FOCUS on goals, not just resolutions, this year

Set yourself up for success in 2020!

What resolutions did you make when the clock hit midnight this year? Maybe that you would lose weight, stop eating junk food, or that you would stop spending so much time on Facebook? Are you sticking with those resolutions? Chances are that you soon will be in the 80 percent of people who abandon their resolutions by February.

But don’t fret. It isn’t too late to set yourself and your team up for success in 2020.

A “New Year, New Me” mentality should start with setting goals, not just resolutions. What’s the difference? A resolution is simply a promise to yourself that you are going to do something or refrain from doing something. In comparison, a goal works toward a specific, measurable result. Resolutions can be helpful, but setting goals within your resolutions can help you better achieve the desired results because you can see and track your progress.

Setting goals is important for you personally and professionally, but it's also important for your workplace team. Setting goals in the workplace will help to bring your employees and organization to the next level of success.

So, where do you start?

Step One: Grab a pen and paper. Physically writing your goals down makes them real and tangible, and helps you to remember what you are trying to achieve.

Step Two: Think about your priorities in your life -- whether at home or at work.

Step Three: Your goals should be SMART:

  • Specific,
  • Measurable,
  • Achievable,
  • Realistic, and
  • Time-based

These are the characteristics that differentiate a goal from a resolution and set you up for success.

Step Four: Next, create an action plan. What smaller steps will you take to meet your goal in the time period that you set out? By writing out these “mini-goals,” you can better see the progress that you are making toward your goal.

Step Five (and Six, Seven, Eight, Nine . . .) Stick with it! Post your goals, so that you will be reminded of them each day. Set reminders on your phone or in your calendar to stay on track with your plan. It is inevitable that you will sometimes miss a mini-goal, or something will happen that will keep you from achieving your overall goal. However, don’t let this keep you from moving forward and making progress. 

Most importantly, celebrate your successes – both big and small!


Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been the bedrock of our firm since we opened over 75 years ago. As we like to say, it is in our DNA. We believe that to foster diverse leadership and urge diversity of thought, we must do what we can to advance the conversation about diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging in the workplace and the communities in which our workplaces thrive. Through our blog, we share our insights from the perspective of both an employer and employee, regarding emerging issues that affect diverse leaders and workforces. We hope you enjoy our tidbits of legal and practical information, wisdom, and humor. Thanks for joining the conversation!


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