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It’s Time to Set Goals for Your Team (Not Resolutions)

It’s Time to Set Goals for Your Team (Not Resolutions)

Employer Tips / January 14, 2021

Resolutions are not the same as goals. Resolutions are vague—a new mindset or outlook. They come as a result self-reflection on the past year, perhaps after dissatisfaction or disappointment. But goals are a step forward—they’re specific, measurable, and time-sensitive. To set goals, you need a vision and a map to get there. As a business leader, you have to rally your employees, assign tasks, and hold everyone accountable for getting there. Here’s how you can empower your team to set goals—not resolutions—for the New Year.

Identify the big picture

Meet with the individuals on your team to identify their vision, mission, and values for their professional and personal lives. Find out what matters most to them. Ask them where they see for themselves right now and in the future. What’s their mission, their sense of purpose? Why do they get out of bed in the morning? What do they hope to contribute to the company or to the greater community?

Establish SMART goalsIt’s Time to Set Goals for Your Team (Not Resolutions)

SMART is an acronym to help you develop goals that you can pursue more effectively. S stands for ‘specific’—goals that are precise and quantifiable. M stands for ‘measurable,’ like ‘increasing your output by 10%,’ so you know for sure whether you’ve reached your goals and how much progress you’ve made. Next, you have to make your goals ‘attainable,’ that they’re realistic and possible. To make sure your goals are ‘results oriented,’ they have to measure the outcome of your efforts, not something more subjective, like a character trait or soft skill. And finally, ‘T’ stands for ‘time,’ meaning that you set a reasonable deadline to achieve your goals.

Map out the process

Divvy up your employee’s goals into short-term—those in the next few weeks and months and in the 1 to 3 year range—and long-term goals—the 3 to 5 year range. Then try to anticipate some of the obstacles and challenges that might lie ahead of them. Map out a plan to overcome them, what they can do to achieve the goals, and when.

Put them in writing

Keep those goals in a safe place. Encourage your employees to tell others, such as families, friends, and coworkers about their goals, so that they have help and support and cooperation from other stakeholders. Having other people who can check in on their progress will help them stay focused and disciplined.

Figure out the accountability processIt’s Time to Set Goals for Your Team (Not Resolutions)

As you set goals, establish a plan of when to check in, revisit the goals, and check progress. You can always reevaluate the goals, change the measurable quantity, or adjust the timeline to make them more realistic. Encourage them to keep an open mind and not to give up when they encounter a setback or make a mistake. The more supportive you are and the more confident they feel, the more likely they are to achieve their goals.


For more information on supporting your team as they plan their goals for the New Year, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh