‘Tis the season for making lists and checking them twice. I’m betting that one of your lists has to do with personal and professional goal setting for the New Year. Am I right? Don’t we all want to make a fresh and improved start in January? Well, if you’re like me, you’ll be setting goals for improving workplace productivity, relationships, and scheduling time for fun. Here are 5 questions and tips to help you narrow down your list to focus on the most important goals that will have the greatest positive impact for you, at home and at work.

  1. Is that one thing really worth it? Don’t keep spending time and energy on tasks, people, customers, reports, problems, or whatever it may be, that undermine your happiness or your organization’s goals.

Tip: Take the time to be clear about what you should be doing, as well as what you shouldn’t, before you go any further with your 2020 goals list.

  1. Is this the year of your elephant? So often, I see organizations tip-toe around issues, personalities, and problems that are obvious to everyone, but no one wants to “rock the boat.” However, at the same time, isn’t that elephant sitting in on and disrupting every meeting, taking advantage of privileges, leading managers around by the nose, or stirring up one conflict after another? Isn’t the result of appeasing the elephant weighing down your organization’s morale, energy, leadership confidence, and overall productivity?

Tip: Utilize a planned and focused organization development methodology to address and eliminate the elephant to give your organization the spark it needs to set 2020 on fire.

  1. Are you being too serious? I’m not advocating you relax the quality of your work or the commitment you have to your organization. What I am suggesting is that you wish for and find a way to balance personal time with time dedicated to hard work and 24/7 expectations.

Tip: Somewhere among all the things you’re doing, you need to have fun. That can take a log of forms: workplace potlucks, planning time for vacations, spending quality time on a hobby, taking a class and expanding your interests, or whatever you enjoy that can recharge you.

Bonus: If you’re looking for a fabulous book on the importance of play and creativity, don’t miss reading Play by Dr. Stuart Brown.

  1. Have you made learning a priority? Professional development is one of the key areas that gets cut during organizational hardships. The sad thing about that is that we all need continuous improvement. It doesn’t matter if it’s people skills, leadership techniques, certifications, or staying up to speed on the latest technology impacting the way we work. In this global environment where the only thing we can count on is change, learning is important for sustaining a competitive advantage.

Tip: In 2020, do what you can to invest in your mind and spirit or, if you’re in a position to do so, open your organization up to investing in your employees. You may find working with an executive coach is a great way to invest in development while having the least amount of disruption on your productivity.

  1. Can you report on the ideas of others or just yourself? So much of our focus these days is on “ME.” Take 2020 to move that focus and make it all about your colleagues, co-workers, customers, family, and new acquaintances. Improving communication and collaboration in the workplace is important for creating and sustaining trust, as well as motivating risk-taking and innovation.

Tip: Have an inquiring mind that wants to hear their stories, ideas, opinions, and experiences. Learn to use your ears more than your mouth. Value the input and feedback from others, and reinforce their value and contributions to the organization.

Creating your goals list based on these ideas will go a long way toward introducing and sustaining positive personal and organizational change, leading to success in 2020.


This blog was written by Deborah A. King, SPHR, RCC, the CEO and President of Evolution Management, Inc. Debbie and her team are energized about transforming human performance through the evolution of workplace culture. Contact EMI for more information about how we can assist you personally or to help achieve organizational change: www.evolutionmgt.com / 770.587.9032.