By Ty Hendrickson
As we begin to wrap up 2020 and look toward the next year, now is the perfect time to decide what you want in 2021 for yourself. Whether that is personally or professionally or a combination of both, goal setting is a critical factor in whether or not you actually get where you want to be.
MORE: Why Choose You? | The ABCs of Exceptional CPA Leaders | Three W’s for Networking the Right Way | The One Big Reason Your Hiring Sucks | 5 Crucial Areas of Firm Culture Not to Ignore | The CPA Firm Partner’s Role Is Changing | Are You Botching Your First Impression? | Maybe the Pandemic Isn’t All Bad | The No. 1 Reason Accountants Fail To Build Advisory Practices | The REAL Problems Created in a Remote Workforce | Can You Really Grow Without Adding Clients? | 4 Reasons to Welcome RejectionExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.
Personally, I love goal setting. But I also love to-do lists, checklists and about any other type of list. As a type A accountant, goal setting is right up my alley, but I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Think about how 2020 will end for you. Are you where you really wanted to be professionally or did another year go by without getting closer to your dream? This is the same for your personal life as well. Are you really where you want to be in life? Balance between the two is incredibly important for both your happiness and productivity. For so many, the year comes to an end with time quickly passing by, but feeling stuck and stressed about where they are in life.
As I begin setting my goals for 2021, I thought it would be a great time to share with you all what I do to set goals and hopefully give you a place to start.
Before even thinking about what you want to do in the upcoming year, take the time to reflect on the previous year. I always ask myself, “Am I happy with the way my year turned out?” Notice I am not asking if I achieved all of my goals. If your life is anything like mine, it can be a wild ride. No matter what plans I make for myself, it never fails that I am thrown a curveball of some sort. I don’t know that any year has ended the way I planned, but that’s okay! Sometimes those curveballs make the year turn out better than I could have ever planned or hoped. The important thing is to appreciate all of the good and learn from any mistakes before setting new goals for the next year. So, are you happy with the way your year turned out?
2. Dream Big
Now when you sit down to think about what you want in 2021, think BIG! If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough. Is your dream to finally get that promotion you have always wanted? Is your dream to hit a physical milestone like run a marathon (spoiler alert – that is NOT mine – sorry Milla)? Is your dream to leave the corporate world and build your own future? Is your dream to start a family? Don’t limit your dreams to just professional or just personal. In order for you to achieve these dreams, you have to be happy and feel balanced, whatever that balance means to you. What are your dreams for 2021? Don’t forget – DREAM BIG!
3. Break It Down
Once you have your vision for 2021, it’s important to break it down into achievable goals with actual due dates. A dream without a plan is just a wish. If you miss this step in goal setting, you will likely be sitting here at the end of 2021 with the same goals and same dreams as you are thinking of right now. Take some time to look at your dreams for 2021. What do you need to do to make this happen? How much time will it take to achieve these goals? Who needs to be involved to support your goals? Put your goals and timelines down on paper so that you know exactly what you need to do over the next 12 months.
The final step in this process is determining how you will hold yourself accountable. Do you have a partner you can work to hold each other accountable? Or is this something you will need to do for yourself? If you have to be the one to hold yourself accountable, think about what motivates you. Are you motivated by rewards or consequences? If it is rewards, what will you reward yourself with when you achieve your goals on your timeline? Take some time to reflect and think about how you will hold yourself accountable to your goals in 2021.
My goals for 2021 are both exciting and terrifying. I said it before and I will say it again, if your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. I’m excited to see what 2021 brings for all of us!