you’ve dreamed of.