Of all the columns I write, my favourite is always this one – the first of a new year. The festivities are over and a tight waistband is the only reminder of the frenetic, fun end to a busy year. Time away from work has allowed reflection on the year gone by, and for the crystallisation of goals for the new year.
Some of us are naturally goal-orientated, others more laid-back and likely to let life unfold without right plans. I am definitely of the first variety, and firmly believe that it has stood me in good stead in my working life. My business has survived 20 years, and, whilst it and I have gently morphed into something that was perhaps not part of the original plan, it has achieved what it set out to.
I clearly remember the humble beginnings as if it were yesterday. I left a demanding job to spend more time with my toddlers, flexibility being my main goal. Secondary was to make a difference and to do something I really loved. The byline of my business then, a PR and promotions company, was ‘facilitating with flair’. I started with R500 and a fax machine, half a PA and a rented room in a communal office. In those days there was no such thing as a virtual office!
I urge you to push your fast forward button. Look ahead – maybe not 20 years, but even five, or two? Think about what you would like to achieve, and how you would like to work. Let me share some goal-setting tips:
- Sit quietly, avoiding interruptions.
- Carefully consider what your strengths are, and how you can use them in your career.
- Think of how you can make an impact.
- Conjure up the big picture in your mind – where to you want to go, what do you want to do and how do you wish to do it?
- Divide your life into aspects – work, home, family, friends, health, wealth, faith, learning and community – whatever is appropriate for you.
- Write down your short, medium and long-term goals under these headings.
- Now write three words down – your byline.
Over the years I moved out of PR to meet the demands of brand, performance and leadership training and writing. My goals remain the same, yet now I am facilitating the development and success of others in their lives. Coming full circle, still facilitating with flair.