Goal setting for the new year: 6 tips to make 2017 your best year yet!

Making plans and resolutions for a new year can be empowering. The decision to make a fresh, new start and improve certain areas of your life, can give you that heady, I-run-the-world, feeling.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and we fall off the wagon, despite our best intentions. So much so, that many of us decide that new year resolutions are not worthwhile.

However, carefully planned for in a measurable way, new year resolutions can be a powerful way to improve and grow, year after year. The trick is to identify areas of improvement and create concrete, measurable steps to help you reach your goals.

Below are six areas you can focus on to make 2017 the year you crush all your goals and come out on top.

These recommendations are mostly general, so feel free to customize per your specific situation and needs.

1.       Kick a Bad Habit: We all struggle with at least one habit that has cost us opportunities in the past and held us back. In fact, the average person has several poor habits that hinder them from being our best selves. In 2017, decide to get rid of these habits for good, but don’t pick more than two at a time to focus on, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you need to kill procrastination. Instead of saying ‘I will stop procrastinating’ get more specific and say 'I will create weekly to-do lists and assign deadlines to each item'. This way, your efforts are measurable and putting it in writing helps to keep you accountable.

2.       Learn a new skill or improve an existing one: continuous improvement a definite path to growth for us as individuals and professionals. Determine what new skills you need to learn to boost your career and commit to it acquiring it. A great way would be signing up for a course, or allocating specific times to practice and hone your existing skills. Again, you will need to set tangible and measurable goals.

3.       Pick a role model to emulate: Learning from someone who has qualities we admire is a great way to better ourselves. Role models need not be larger than life figures. It could be someone in your field of expertise who is doing well. Being part of an awesome coworking community like CapitalSquare makes it easy to connect with great talent and accomplished people.

4.       Read a great book: Books are great ways to improve knowledge and gain wisdom. Perhaps there’s a certain book you’d love to read, but you keep putting it off because of the time required. Digest it one chapter at a time over a specified period. Again, it helps to set aside time to do so, otherwise, you might never get to finish it. A great read we recommend is Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman a Nobel laureate in Economics and Psychology.

5.       Try something new: Nothing makes life richer than new experiences and great memories. This year visit a place you’ve never been, try out new food or explore a new genre of music. Trying out new things keeps your mind agile and boosts creativity, so this is a great way to have fun and improve yourself at the same time.

6.       Take Stock of your progress: Peter Drucker says that only the things that get measured, get improve. Take the time every now and then, to review your life, career and goals periodically. This will help you determine how well you’re doing, what is working and what needs to be changed, so you can adjust where necessary.

What goals are you hoping to achieve in 2017? What are your tips for making sure you achieve them? Do share with us in the comments.