Don’t Set Goals For 2014

Published on December 30, 2013 by

A friend and colleague emailed me a few days ago to ask me if I had set my goals for the upcoming New Year. I hadn't yet--and my suggestion for you is to hold off setting any goals for next year for now.

(By the way, if you supervise or manage anyone at work, apply what I'm going to say to leading your team.)

Instead of rushing in to set goals for the upcoming year, do this instead:

Celebrate the past year--before you think about and celebrate the upcoming New Year.

Here's how to do this in a way that will set you up for success:

Take some time and write down everything you can think of from 2013 that creates positive energy for yourself. When you write something down, take a minute and let the good feelings pop up--and then enjoy them.

Why is this important?

Think about it this way: If you were leading a team at work and you failed to acknowledge their progress and success, how would they feel about that? Not good. They would probably be thinking, "Maybe it's time I go somewhere I'm appreciated."

The point is that you are leading someone--even if that someone is you.

Before you start asking yourself what goals you're going to achieve next year, remember and relish your past growth and your past successes.

Show yourself some appreciation and give yourself some credit and praise for what has already taken place--before you consider what you want for the future.

If last year was challenging for you, this is even more important to do than if you had a stellar year.

It's time to inspire yourself instead of trying to "drive" yourself to greater accomplishments.

After you spend some time showing yourself some appreciation and respect, you will you be in a strong position to spend some time thinking about your goals for 2014.




  1. Steve

    Man, that's a great point! I've never thought of it from that perspective. I'm always in a hurry to dismiss the previous year, or even worse, focus on all the negative. I usually go into planning for the new year with the negative energy of hoping that it will not be like the last year.


    • Alan Allard

      Steve, thanks for you comments. The great thing is that this is such a simple thing to do, and even thirty minutes of remembering what has gone well will set us up to begin the New Year in a strong way.

  2. Rob

    Thanks for the great suggestion, Alan. I did this exercise and am keeping it with my 2014 goals. Funny how taking time to write things down brings things to mind you thought you'd never forget!

  3. TJ

    Excellent point! I often forget to celebrate the successes.

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