Goal Setting in 2021 – Are You Kidding Me?

Saasha Reese, Talent Development Specialist 

Write a Goal for the New Year in a White Notebook on a White Desktop Next to a Coffee Mug and a Keyboard. Top View, Flat Layout.

If 2020 taught us anything, it would be to hold our plans with an open hand because they are sure to change. Now, here we are at the beginning of a new year and many of us are hesitant to buy new planners or set new goals, but don’t throw the whole year out yet. Let me make a case for goal setting. 

Goal setting offers us valuable things. Setting goals plants a seed of hopefulness and a healthy expectation of good. It clarifies our vision and values while setting intention. Setting professional goals gives us a clear metric to assess our work, and as Brené Brown states, “Clear is kind.” As we begin the year, let’s choose to be both hopeful and realistic in our goals.  

One method that has worked well for me over this past year was setting monthly goals. Since I didn’t dare set huge goals for the ever-changing year, I found it more manageable and successful to sit down at the beginning of each month and set two or three personal goals for that month. One way to incorporate monthly goals into your life is to pick a few categories for the month and set a small goal for each. For several months, I chose an intellectual goal, a spiritual goal and a physical goal to focus on. I found that I achieved much more with monthly goals than in previous years when I tried to push through year-long goals! If you try this strategy, create goals that challenge but don’t overwhelm you; goals that add to your life not just restrict you; and goals that support your values.  

It is also the season of performance appraisals when we evaluate our professional goals from the previous year. Employees begin their performance appraisals by completing the self-appraisal portion in Paycom starting today, Jan. 11, 2021. As you reflect on your professional goals and progress from 2020, begin considering the performance and development goals that you would like to set for 2021. This will give you an opportunity to set clear objectives and goals with your supervisor for the coming year. Learn more about the performance appraisals at UCO and find resources to assist you in the process.  

As we begin the year with no idea of what it will hold, I want to encourage us all to lean into setting goals, not only as a healthy practice but also as a symbol of hope in 2021!