A new financial year is like the start of the new school year. A chance to crack open fresh exercise books and sharpened pencils with renewed focus and determination… maybe even a little excitement!

After the year that has been, for many, it’s a great time to draw a line in the sand.

I have spent the last two days working on my business: reflecting on the challenges I faced and overcame, what I am most proud of and what I want the next year to look like, setting new goals and planning.

Not only has it been a valuable couple of days, I feel excited for, and focused on, the year ahead.

If you are ready to focus on the year ahead, here are some steps that might be useful:

Create space to think and plan
Block out a day in your calendar to give yourself time to reflect. Preferably somewhere you won’t be interrupted, allowing you to do your best thinking and planning. Collate all the critical information, data and KPIs that you will need to tell you the story of the year.

Giving ownership to your team
Depending on your business and the size of your team, getting your team involved in planning for the year ahead can be invaluable. If your team is involved in building your plan, it gives everyone more ownership to deliver the strategies so try to give your people a reasonable level of autonomy and ownership to implement strategies.
Be open to the fact that some strategies could be long-term game-changers

Align your goals with your purpose
By connecting the two, you will not only find it easier to generate buy-in for the work required to achieve the goals, but it’s also a constant reminder of ‘why we do what we do’.

What got you here won’t get you there
Spend some time reflecting on the year. It’s been a year like no other, but this year will have exposed threats, weaknesses, and opportunities.

  • What are KPIs telling you about your business?
  • What worked? What didn’t?
  • From what didn’t work, what was in your control?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • What are your top priorities that need your attention this year?
  • What does success look like for the year ahead?
  • What are your highest priorities?

Not all goals are created equal
If we don’t put any specific measures around what we want to achieve, it’s impossible to know when we’ve reached our goals. Once you have agreed the results you want to achieve, decide on your KPIs to measure success.
Seeing progress is a massive part of achieving ambitious goals. Break down your big goal into smaller, progressive milestones.

Something that can be done at any time is done at no time
Set deadlines for your smaller and larger goals and create a plan around this timeline. Things will change – that’s business – so be prepared to be strategic and adaptable in pursuing your goals.

Celebrate the successes along the way
It’s a journey; along the way, stopping and recognising the small wins is essential. This motivates your team and helps ensure you are on the right track to achieving your goals and making any necessary adjustments.

And finally, the most crucial question: Have you got an environment where goals can be achieved?
Great goals and strategies alone will not achieve great results. Creating and maintaining an environment where your people are engaged and consistently performing will ensure you achieve your goals.