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Goal setting, the short-term and the long-term

Goals and targets help to keep us all on track. Whether it be an amount of money we want to make, an amount of work we want to get done or even an amount of down time that we want to achieve each day. I think it is fair to say that goals are what keep us, as humans, focused. Although we all set goals, each of us has completely different focuses and aims for our lives.

For some, setting goals at work may make them more efficient and productive. For others, goals may give them the clarity they need to strike the perfect work-life balance, which for some may be the focus of 2022. And for others it may be thinking about ‘what should I do next’ that gives them a focus, as they progress onto new ventures.

How do we take the first step?

As we start a new year, it’s the perfect time to set those resolutions and get those goals. I, personally, like to write these goals down on paper. Having goals written down on paper makes me hold myself accountable when it comes to the end of the year and checking whether or not I stuck to my goals. Having the physical list of goals also allows me to check in and see how I am progressing. By giving myself a few checkpoints throughout the year, I am able to measure my progress and see what I need to do to meet the target.
These check-in points allow me to take a long-term goal and split it into many short-term goals. Instead of having one long goal and no way for me to track my progress, I am able to give myself clear markers of progress along the way.

Towards the end of 2021, I spoke to Kofi Oppong, the founder of Urban MBA. I learnt all about his organisation and how Urban MBA learns from the past and looks to the future. Kofi had told me about the need for long-term and short-term goal setting, especially within the younger generations. We had a great conversation about how the younger generations seek quicker turnarounds, instant rewards and plan shorter goals. With a change in how quickly we can see results, specifically in relation to the use of social media and the instant gratification a retweet may give us, our conversation focused on the use of technology and social media within GenZ.

So I thought it would be good to learn even more about long-term goal setting and its importance. So I asked Kofi to explain this a little more.
Kofi wrote “Nobody on our courses is allowed to do anything to do with business unless they have been through goal setting. That is because without a goal you have nothing to look forward to and then and as I always say if you have not set any goals yourself you become part of somebody else’s goals.”
Making sure you have your own ambition is important. Not only to develop your sense of determination and drive, but also to make sure your goals are your own. Making sure YOU thrive and YOU develop in line with YOUR interests and aims should be at the forefront of your daily actions. Yes, we do all have to interact with others and these interactions matter too, but in terms of achieving your goals, you will have to do the work. If you want to earn a certain amount of money, it may mean starting a new business or taking on extra responsibility at work. If you want to have more of a personal life and shut off from work at a certain time, it is up to you to implement steps to make that happen. This all comes from setting our own goals, and accepting the responsibility ourselves.

Kofi went on to say “It is very important to remember that you need to be motivated and inspired in order to really gain long-term change. As pointed out already, that is the main reason people are changing jobs! Many have decided they are no longer prepared to put up with just working[…]”. Work should be something we are passionate about. In 2020, Kofi tells us “There were almost 726,000 new businesses created in the UK in 2020”. In a time where uncertainty was at its peak, the goal setting, passion and ambition shone through as more and more people took to setting up new businesses that they wanted to create.
Setting up a business isn’t a short-term goal. It is a long-term goal which requires a lot of time before the business is even set up, and then constant maintenance after the business is up and running. The increase in new businesses shows a great interest in long-term goals and determination. Hopefully, the year of lockdown can instead be remembered as the year of start-up businesses.
Whether you are looking to set up a new business, focus on your work-life balance, or maintain the balance you have found, goal setting is one tool that can help keep us on track.

Within the Self-awareness and Self-belief unit in the Passport to Enterprise and Employment, we discuss the importance of goal setting, how to set goals and what makes a good goal. This unit has a focus on goal setting in relation to setting up a business, so it is perfect for those looking to set up their business who need a little extra guidance. If this is something that interests you and you want to learn more, get in touch with us and ask about our passport qualifications.

We can all make 2022 a well-structured and productive year. Let’s get some goals written down and check back in towards the end of the year. Wishing all of our centres, members and everyone in our network a very productive year!

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