Service efficiency
Jan 13, 2023

Goal setting for the new year

Mark Topps shares his top tips for setting organisational and personal goals, alongside manageable ways to help you achieve them.

Mark Topps
Mark Topps
Regional Business Manager

Table of contents

We have entered 2023, but did you stop and think about your plans for the coming months? I like to spend the last few days in December thinking about what I achieved in the year and what I'd like to achieve in the coming year. It surprises me that not everyone does this as setting work and personal goals to help us grow and develop, both in our careers and as people.

In this week’s blog, I share my top tips for setting organisational and personal goals, alongside manageable tips to ensure you achieve them.  

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to appreciate failure. We're not conditioned to see failure as a positive and we need to shift our mindsets. If we let a fear of failure hold us back, we won’t ever do anything. None of the inventions or advances in technology we have today happened overnight. The people behind them failed and had setbacks, but that only made them stronger and more determined, which eventually led to achievement. Let’s not knock ourselves because of our failures but see them as an opportunity to learn and become stronger.  

Tips for setting organisational goals

Not all work goals will be team or organisational-based, some may be personal and that's a good thing. Improving your leadership skills also benefits your team and the organisation you work for. It's important to set both long and short-term goals.

Here are my top five tips for setting organisational goals: 

  • Identify how your business could improve. Hold meetings with the people you support, your staff team, the directors/CEO, customers, relatives, representatives, etc. When you establish what they'd like to achieve or what they feel is needed, this may produce some goals for you to work towards. Also, review action plans and see if there are any outstanding actions.  
  • Create a business plan for the upcoming year and include your business targets for the next five years. This will give you goals to achieve, help you manage business priorities and drive natural changes and efficiencies. Business plans will help you think of the ambitions you and your organisation have, re-focus the organisation's purpose and help you to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others. Your business plan should always include a strategy for growth, determine your financial needs and aim to attract investors or income. Off the back of the business plan, develop KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), so you can give employees a clear understanding of their responsibilities and goals and you can measure success and achievements.  
  • Manage your short-term goals:
  1. Turn the goal into smaller objectives so you have a clear pathway to achieve it. For example, your goal may be to acquire new customers, and the objectives could include creating a social media plan, revamping your website, etc.  
  2. Ensure each objective is measurable so that you can track and monitor its success.  
  3. Allocate objectives to your employees.  
  4. Review and measure progress and success on a regular basis. Use this time to address barriers and methods to overcome these. Some of these barriers may become new goals or objectives.  
  • Manage your long-term goals:  
  1. Utilise your business plan to stay aligned with your organisational goals.  
  2. Set deadlines for your goals and develop a timeline.  
  3. Set priorities so you know which goal needs the most attention.  
  4. Break long-term goals into short-term ones.
  • Review, monitor and track goal progress.  
  • Don’t micromanage. Sometimes team members need to be performance-managed, but micromanaging won't allow you to establish who's not pulling their weight. If you're like me, you'll like to know what's happening at all times in the business, but there's a difference between knowing what's happening and doing everything yourself!  

Some of my tips to prevent micromanagement  

  • Trust your team and remove yourself – let your team get on with it. Let your team make mistakes and learn from them, let them problem-solve and think for themselves and give yourself time to focus on other aspects of the business and your role.  
  • Develop a fail-forward approach where your whole team discusses the lessons learnt from mistakes.    
  • Focus on the workplace culture. Communicate your vision, values and objectives - this will help your team join you on the journey and achieve their goals and objectives.  
  • Ensure your team know they can come to you with problems or questions and facilitate their learning.  
  • Hold productive meetings to establish updates.  
  • Be present, but not on top of people.  


Tips for setting personal goals

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states we need to put ourselves first to develop personally. One of my goals last year was to have a better work-life balance. To achieve this, I spoke to my family about what they wanted and expected from me, asked my manager if my company could support me and then had to figure out how to achieve this as a person. You could set personal goals around relationships, buying your first house, learning to drive, learning a new skill or reading more. Spending time to reflect on your life will allow you to establish what you want to do more of (your goal)  
  • Use this method to provide insight into your goal:  
  1. ‘What’ Goal  
  2. ‘Why’ Goal  
  3. ‘How’ Goal  
  • Don’t just daydream about your personal goals - write them down and turn your dreams into reality.  
  • Research ‘The Wheel of Life’ – this is a great tool that will help improve the balance in your life. It helps you quickly identify the areas in your life you can devote more energy and where you may need to cut back.  
  • Set attainable and realistic goals that are possible to achieve. You may want big goals for the future, but break them down into smaller, more achievable ones.  


Making goals achievable  

  • Break goals down into smaller steps so they are achievable - this may mean that you create more goals in the process!  
  • Make your goals visible. I create a vision board to understand what I want to achieve and how I'll get there. I'm a visual person, so I like mine to be pictorial with comments, deadlines and steps. Don’t get bogged down with what the board looks like - you can make it as simple or as complex as you like.  
  • Many people think that good things come to those that wait or that luck will make things happen. I personally don’t believe this is the case, so my advice would be to go out there and make it happen.  
  • Be patient – goals don't happen overnight and you have to work at them to make them happen.  
  • Make time – we all live busy lives and sometimes we let things slip or cancel personal time, so put time in your diary that is not moved, cancelled or disrupted. This way, you'll have time to focus on your goals and achieving them.  
  • Celebrate your achievements - however small - as this will motivate you to keep going.  

Goal setting doesn’t have to be overwhelming or even as formal as I've made it. Just think about what you want to achieve in your life and workplace, break it into small steps and use your skills (and other people's) to make those goals happen.

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