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What Has The New Year Got For You?

by Arthur Cooper

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Published on this site: January 2004 - See more articles from this month

Do you make new years resolutions? If you do … do you stick to them?

At work – and for your life in general – it is a good thing from time to time to take stock of where you are and of what you have achieved, and of where you want to go and what you want to achieve in the future. And when better to do it that at the start of a new year?

It's a good time to look back over the past year to analyse what you have done. Did you complete all that you set out to do?

At work, did you get promotion? Did you increase your earnings? Did you complete your project successfully?

For your personal development, did you learn new skills? Did you gain in confidence?

At home, are you and your family more content? Are you happier in your private life?

Whatever you wanted to achieve over the last year, take time to consider whether or not you have succeeded.

If you unable to answer the question then the chances are that you never had any measurable aims or goals in the first place.

So your first lesson learnt this year is to set goals for next year. For one thing is sure. If you don't set yourself goals you will never find that drive and force needed to keep yourself moving forward when the going gets tough.

If you were clear about your goals, but still did not attain them, then put some thought into what went wrong. Don't despair, but learn from your mistakes and shortcomings. Were you lacking a vital skill? If so, then make it a primary aim this year to acquire that skill. Did you lack the courage to strike out in a new direction, a new and better job for example? Reanalyse your abilities, your skills and knowledge, and if you are convinced you could have done it then go for it the next time without hesitation. Study the past and learn from it.

When you set your goals for the future, having learnt from the past, make sure that they are challenging but at the same time realistic. Don't make them too easy. You may finish the year feeling good about reaching your goals but in reality you will have not done very much to be proud of. But don't make them too hard either. They must ultimately be attainable with effort and perhaps a bit of luck. If they are totally unrealistic and unachievable you will sooner or later come to see this and start to say "What's the point in even trying?". So aim at worthwhile, challenging, and above all realistic targets.

So set your goals for the year and resolve to attain them. Call It a New Year's Resolution if you like, but do it. You'll not regret it.

Arthur Cooper. , "Successful Management"
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