The Christmas period is one of the only chances we get these days to step back from the day-to-day grind of work and take time out. No emails, apart from the spam that you instantaneously delete. No phone calls from colleagues, apart from being accidentally pocket dialled at 1am in the morning on Christmas Eve. And most importantly, no meetings to attend, apart from that similar awkward family member visits, where you’re not sure why you’re there and nobody benefits from it happening. Same as the meetings you attend at work.
During this time there are lots of opportunities to sit and reflect, and if you’re lucky, maybe even relax. We gain an amount of free time that we’re not typically used to. And a depth of relaxation that feels so warm that we hope to retain the feeling into the new year. And we know we can. We just need to change a few of our bad habits and create more time for ourselves.
Is this year is going to be different? Are you prepared to commit to making some big changes? Are you prepared to start to work on yourself?
The best way to start the new year is to commit to a big hairy audacious goal, but as you are reading this article, I’m guessing you’re not sure what to focus on. What would be the best goal for you?
Here are a few tips based on my experience of working with hundreds of business owners and managers, on how to pick the right goal for you for 2023. I am not going to provide you with a list of options to choose from and make it easy. I am going to ask you to put some work into this, while you have the time. Put your phone away, switch off Netflix and stop distracting yourself.
Get yourself a pen and paper, or ideally your own learning journal, and write down your answers to the following questions:
1. What goals are you most proud of achieving in your life? The more goals you can write down the better. Ideally at least 10 goals. These are obviously goals you have found the will and commitment to stick to and achieve. You are also proud of them, which would indicate that they have some meaning to you. Looking at all these goals written down, are there things that are common across all or a lot of the goals you have achieved? The common connection may help you to set your next goal.
2. What were your biggest mistakes of 2022? We all make mistakes. The important thing is that we learn from them, take the lesson on board and make the changes required to stop us from making the same mistake again. List the mistakes you have made during 2022 and write next to each mistake, the lesson you have learned from it and what you are or will do differently in future. We don’t want to commit to a goal and have a habit that will sabotage it as soon as we get going.
3. Where did you hold back the most during 2022? Maybe you had some inclinations this past year to do something new or different, but you held back and didn’t for some reason. Did you hold back anywhere this year. Where did you hold back? And why?
4. What is a good life? This is quite a philosophical question, but an important one when setting big goals. We don’t want to choose a goal that clashes with what we feel is most important to us. Not a question we get asked often, but worth committing to paper, what you see as a good life.
5. Who are you at your best? For the goal you choose, you want to play to your strengths and be at your best as often as you can be. Maybe you haven’t been at your best for a while, or you see little pockets of you at your best. What would I expect to see if I witnessed you at your best? How do you behave? How do you feel? What is going on around you?
6. What are you passionate about? We don’t want to commit to a goal that we can’t get passionate about. What is it that gets you fired up? What provides you with energy and motivation? What gets you on your soapbox and animated? Write these things down. These are the things you are passionate about.
7. What are you not passionate about? As Meatloaf said, I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that. We all have things that we just can’t get excited about and are just not for us. What are these things for you? There is no point choosing a goal that is connected with your not for me list.
8. What are your values? What are the things that make you, you. The things that you value the most in life. The guiding principles that make you unique and who you are. Rather than just write down a list of words, I would expand them into statements of what they really mean to you and how you behave as a result of having these values. You want to choose a goal that is aligned with your values.
9. What does amazing feel like to you? Achieving goals is great and we love the feeling of lifting the trophy at the end, but we also want to enjoy the journey. Setting about achieving a big goal will have its ups and downs and will challenge us on a regular basis. When you are lost in the moment and really thriving as a person, how does it feel? We want this as part of our goal. To feel a particular way throughout the journey, and actually enjoy a huge chunk of it.
Take some time out now to write down the answers to all of the above questions in your journal. Once you have done this, hopefully you have been given enough to prompt some new thinking.
With your new thinking, write down all your goals for 2023. They can be personal, or work related. Now you have your 2023 goal list, choose the ‘ultimate’ goal. The goal from the list, that if you achieved it, will enable all the rest. There will be one of the goals on the list, that will enable 80% of the whole list. Which one is it? This is the right goal for you.
I will be sharing more goal setting and achieving articles over the next few days, so look of them if you need some help in bring your goal to life.
If you need some help with goal setting and would prefer to bounce ideas around with someone else, we have a team of coaches that can support you with your goals for 2023. We work with ambitious business owners and managers in the manufacturing sector and have the breadth and depth of experience to support you with whatever you would like to work on. Request a brochure here.
This article was written by the Founder & Managing Director of the Manufacturers Alliance, Gary Sheader. Gary is keen to really push the boundaries of modern leadership and loves to develop innovative services to help business owners and their teams become the best they can be.