The end of the calendar year or the end of the company’s fiscal year presents an opportune time to review the performance of the past year and to develop some solid business goals for the new calendar or fiscal year. Using some strategic thinking, here are a few tips for setting and achieving your goals for the new year.

1. Use the power of “Brainstorming” by writing a list of things you’d like to accomplish. After you complete your “brainstormed” list, prioritize and decide which things on your list are the most important.

2. Write down your goals and keep them in one central place that is highly accessible and visible to you. Document any changes you make to your goals.

3. Develop goals that are challenging, yet achievable. Be careful not to make your goals too easy or to difficult to achieve. The consequences of not following this advice is that if you make them too easy, you will feel like you haven’t accomplished much and if you make them too difficult, you’ll feel defeated?

4. Establish realistic time frames to achieve your goals. Break down each goal into specific tasks and assign yourself a due date for each task so you have a detailed plan with a higher probability of success.

5. Revisit your vision statement and mission statement for your company and use those as your guide for reviewing and selecting your goals for the new year.
Remind yourself of the motivation behind the selected goals.

6. Ensure that your goals measurable. This is critical if you want to be able to determine if you have really reached your goals.

7. Identify what resources you will need and how to obtain and use those resources to achieve your goals.

8. Avoid setting yourself up to fail by setting too many goals for the new year. We tend to be driven by wanting to get everything done and to be as perfect as possible. Remember, there is a need for “balance in one’s life and time with family and for “you” is important. Set a reasonable number of goals to achieve in the new year.

9. Identify your goals as short term and long term goals. Keep these lists separate. My definition of short term goals is something that can be accomplished within 1 year or less. My definition of long term goals is something that can be accomplished in more than 1 year and usually within 3 to 5 years. It is prudent to not take on too many long term goals at the same time.

10. Monitor, revise and/or update your goals as necessary. If you do extend or modify a deadline, develop a new plan on how you will meet that new time frame.? And do not forget to celebrate achieved goals.

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