Goals-1It’s January, and if you haven’t already done so, this is the perfect time to think about what you want to accomplish this year. What are your big themes – both for your business, and for your personal development? This is different than making resolutions (which studies say typically dissolve by the end of February) this is about setting goals and making a plan on how to achieve them.  All too often we get so busy working “in” the business that we don’t take time to work “on” the business (or ourselves, for that matter) so that we can achieve our full potential both professionally and personally.

Carve out some time this month to think about what you want your business, or your department or your team to achieve over the next 12 months. (If this is mid-year for your fiscal year, do a check in on previously set goals to validate, review progress and/or update them).  Consider these questions:

What is your theme for the business this year? Growth? More involvement in the community? Changing the company culture? Expanding the brand? Increasing employee retention?

To align your business strategy with that theme, what do you need to START doing, what do you need to STOP doing, and what do you need to CONTINUE doing?

Now think about how you want to develop as a leader this year. Be more of a risk taker? Improve in strategic planning? Expand knowledge of business environment? Improve communication skills?

In order to develop in the desired area, what do you need to START doing, what do you need to STOP doing and what do you need to CONTINUE doing?

Once you develop your overarching goals for the business and as a leader, you can begin to create specific goals and actions that will help you achieve them. We’ll talk about that next time.

If you need some ideas or inspiration, consider Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.  Every year he sets a personal goal for himself. Past goals have included learning Mandarin, running a total of 365 miles over the year, and visiting all 50 states. His personal challenge for 2018 is to fix Facebook to “protect our community from abuse and hate, defend against interference by nation states, and make sure that time spent on Facebook is well spent.” As you’ve no doubt read, he’s already started working on this goal.

Other CEOs shared their leadership goals in a Fast Company article last year.

What will your goals be?

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland