Plan Now for a Successful 2017
If you’re waiting for January 1 to start planning for next year, you’ll spend the next 365 days catching up.
But it’s not too late. December is the perfect time for reflecting and renewing. Both are critical to success in the coming year.
When we think about the new year, we usually want to move full steam ahead to accomplish everything we didn’t last year. By February we’re overwhelmed, exhausted and back where we started.
Slow down. Before you can charge into 2017, stop and reflect on the previous 11 months.
Inc.com suggests reflecting on these questions before setting goals for the coming year:
- What did I do to contribute to my successes?
- What did I do to most contribute to my shortcomings?
- What would I do differently given the same set of circumstances?
- What valuable relationships did I form?
- What relationships added no value or hindered my success?
- In with ways did I not measure up to my potential?
- What will I most fondly remember about 2016?
- For what will I be rightly proud?
With those answers in mind, set goals for 2017.
Many of us set daily and weekly goals, but setting yearly goals helps us think about the bigger picture.
Many leaders use the SMART method for goal setting:
S – Specific: Be as detailed as possible about the goal that you’re setting. Don’t just say grow my business.
M – Measurable: Specifics are important here too. It’s not enough to say, we need to increase our profit. Put measurements on your goals to track performance month-to-month and year-over-year.
A—Attainable: Make sure the goal is attainable. Overly ambitious goals often seem insurmountable and they are quickly discarded, meaning nothing gets done.
R—Relevant: The goals you are working toward should align with the overall goals of the company. If they don’t relate to what other team members are doing, they don’t support the overall goal.
T—Time-bound: This is an important element. I suggest tracking your goals each week, each month, each quarter and each year. Frequently reviewing your goals allows you to adjust as needed, and gives you encouragement to continue when you achieve important milestones.
Another important area of focus should be to set goals to motivate your employees.
Team goals should be designed in a way to foster clear and mutual understanding of what constitutes expected levels of performance and successful professional development.
Leadership and organization using the SMART method fosters strong, successful teams – those characterized by great clarity of purpose, expectation and reward.
Working towards common, measurable goals will yield your most successful and productive team in 2017.
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