Executives and managers are talking about annual objectives for next year. I’m working with a leadership team on their kick-off for the year – aligning behind the strategy, goal setting, and identifying tactics to achieve those goals. I’ll also be working with my business partner on our goals for next year – both as individuals and as business partners. We’ve been defining our vision and annual objectives together for years now.
This exercise is appropriate for work or life goals, for organizations or individuals.
Why Is Goal Setting Important?
You might be wondering what all the fuss is about in terms of annual objective setting. Why should you bother? Here are a few reasons why having goals and objectives is important:
• Gives us something to measure performance and success against,
• Creates accountability within ourselves and externally if necessary,
• Helps organize time and resources in a consistent direction,
• Focuses all involved towards a specific area,
• Provides motivation and a sense of achievement,
• Triggers new behaviours,
• Grows confidence as we progress towards them, not just when we achieve them,
• Promotes positive mental health.
Year End Review
If you didn’t read my previous blog about conducting a year end review, do that step first by clicking here, Annual Goals? Step #1 is Conducting a Year End Review. It’s hard to decide where you are heading if you don’t know where you are currently!
How to Set Annual Goals
These initial questions are different than your typical business projection exercise or creating a list of ‘to-dos’ (there are less creative questions/more direct at the end 😉). The idea is to envision success and then work backwards to identify what needs to be done to achieve it. This is how most organizations do their vision to goals process. Be specific about your goals – think about how you will measure your achievement of them as well as what they are.
• Imagine it is January 2023 (yes, one year further in the future). Reflect back on the past year, what would make you proud to have accomplished? Think of all aspects of work and life. This focuses on the DOING of the year, what you do and what you accomplish.
• From that vantage point of January 2023, looking back on an incredibly fulfilling and successful year. Feeling that pride and satisfaction, write a letter telling the story of how you made it happen. Write it as though your accomplishments were in the past, avoiding statements like “I will” or ‘I intend”. Get as specific as possible including your insights, ‘ahas’ (learnings), and milestones. Who did you become? How do you feel? Make it as exciting and vivid as possible. This focuses on how you are BEING during the year, how you feel and engage, how you want to BE to achieve what you want to achieve.
• What work goals do you want to accomplish? What are your boss’ goals and hence which cascade down to your area of responsibility?
• What are your financial goals for the year? How much do you want to make? What effort is required to do that? What investment or retirement or spending priorities do you have for the year?
• What relationships at work and personally do you want to create or foster?
• How do you want to feel physically, emotionally, spiritually?
• What aspects of your health are important to continue or improve?
• What personal qualities do you want to lean into more?
• What are you willing to give up to achieve your goals? Rarely do people look at ‘subtraction’ when they consider a change and it’s often a necessity. In today’s life you’re already busy with lots to do so don’t think about just adding more on. Think about how you can simplify. And what you give up might need to be a belief or mindset?
My goals for next year will be defined specifically on 7th January when I do our annual goal setting/’way of being’ exercise with my business partner. Some on my list to be fleshed out will be:
• Getting my award-winning book out to more people as the stories about how it’s helped people are so satisfying for me, win-win (number and ways of doing that tbd in January),
• Delivering our EQ Leadership Training to more companies (specific # tbd with my partner),
• Having even more fun and laughter in my life,
• Continuing my walking challenges, with one being more of a long-distance, multiple days walk in the countryside,
• Keeping up my French language lessons to hit 800 consecutive day learning streak.
If time and money were no object, what would your goals be for 2022?
What support would help you to achieve it, or some initial part of it?
What small step could you take towards that goal?
Book a complimentary coaching session with me here to explore how to help set yourself up for greater success and satisfaction next year.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels