Practical exercises to help you set meaningful goals for 2023
It’s a tradition: we all use the beginning of the year to reset and think of what we want to achieve over the next few months. Social media platforms are full of content telling us what we should aim for, what we’re probably doing wrong and how we can fix it. Ten tips for a better you? Five-step roadmaps to get the job of your dreams? Goal setting can be overwhelming for all of us.
At Let’s Talk Talent, we also know that HR professionals are extremely busy, and it can be hard to carve out time to think about the future and focus on our list of goals for the year. This is why we’ve come up with a simple, practical exercise to help you visualise what you’d like to achieve in 2023, both on a personal and a professional level. We wanted to share it with you to offer some support over the coming year, with some top goal setting tips from the LTT team to inspire you.
Goal setting 2023 exercise
If you know us, you’ll know we like to do things differently.
This is why we’ve included a creative exercise aimed at facilitating the goal planning process in our 2023 yearly planner: writing a letter to your future self. Why have we chosen the future me letter?
First, it has been proven that people who write down their goals are more likely to succeed. We also believe in the power of accountability: knowing you’ll read that letter in twelve months may help you work harder towards reaching your objective. Here’s how it works.
Writing a letter to your future self: the steps
- Write a letter to yourself, to be opened on 31 December 2023. You may want to write it by hand or on fancy stationery so it stands out from your usual email communications.
- Before you start, imagine yourself reading the letter. Where will you be? What will have changed in your life? Describe these changes in as much detail as you can. You may want to split them up into various categories, such as social life (relationships such as friends or family), personal life (health, hobbies, finances, growth) and professional life (your job, volunteering).
- Now that you have an idea of where you are going, start mapping out how you’ll get there. You may want to schedule regular checkpoints throughout the year to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Do so for each of your set goals.
- Find a way to send yourself the letter. If it’s an electronic document, you could keep it in a hidden folder, try the delay delivery function, or use FutureMe. If it’s a physical letter, hide it somewhere or give it to a trusted friend and ask them to hand it back to you in a year.
Let’s Talk Talent’s goal setting tips
If you’re still in need of some inspiration to set your 2023 goals, the team at LTT has your back. Here are some of their top tips.
Jo Taylor’s goal setting tip: changing one habit at a time
For me, it’s about changing one habit at a time to try and be happier, healthier and a better leader. This year, I was inspired by Claudia Hammond’s book (The Art of Rest). I want to work out what type of rest works best for me, whether that’s walking my dog, seeing friends, or anything else. I’m looking forward to discovering more about myself!
Charlie Southwell’s goal setting tip: focus on heading in the right direction
I tend to break down my goals into six key areas: health, wealth, personal, relationships, community and family. Then I set general directions for each of these goals and think of the habits I want to create to reach them. For me, it’s all about heading in the right direction, so I avoid setting goals with numbers on them. They may end up making me feel bad if I miss them, even if I’ve made progress.
Paula Brockwell’s goal setting tip: setting the tone for the year
I try to set a tone for the year. I start by asking myself how I want to feel by the end of it, and what the milestones are along the way. I also set up checkpoints to ensure I can review my progress and course correct if needed. This year, the theme is going to be “more me”. I’ve spent a few years focusing on being a mum and I’ve loved it, but I’m also looking forward to more adventures!
Lisa Swiatek’s goal setting tip: one season at a time
I set myself seasonal goals rather than yearly ones. I prefer to follow the cycles of nature, which works well for me. It allows me to manage my focus and energy levels as I go along. This way, I continue to progress whilst still having regular check-ins and adjusting as needed. In the end, how I feel will be more important than what I’ve achieved on paper.
Setting yourself up for success in 2023
HR professionals in particular are very busy, and it can be hard to take time out of our hectic schedules to focus on ourselves. Just remember that goal setting doesn’t have to be a whole day brainstorming session. Whenever you can, take a moment, grab a pen and paper and think about what’s important to you both personally and professionally. Then, make sure you set yourself up for success. This could be as simple as carving out an hour a week to work towards your goals, sticking a reminder on your fridge door, or optimising your workout area so your morning routine flows better. Whatever you need, give yourself the tools to make it happen. And don’t hesitate to look for ways people around you can support you. Your network can help by keeping you accountable and providing guidance, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the wider community.
Our final tip? Make sure you have quarterly check-ins in place to review your goals, measure progress and course correct if needed.
Our yearly planner is the perfect tool to do just that. It is packed with exercises, reminders, tips and resources to help you move in the right direction throughout 2023.