A lot of folks I’m talking to are taking a bit of downtime next week between Christmas and the New Year. And this time of year, it’s natural to use downtime to start looking ahead and setting goals or resolutions. So here are some of our tips for setting goals for 2024.
Start your look ahead by looking back.
What were your goals for this year? Did you hit them? If so, can you identify commonality in what helped you get there? If not, is there a common theme in what held you back?
Break it down.
I don’t set yearly goals; I set my goals quarterly using a printout for my planner. At the end of each quarter, I take stock of what worked and what didn’t, then set goals for the next quarter, being as agile and flexible as necessary. What timeframe works for you? Do you need really long-term goals, like for the whole year? Or do prefer shorter-term “long-term” goals? And where/how do you need to document those goals?
Set a plan.
Once my quarterly goals are set, I notch them down even further into to-do lists. I set deadlines for when each bit needs to be completed to hit the goal by the end of the quarter, then breakdown those deadlines into line items, and each of those gets put in my calendar. When looking at what works for you when it comes to meeting deadlines and such, how do you need to plan for what needs to be done and when to reach your goals?
Track your progress. Hit your target.
As deadlines start hitting, take note of which ones you’re hitting and which ones you’re not. Again, look for a common theme. Are the ones you’re not hitting too big? If so, would it help to break them down into smaller to-dos? Are the ones you’re hitting too easy? Could you bite off a little more and hit a bigger goal? I will say that I’m a big advocate of having some smaller goals, ones that will be fairly easy for you attain, because that sense of achievement becomes the motivation to reach for the bigger ones.