Can you believe it? 2020 is here!
New Year’s resolutions may be notoriously forgettable but we want to inspire you to make 2020 the BEST year of your professional life yet!
Let’s dive in and get you set up for success in 2020 with the goals you want to achieve and the systems to get you across the finish line to achieve them.
First, reflect on the year the past year
Before firing up to set goals for the new year, it’s important to take time and reflect on 2019.
You want to pat yourself on the back for the things you’ve accomplished and learn from anything that didn’t quite turn out the way you planned.
Reflecting on lessons learned is especially important as you can apply fixes or new tactics moving forward.
Here are a few questions to guide your reflection
- What was my biggest professional win of the year / why?
- What goals did I accomplish?
- What habits was I most consistent with and what impact did this have?
- Where were my time and energy leaks?
- What goals didn’t I accomplish / why?
- What was the biggest curveball of the year?
- What project/situation did not go to plan – lessons learned?
- What habits would I like to start in the new year?
- What habits would I like to let go of?
Set SMART goals for 2020
You’ve reflected on the year that was so now it’s time to dig in and set your professional goals for 2020!
Ok, we know you’ve heard about SMART goals SO many times before but there’s a good reason why –
Here are the points to cover when setting a SMART work goal –
Specific You need to be clear about what you want to achieve.
Measurable You want to make sure the goal can be measured, this way you’ll recognise when you’ve achieved your goal!
Achievable Is this goal actually possible? It’s important to think big but it’s important to consider if you’ll realistically have the time, money and resources to meet the goal in 12 months.
Relevant Is the goal relevant to your professional aspirations?
Timely Set a realistic deadline for completing the goal.
Examples of professional goals
Feeling stuck about what goals you could set for the new year? We’ve got a few suggestions to get you thinking!
Improve your public speaking skills
Why not focus on honing your presentation skills in 2020?
Your ability to communicate at work is a big deal. From internal presentations to calls with clients or prospects, how you communicate in public is imperative to your success.
Take a course to advance your career
What course could help you sharpen your professional skills and make you more valuable to your employer?
Build your network
There is power in a strong professional network. 2020 could be your time to focus on building meaningful and fruitful relationships with those in your professional circle.
You could –
- Attend a conference or workshop
- Go to a local meetup
- Use LinkedIn to build your network and nurture relationships.
Tips for achieving your goals
Focus on 1 goal at a time
It’s easy to feel fired up at the start of the year and jump right into trying to achieve all your goals at once.
But..this could be a big mistake.
Depending on the nature of your goal, you’ll likely have more success by focusing all your energy on one at a time.
For example, if your goal was to take a short course; carve out time in the first quarter to focus solely on the course, then move on to your next goal for the next quarter.
Scheduling time to achieve your goals
“If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.’ Tony Robbins
Scheduling time into your calendar to work on each of your goals is the key to actually achieving them!
Once you’ve written out your professional goals for the year the next step is to schedule time into your calendar every week to work on them.
Remember, be realistic about what you can achieve in a certain time frame. It’s helpful to break big goals down into smaller steps and focus on one step at a time.
Let’s return to the example of taking a short course.
You might break this goal up into smaller steps and book time every week into your schedule to work on it –
- Researching the course – January
- Booking the course – January
- If the course has different modules, turn those modules into steps and schedule time into your weekly schedule to complete each one – February – April
Breaking the goal into smaller steps makes it less overwhelming and easier to schedule into your daily / weekly plans.
Find a planning system that works for you
Do you like the old school planning style with a paper calendar and pen to lock in your schedule? Or maybe you love digital planning and use a scheduling app or software to stay on track?
Finding a system that works for you is key to actually sticking with your plans. You can have the slickest online management system but if you don’t ever log in to it, it’s useless!
Experiment to find what works for you but try to lock in a system early in the year so using it quickly becomes a habit.
Experiment with different productivity techniques
Make 2020 the year you set yourself up for success by maximising your productivity! If you don’t know where to start, check out our tips on tools and techniques to maximise your productivity here.
From the Pomodoro technique through to planning your Daily Top 3, building some (or all!) of these habits into your routine in 2020 will help you prioritise your goals and move them forward – every single week.
Do the work to set yourself up and follow through on your plan each day, week and month to make 2020 your most productive, successful year yet!
We’d love to know your professional goals for 2020, share them in the comments below.