Yes, it’s been an unpredictable 2020 with expectations and plans derailed, but life and work have still gone on. And now that we’re at the end of the financial year, it’s a great time to talk goals—how you’re tracking with yours, or how to set them if it’s something you don’t do.
Even typing that last bit makes me wince because goal setting is such an important underpinning of your personal and professional worlds.
For me, it’s a process that starts each New Year’s Eve.
When champagne corks are popping at midnight on December 31, I’m never just congratulating myself on having had a great year or looking for someone to dance with (although I do love a boogie.)
I’m analysing mentally what I achieved, if it meant real progress and how it sets me up for the new year.
Then I set a theme for the coming 365 days. Just don’t ask me what it is: I don’t tell for at least a decade because I don’t want anyone coming and saying, ‘You’re not living it.’
Choosing the theme is a process. It means looking back on the past year, asking, ‘How did I grow, I let myself down here, where do I need to build?’
It takes hours of conversation with my husband JP, figuring out what that year needs to be. It’s about momentum and progress and purpose.
I have to say the chosen theme isn’t always successful. One year it was ‘consolidation’ and we went into more debt than we ever had! Doesn’t matter. Sometimes things don’t go to plan. I didn’t beat myself up about it, because I learned a lot.
I suspect he also does what I do next, which is the actual meat and potatoes: the goal setting strategies for success.
I set up to 15 personal and business goals (including a WIG, or Wildly Important Goal) every year, from those that are close and inclusive and emotionally intimate with my friends to sprawling professional ones.
My number one this year would be to emotionally express myself fully and truthfully.
I try really hard not to set goals that rely on others, and aim to make them about progress and growth, like my theme.
The yearly goals are broken down into 90 day, weekly and daily time frames, all of which are written and finished before the time period kicks off.
Planning for long term growth means you can’t keep acting in a short term way with short term fixes that will fail because they raise anxiety, then a goal becomes just to get out of anxiety rather than move forward.
I’ve been playing a long game for a long time.
It’s what you do every day consistently that will get you to January in phenomenal shape.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Sharon Pearson for her story.
Award-winning businesswoman Sharon Pearson is the founder of The Coaching Institute and bestselling author of Ultimate You.
Visit her website here.