Need a 2018 strategy for personal and business goals?

Post originally appeared on Standardbank Bizconnect

The start of a new year can be both daunting and exciting. How you interpret the year ahead depends largely on your outlook and attitude, but enthusiasm isn’t enough. Here are six steps to (help you and your team) set effective goals this year.

Even optimistic people, who are fired up and ready to make 2018 great, shouldn’t forge on ahead without a plan or strategy, nor neglect setting effective goals. (Emphasis being on the word, ‘effective’.)

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”- Earl Nightingale

Here’s how to set effective goals and how to consistently work towards achieving them. You can interpret the following for yourself, as an individual, or adapt them for you team:

1. Why are you here?

There are two parts to this question: Why do you exist and why have you chosen to work where you do or do the work you do if you’re an entrepreneur?

Getting a personal or business coach can really be helpful here as they’ll be able to ‘read between the lines’ and objectively guide you and / or your team to see and clearly understand the bigger picture.

Don’t get confused between your ‘job title’ and ‘job description’. It’s the WHY behind your job title that is important to your business growth, not the ‘job description’, which may limit you to tasks, requirements and expectations.

My job title is: Petra Laranjo – inspirational speaker, personal and career coach, facilitator, published author and image specialist. My job description is to inspire authentic confidence in people so that they — you — can live a fulfilled, happy and impactful life which is connected to your purpose, potential and worth.

Through this healing begins, business grows, (client) relationships are nurtured, growth ensues and your vision is broadened to impact and uplift those around you.

As you can see, my job description far outweighs my job title.

Also note that my job description does include a ‘to-do’ list but rather focuses on who I am and why I’m here.

2. What is the most important outcome that you want to achieve in 2018?


Pick only one for your business / career and personal life. For example, ‘I want to be financially independent’, ‘create work that I love’, ‘be happy.’

It’s okay to keep your answer broad for now as limiting your ‘outcome’ to one answer will empower you to focus on what you actually want. There’s power in knowing the difference between that and what you think you want.

3. Is your desired outcome aligned with your values?

You may be feeling anxious if there’s a disconnect between the two. An example is if you want to be promoted to a management position which may include large volumes of admin, policies and procedures, when mentoring people is actually what’s important to you.

Another approach is asking yourself what you want to be known for.

4. What do you need to start, stop or change?

To accomplish and maintain this reputation or legacy, reflect on what worked and what didn’t in 2017 or look further back.

This is a step that many people overlook because they’re in a hurry to get going or don’t want to relive the discomfort, embarrassment or pain. Looking back offers you great perspective, if you’re open to the lessons. You may spot a trend of limiting habits which, if transformed, could prove to be a game-changer.

“A lot of people get negative feedback and they get stuck there, but for me that feedback is a big driving force to change. You’ve got to have the right attitude to see the opportunities.” – Mariaan Du Plessis,CEO of the Medical Nutritional Institute (MNI)

Whoever and wherever you are in life, there’s always room for improvement.

5. Map the road ahead

Map out your year in quarters – monthly and then weekly. Evaluate and course-correct as you go. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

6. What is the most important outcome that you need to achieve (today) in order to get closer to you goal?

Ask yourself this question every morning and you’ll stay focused on completing that outcome before the day’s end, instead of merely trying to tick off your increasing to-do list. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days,” Zig Ziglar says.

You may find yourself revisiting your answers above and altering them – I absolutely encourage that. This process is meant to be fluid and evolving.Take your time because rushing through it may result in frustration and unfulfillment down the line.

Be honest with yourself about you desires, intentions and hopes. Do this without judgement and if you aren’t where or who you want to be, change something. Being able to change (your decisions and who you are) is a brave decision. It means that you value your worth, are clear in your purpose, are passionate about making every day count and hopefully, inspired to impact others.

Here’s to an incredible yeah ahead, to living your best life and to growing impactful businesses.

Written by Petra Laranjo

Inspirational Speaker. Author. Image Specialist. Personal Growth & Career Coach.

23rd January 2018

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