Your 2024 Guide to Goal Setting

Your 2024 Guide to Goal Setting

This time of year, that pesky word that so many of us struggle with comes back into our daily vocabularies: resolutions!

As 2023 closes out and we get ready to start a new year, many people take this opportunity to look back on the year and simultaneously look ahead with a pledge for improvements. Whether it’s about eating better, exercising more, spending more time with family or making more room for your own self-care, we’ve likely all had the experience of resolving to strengthen one area of our lives where we’re struggling. But we’ve all probably had another similar experience: resolutions that don’t work!

With busy schedules, changing conditions and building stress throughout the year, it can be far too easy to fall off the resolution bandwagon as January fades. But the idea of committing to an aspiration is an admirable one—it just needs to be realistic!

If you’ve found yourself struggling to commit to your annual resolutions, it may be time to rethink both what you’re striving for, and how you plan to get there. Instead of setting a “resolution,” think of it as a goal—one that you’re going to continually work toward, with both progress and pitfalls! Even if you don’t get there 100% by the end of 2024, look back and celebrate all the small wins. And throughout the year, take inventory: A goal is something that has be continuously managed, adjusted and even changed; check in with yourself on how your goals are coming along and don’t be afraid to switch things up as you learn and grow.

As opposed to resolutions, goals are more tangible and measurable—so, when you can see how far you’ve come along your journey to reaching that goal, you’re in a much better position to keep going. Here are a few ideas that can you get started on your goal-setting process. These can be applied to both your personal and professional lives—and, ideally, they’ll touch on both!

Invest in yourself:

A new year is a perfect opportunity to make yourself a priority—and there are lots of measurable ways to meet this goal! Sign up for training courses related to your work—or, even better, a new skill you want to develop!—and attend networking events to help you take the next big step in your career. On a personal level, save up and gift yourself a yoga class, gym membership or massage session to work on both your physical and mental health.

Zero in on your skills:

Make 2024 a time for more self-awareness—and that includes understanding both your strengths and your weaknesses. Take stock of all of the experiences you’ve had—from jobs to education to life challenges—and document all of the skills they’ve armed you with (as well as the areas where you need some improvement). Use this lens to update your resume and online profiles to most accurately reflect you—and even rely on this awareness as you consider future jobs and career moves.

Rethink where you’re headed:

Traditional New Year’s resolutions are built on the past—doing X,Y and Z better. But with a goal-setting approach, you can be more future-oriented. So, this year, keep 2023 in the past and look ahead! If you’re on the job hunt, encourage yourself to apply to a certain number of positions in a field in which you’ve never worked. Challenge yourself to try something that would normally intimidate you (from going skydiving to asking for that big raise!). Commit to taking one new step for yourself, or your career, every month. With a goal to reimagine your future, the possibilities are endless—and they’re all yours!