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How To Plan for Your Most Successful Year at Work

I don’t know about you, but with 2019 fast approaching… I have been thinking a lot about what the next year might look like for me in terms of my big dreams and the goals I want to achieve with my business.

Anyone else out there itching to get started planning for a successful year at work?

While I’m talking about the importance of letting go of our expectations and remaining flexible in our plans as a way to meet success in the future on Episode 102 of the podcast this week… I thought I might take some time today to discuss a few ways that you can plan for an incredibly successful year in the workplace… without running the risk of becoming derailed when something doesn’t necessarily go the way that we imagined.

Flexibility is key here, so I want to encourage you to keep that in the back of your mind as you read on. And with that, let’s get started!

 

5 Ways to Plan for Success in 2019

 

1. REFLECT—

The very first step in my process is to reflect on the year that is coming to a close. After all, very little progress (at least in my experience) comes without assessing what has worked and what hasn’t when it comes to achieving the goals that we set for ourselves, so I encourage you to take just a little bit of time before setting your goals for the new year… and to reflect on how well you’ve done.

If 2018 was a particularly trying year for you at work… a few great questions to focus on as you’re preparing for the near year ahead might be: Did you feel stuck, procrastinate, and fall behind on making progress with your goals?

If you found yourself procrastinating and struggling to find the time to get everything done at work, then it might be time to have a difficult conversation with yourself to find out why that might be. What thwarted your progress, or stifled your motivation? Could there be a better approach to your goals in the new year? What might that look like?

Make some notes for yourself about what worked well for you this year and what didn’t… and keep those in mind as you start to prepare your goals for the new year.

If you want to improve and set yourself up for success… then it’s imperative that you dive in deep and do some honest reflection about how you’ve approached the subject in the past.

Chances are, there will be some room for improvement, and you will want to get a handle on that so that you can make those necessary adjustments as soon as possible.

 

2. CREATE SMART (QUARTERLY) GOALS—

While it may not seem like it… a year is a pretty broad period of time.

Part of the problem that I have found when it comes to setting goals is that we often have a habit of looking at goals too broadly. We look at the year ahead and we think to ourselves… Well, a year is plenty of time to meet success!

And so, we create lofty goals with the intention to complete them sometime within the year ahead… but we fail to set up a timeline that will help us break down those goals into small, achievable steps. In other words, we lack a SMART approach to achieving them.

As a result, we lose motivation and focus quickly—and procrastination, fear, and all of those other ugly habits creep in and derail us.

The key here is to look at those broad goals, and break them down into small, bite-sized pieces. A great way to do this is to break your goals up into quarters—meaning that you create quarterly goals based off of your larger ones.

Because guess what… It’s nearly impossible to know exactly where you will be or how you’ll be doing in a year’s time. After all… a lot can happen in a year!

Not sure of how to set SMART goals? Refer back to Episode 002 for a crash course!

 

3. CREATE AN ACTION PLAN—

This step often goes hand-in-hand with creating quarterly goals… But the main idea here is that it’s important to have an action plan in place when it comes to meeting success in the pursuit of our goals.

I like to consider my action plan as my road map to success… Once I have my goals set and I’ve broken them down into smaller, bite-sized pieces, my next course of action is to create a plan that will help keep me motivated throughout the year—one that I can stick to!

If you’re unsure of how this is done, check out Episode 003… I’ve got an Action Worksheet that you can download to help!

 

4. STICK TO A SCHEDULE—

When it comes to goals in the workplace… having a plan of attack is key.

Distractions happen all of the time in the workplace, but one of the ways that we can minimize those distractions (even when we cause them ourselves) is by creating a weekly schedule that we can stick to.

This is especially true if you’re someone that wears a lot of hats in the workplace. How can you possibly juggle all of those roles and all of the tasks that pile up on your plate without any plan in place to get everything done? Chances are… not very well.

A great habit to get into is to set your schedule up each week. (I like to sit down and create my schedule for the week ahead each and every Sunday.) What big projects do you have on the horizon that will require your energy and focus? What tasks require your immediate attention, and need to be your priority this week? Write them down!

The better understanding you have of where your priorities should be in the workplace, the more likely you’ll be to achieve the success that you want later on.

 

5. VISUALIZE YOUR SUCCESS—

So… You’ve set your goals, you’ve broken them down into small, bite-sized pieces, and you’ve created an action plan to help you maintain your focus throughout the year. Now what?

Imagine yourself achieving the goals you’ve set and crossing the finish line of success at the end of the year!

We have talked about the power of visualization a lot… and there’s a reason why. When it comes to achieving goals, visualizing yourself meeting that success can be incredibly helpful.

In its basic form, visualization is the deliberate creation of images in one’s mind… And when done correctly, it can be an effective way to overcome any obstacles that life throws at us and to achieve success.

Unsure of how this is done? Tune in to Episode 078 and start visualizing your success right away. You might be surprised by how well this practice works!

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What are some of your big work goals for the New Year? I would love to hear about them! Share your ideas in the comments below… And tune in to Episode 102 this week where I’m talking all about the importance of letting go when our best-laid plans don’t pan out as we thought they would, so that we can recover quickly and carry on our journey toward success.

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton