Julie Tucker
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New year, new goals!

Setting new goals in the New Year is important for every business.

The aim is to run a successful company, no matter what sector you’re in. If your income has been dented in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 is time to start afresh, with new goals to get back on track.

If you’re usually based in a coworking environment, the chances are you may be self-employed or a freelancer. Unlike when you work for a large corporation, the onus is on you to set and attain targets. Being self-motivated is part and parcel of the territory.

Returning to work after the festive period is a time to start creating achievable goals for 2021. The past year is history and it’s time to look to the future!

Comfort zone
Being self-motivated isn’t just a case of getting up and starting work on time every day – although this helps, of course. It’s all about forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. Reaching your goals means you need to feel motivated, energised and inspired.

Doing things outside of your comfort zone can be done incrementally. Perhaps start by getting up 20 minutes early each day to take a walk, join an online interest group to communicate with new people, or start a conversation with a work colleague to whom you haven’t chatted before.

Do something that inspires you to make a little more effort than usual. It’s too easy to get into a daily routine and work at a pace you’re used to, but this can stifle creativity in the long term. You need to set yourself achievable goals so you have something new to aim for.

One of the best ways to kick off the New Year is to plan goal-setting every three months. You can’t set all your goals for 2021 during the first week in January. You can get an overall feel for how you want to progress, but you need to update your objectives periodically.

The ability to self-review your performance is critical, reflecting on and assessing what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’s important to your growth as an individual and to the growth of your business.

When there’s no-one watching and telling you what’s working and what isn’t, it’s all down to you to assess how your business is doing. You should be continually striving for growth. Coworking environments provide an energised atmosphere, with like-minded people around you, so inspiring creativity.

Honesty with performance
Be honest and critical when self-assessing your performance. It’s not just about feeling proud of your successes, it’s also about critically assessing the times you’ve fallen short. Once you admit your weaknesses, you understand the areas for improvement and won’t make the same mistakes again.

Don’t be so hard on yourself that you’re being negative. Rather than admitting, “Here’s where I really fell down,” instead say to yourself, “This is an area I need to work on.”

Personal improvements
Be committed to improving and educating yourself. List your goals for 2021 and don’t be content to settle for what you already have. Adopt a growth mindset and remind yourself your potential isn’t set in stone. Everyone has the potential for improvement both personally and professionally.

If you know your business has been struggling, self-improvement is the way forward. Even if you feel your company is thriving, growth opportunities stop you from stagnating and becoming bored.

What are the most common work goals?
Everyone makes New Year resolutions and this is the most popular time for people to set themselves new work goals. The key is to set specific goals, rather than general ones. Studies show 90% of workers achieve more when they have specific goals, rather than a vague goal, such as “do my best to succeed”.

Once you’ve decided on a specific goal, you need a way of measuring its success. For example, it’s easier if it has some kind of numerical target, such as signing up five new clients during the next three months.

According to research by Accountemps, 68% of professionals surveyed about their New Year goals had not set a specific target. Their goal was to “further their career” to earn more money, but they had not devised a specific means of doing so, although some said they aimed to “develop more skills”.

This isn’t the best way of setting goals and although you might begin the year with great aspirations, they ultimately collapse, due to a heavy workload, stress or other obligations. It’s far better to set specific, achievable targets that will give you a morale boost and help build your business.

Coworking milestones
When you run your own business in a coworking space, it can be easier to understand and achieve milestones. For example, your first milestone might simply be establishing your business. Subsequent goals should include creating a marketing strategy and then other landmarks, specific to your individual business. This could be attracting a certain number of clients, earning a certain profit within a predetermined timeframe, or taking on staff in line with your expansion plan. The point of goals is to evaluate how you’re getting on and to re-evaluate continually, adjusting your strategy if necessary.

Start 2021 as you mean to go on and set some new goals. Discuss them with your fellow coworkers if this helps, as the other great thing about coworking is the sense of community. Take advantage of the networking opportunities and the chance to collaborate and get the year off to a flying start.


© Kondoruk / Shutterstock.com

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