As we reach the end of an extraordinary year, the focus in business switches to 2021. Here are some tips to help you to reset your focus and make new plans.
How to Reset and Refocus for 2021
The new year is a great time to reset your focus and make new plans. While 2021 may still bring uncertainty, it is still worth having a plan to help you get motivated for the year ahead.
Consider the goals you set for this year. There may be some goals that were never started or some that are not still relevant. It may be useful to re-evaluate your priorities as your focus may have shifted during 2020.
Here are some practical tips for goal-setting to help maximise your chance of delivering your goals next year.
Take a realistic view of your workload and schedule. Where can you find extra time to work on your goals? It can be useful to plan one goal at a time to avoid overwhelm. Once you make progress on one you will be motivated to tackle the next one.
Remove the Vague
The key to making progress is to break down a big goal into smaller actions. That way you can begin to make gradual progress every week. Use short gaps in your schedule to crack through a few tasks each day. They all add up and if well planned, will result in you achieving the overall goal by your deadline.
As Tim Herrera said recently in the Smarter Living section of the New York Times: “Rather than looking at tasks, projects or decisions as items that must be completed, slice them into the smallest possible units of progress, then knock them out one at a time”.
Five Tips to Reset Your Goals
Here are five simple questions to help you set a good goal:
1. WHAT: What change do I want to make?
Be clear and be specific. This will help you decide the work that needs to get done to achieve the goal.
2. WHY: Why do I want to do it?
What is my motivation, what difference will it make? Does this fit my overall vision and purpose?
3. WHEN: When does this goal need to be achieved?
Set a deadline for completion and then work backwards to set interim deadlines for smaller tasks along the way. This helps you stay motivated and focused throughout.
4. WHY NOT: What are the risks or stumbling blocks that may prevent you succeeding?
List anything that may get in the way. Things that could cause you to give up. Things that prevented you in the past, things to avoid this time.
5. HOW: What actual work needs to be done to achieve the goal?
This will help you develop an action plan, basically the work you need to get done.
Goal Action Plan
Once you work out the steps you can start to build your action plan. Add target dates, measures for success and any additional names to help complete the work. A simple Word table or an Excel spreadsheet can help you track your progress versus plan. Here is a sample Project Plan layout for a six-week period:
Now is the time to focus on 2021 so you can finish the year feeling optimistic. And while 2021 may still bring uncertainty, having a focus and a plan will help you get motivated for the year ahead.
Happy New Year to you all.
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Author: Moira Dunne, Olas Training Associate.