Open your browser to nearly any magazine, blog, or newspaper and you’re bound to stumble upon a story looking ahead to 2019. There are articles about what trends are coming: business trends, tech trends, beauty trends, and everything in between. There are articles about how to set New Year resolutions you’ll actually keep. There are articles about skipping the resolutions and focusing on goals and objectives. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. More importantly, too many of those articles miss a crucial first step. Before you move ahead into a new year with new plans, you should take a moment to review 2018.
Assess Your Goals
At some point along the way you set down some plans. You mapped out targets. You created a roadmap on how you were going to get there. Whether or not that was part of a January ritual or more of an ongoing process, this is a good time to step back and take a good hard look at your goals.
Maybe you’ve met some of your goals. Awesome. Celebrate and then step back and take a look at why you were successful in this area. Can those skills or traits be applied to other goals and objectives? Don’t limit this evaluation just to your big wins. Take the time to celebrate and evaluate the small wins too! That includes, by the way, progress you’ve made toward reaching your bigger, long-term goals. If you’re inching closer, it’s a win!
What Isn’t Working?
Maybe you’re finding other goals harder to reach. Okay, take some time to evaluate what’s preventing your progress. Did these areas of slow (or no) growth lack clearly defined goals and measurable objectives? Were you simply off-target on some of them? Were you pushing toward things that didn’t fit with your overall objectives? This is a good time to decide if you’ve been running toward the right end-game, or if you need to clarify your plans to better your odds at reaching some of the goals that have been proven harder to reach.
What Is No Longer Applicable?
Maybe some of your goals are no longer relevant. Perhaps you were focused on taking steps to help make yourself more marketable for a higher-level position within your field. Since then, however, you’ve left your job and started your own business in an entirely different field. The goals you had set were designed for an objective you no longer have.
Before you cross out the goals that are no longer a fit, measure the progress you made anyway. What worked for you and what didn’t? What could you have done differently to achieve the targets you set? What new skills or experience did you gain in the process that can be applied to what you’re doing today?
Revise, Renew, and Relaunch
With a solid review finished, decide which 2018 goals you’ll be carrying over with you into the new year. Make revisions where needed. That might mean you clarify existing goals or modifying your game plan on how you’re going to meet them. Renew your commitment to the goals. This could take the form of a written list you review from time to time. It could be a vision board. It could be a written business plan. Just find a system that works for you and take the time to make it official. Finally, relaunch your efforts toward completing these goals with renewed enthusiasm and an improved game plan. You’ve got this!