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News, tips, and advice for small business owners

Setting Goals for the New Year

Posted On
Denise Stern

SurePayroll knows how easy it is to set new goals for a new year. We also know it’s a bit more difficult achieving those goals than setting them.

A notebook with the words new year, new start written on the pages.

This week, the first of the New Year, we’d like to offer a few tips for not only setting your new goals, but sticking to them.

Maintain focus

Maintaining focus is what leads to success, writes Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols of the Oechsli Institute in their article for Wealth Management, “Setting Goals and Sticking to Them.” The key to helping you stick to your goals? Believe and commit to them. Really commit, but start small, which makes achieving your goals easier and less intimidating. Plan ahead and be aware of your weak points. If you habitually over-schedule your to-do list, focus on prioritizing. Remember, your small goals will help you achieve larger and bigger goals. It just takes patience.

Make ‘smart’ goals

It’s tempting to set a myriad of personal and professional goals for the New Year. However, create smart goals. What makes a good, attainable goal? Cornell Meyer offers a good suggestion in his article for The Alexander Group titled, “Setting Professional Goals and Sticking to Them.” He suggests taking the SMART approach: make your goals Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-limited. Once goals are set, consistency is key. Make an effort every day to work toward one goal at a time and note your progress daily. You don’t have to race toward your goals – slow and steady also gets you to the finish line.

Write down your goals

Like Cornell Meyer in the above tip, Annabel Acton, writing for Forbes in her article, “How to set goals (and why you should write them down)”, agrees with the SMART approach and offers advice for making that journey more personal. She suggests writing down your goals in a way that you feel them. For example, what would reaching a goal feel like for you on an emotional level? Why did you choose a certain goal over others? You need to understand why you’re setting a particular goal. Start working on one goal at a time and maintain your focus and momentum by setting your goal into action. Take small steps to get started and track and review your results – on paper. Writing down your goals and your journey to achieve them makes them real.

Adopt the OKR approach

When tackling goals, try the OKR (Objectives, Key Results) approach adopted by Bill Gates and other successful businessmen. Even Gates, though successful in many aspects of business growth, struggled with project management, writes Zameena Mejia in her article for CNBC titled, “This simple method is used by Bill Gates, Larry Page and even Bono to tackle their biggest goals”. Key reminder: be realistic regarding the number of goals you set. Start with one or two in order to ensure focus, and write each one down, along with steps you might take to achieve it.

SurePayroll wishes all small business owners a successful New Year! Check back in next week for more tips for support and success.

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.