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Fresh Start, New Goals: Ways to Begin the New Year with Professional Excellence

Picture source: Forbes

Welcome to 2024! It’s the start of the new year and you’re eager to get things off to a great start. A new year brings with it a sea of new opportunities, especially for our professional lives and careers. A new year is a time to make resolutions and set goals. It is a time to approach our work with renewed energy and enthusiasm. A new year often brings with it a fresh outlook, new ideas, and a seemingly endless list of resolutions. But few strategize on how to realistically achieve their goals. Start the new year right at work with practical and achievable goals designed to accelerate your career and create new opportunities for growth.

In order to help you start your new year off on the right foot, we've compiled a list of 5 best practices for the office in 2024. Not only will these help you start your year off right, but when implemented in practice, they can completely change the way you do business.

1. Set Reasonable, Measurable Goals

Setting goals that you can reasonably achieve by the end of the year will help you feel more fulfilled and more successful in your career. Goals can be either short-term or long-term in nature and can be achieved within a specific time period such as a week, month, or year.

One strategy commonly used in goal setting is the SMART goal method:  

  • (S) Specific – Make goals as specific as possible

  • (M) Measurable – Establish metrics for measuring the progress of goals

  • (A) Attainable – Ensure that goals are reached in a certain timeframe

  • (R) Relevant – Goals should align with your values

  • (T) Time-based – Set realistic, ambitious end dates for motivation

2. Create a Plan

Without a plan, navigating the path to career success can be difficult. Create a plan that describes all  the steps needed to reach your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to complete a major project, divide the project into specific milestones and assign individual activities to specific people or departments. The plan should outline all tasks, deliverables, funding, milestones, resources, and other relevant information.

3. Set Aside Time for Your Goals

The busyness of daily work can prevent you from achieving your goals. Many people use the excuse that "I don't have time" or that working on a goal will force them to make sacrifices in other areas. In fact, most people have enough time during the day to dedicate to achieving their goals. For example, you can go to bed a little earlier at night, wake up earlier in the morning, and use this quiet time to work. If you're a night owl, consider staying up 30 minutes longer at night. Instead of wasting time going out for lunch every afternoon, pack a lunch and use the extra time to work on your goals.

4. Strategize How to Get New Skills

By developing new skills, you can  work more effectively and reach your goals faster than you thought. There are many things you can do to improve your skills. For example: Things like taking an online course or finding a mentor to help you overcome your challenges. Learn everything there is to know about the subject and take on new challenges to improve your skill level.

5. Create a Calendar

Consider creating a calendar that acts as a kind of to-do list to help you remember everything you need to accomplish throughout the year. Write down conference dates, events  you need to attend,  important milestones  you want to accomplish, etc. When setting goals, consider tying each milestone to a deadline marked on your calendar to stay motivated.

Source: Roam, Forbes, Coalesse

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