Whether you have a home-based business, work in a corporate job, or are a stay-at-home mom, this is the time of year when everyone is thinking about setting their goals for the coming year. It’s always exciting to think about where the next year can take us, regardless whether or not you had a stellar 2017!
But before setting your goals for next year, it’s important to take time and reflect on the past year. John Maxwell says that every year he takes “an entire week to review the previous 12 months.”
If you don’t reflect on where you have been, you may miss important lessons that will help you as you move forward. Additionally, if you want to be a leader in your home-based business, it’s vital to set the example for your team and help them develop these habits as well.
After reflecting, you can move on to goal setting for the coming year. In this post, we’ll help prepare you in setting your goals for 2018.
While you may not be able to take an entire week like John Maxwell, you’ll want to at least set aside a couple hours to really dig in and reflect. And don’t forget to write down your answers! This makes a huge difference in whether you will achieve your goals.
Part 1: Reflecting on the Past Year:
Start by grabbing a notebook or piece of paper and answer the following 5 questions.
- What goals did I set in the past year? Go back to the beginning of the year and find the goals that you set at the start of the year. Take some time to reflect on those goals and jot them down.
- What goals did I reach? Next, focus on what you accomplished! Consider which goals you did reach and write them down. Maybe you had some other accomplishments along the way that weren’t necessarily goals – that’s okay, write them down, too! We often miss out on giving ourselves credit for what we DID accomplish, so take time to celebrate the wins.
- What goals did I not reach/why? Okay, now we’re on to the hard stuff. Which of your goals were not accomplished? Why not? Really think through this one. Perhaps your goals were unrealistic. Or maybe a life event happened that derailed you, such as a major illness or death in the family. This isn’t a time to beat up on yourself, but it’s valuable to acknowledge where you fell short and why.
- What could I have done differently? Now that you’ve recognized which goals did not happen, consider what you could have done differently to reach those goals. Perhaps you needed to invest more in your personal development or have an accountability partner. Maybe you needed to actually carve out your time so that you could focus on that goal. Write these things down.
- What did I do right? Let’s end our reflecting on a positive note and consider what you did right. Even if you didn’t accomplish everything you set out to, there are bound to be some things you did right. Maybe you were consistent with building your contact list or making calls to set appointments. Perhaps you consistently scheduled time for exercise all year long. Write down what you did to reach the goals you set.
Part 2: Set Your Goals for Next Year:
Okay, once you have reflected on the past, you can move towards setting your goals for 2018. Ask yourself where you’d like to be at this time next year in the following 5 areas, and write down at least one goal for each one.
- Professionally: Where would you like to be in your career at the end of next year? Do you want to have advanced to a specific status in your business? A certain number of people on your team? A set amount of sales in your organization? Be as specific as possible.
- Personally: What do you want your personal life to look like? Would you like to have traveled or taken a certain vacation? Do you want your family to have specific traditions or routines?
- Financially: What will your financial situation be 1 year from now? Do you want to pay off debt? Be able to buy a home or have a certain amount saved in the bank?
- Physically: How will your physical health be different? Do you have a goal to lose weight or exercise or run a marathon? Write this down and specify what this will look like for you.
- Spiritually: Finally, how do you want your spiritual life to look next year? What needs to change or improve, and how will you feel about it?
Remember that when you set your goals for next year, they need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Final Tips on How to Accomplish Your Goals:
Finally, once you have reflected on last year and set goals for the coming year, share this with someone else! By sharing your goals with someone else, you are increasing your likelihood of reaching those goals.
Lastly, you will want to break your goals down into achievable chunks. Many people recommend setting 90-day goals in order to actually accomplish the end result. Often, our yearly goals can seem overwhelming, but if we break them down into smaller pieces, they actually can be reached!