As another year draws to a close, it’s that time when we naturally begin to contemplate the future and set our sights on new horizons. Reflecting on the passing year can be a powerful exercise that helps us learn from our experiences, celebrate our achievements and recalibrate our ambitions for the year ahead.
Goals are like guiding stars in the constellation of our lives. They provide direction, purpose and a framework for growth. However, the process of setting and pursuing them is not merely about their achievement; it’s about the journey they lead us on, the lessons they teach us and the person we become along the way.
Looking back at the goals we set for the past year can be enlightening. Did we achieve what we aimed for? What unexpected detours or challenges did we face? Often, our journey doesn’t unfold exactly as planned, and that’s perfectly OK. The important thing is to appreciate the progress made, even if it deviated from the original path.
Some goals may have been reached, while others may still be a work in progress. Embracing this journey means understanding that the pursuit of our aspirations is as valuable as reaching the destination itself. It’s about the habits formed, the skills acquired and the personal growth experienced during the pursuit of these goals.
As we peer into the upcoming year, it’s an opportune moment to set our intentions for the future. Here are some strategies to consider when setting goals for the coming year.
- Clarity in Vision. Reflect on what truly matters to you. Define your values, passions and aspirations. Having a clear vision will help in setting meaningful and fulfilling goals aligned with your authentic self.
- Systematize operations. This could be a significant productivity booster, especially for small and mid-sized businesses that often do not have resources or the time to even look into this idea. The common symptoms are that your associates are overwhelmed, the same issues seem to come up every single month, whether those are related to quality or execution, the issues are unresolved, or no one is actually working on determining the root cause and corrective actions to resolve those issues in a systematic and consistent manner. Examine the touchpoints for decision making — sometimes there are too many cooks in the broth! Analyze the delegation of authority in your business. Is decision-making suitably organized, including the timing of involvement and by the appropriate supervisors and managers? James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits,” famously declared, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
- Compile a list of habits and disciplines in your daily routine that need to change. Start with yourself and then reflect on those on your team by working closely with them. It is prudent to take stock of your own level of self-awareness. Having a coach or mentor would be advisable if this exercise seems hard. Tweaking your daily habits can lead to a compounding effect when it comes to achieving outcomes. A habit I tweaked a few years ago when I was running a mid-sized business was to not take meetings on certain days of the week, leaving those days open to working on the business.
May the pursuit of our goals not only bring success in the new year but also fulfillment, joy and a deeper understanding of ourselves. ●
Sanjay Singh is Executive chairman of the board of directors at Mace Security International