Now that we’re three months from the end of 2023, I’m starting to think about my annual goals for 2024.
You may be thinking that it feels a little too early to think about 2024 annual goals, but I always like to take my time to set the goals that I plan to spend an entire year trying to complete. October is a great time of the year for me to start brainstorming the kinds of goals that I might set for the following year. I often add things to the list, take them off again, and rearrange my goals to see how they fit together before I finalize the list I plan to commit to.
The past several years, I’ve used a list model for my goals and I’ve also categorized them by different themes. This has been helpful in trying to have a certain amount of goals that I’m aiming for. I’ve also really liked leaving four goals open (one for each quarter) that I can add in throughout the year as new projects or areas of focus emerge.
As I start to think about my goals for 2024, here are some of the questions that I’m asking myself:
What goals from 2023 are not yet complete and need to be continued into 2024? I know that some of my biggest goals are not ones that always fit into a calendar year. It’s helpful for me to consider what I’m working on that might need multiple years of my attention to complete. One example is paying off my mortgage, which I’ve been working on for a couple of years. That will probably stretch into the next several years as well.
What habits or routines would benefit from a concrete annual goal? I’ve been attending to my movement practices for several years now. From pursuing hundreds of hours of yoga teacher training over the course of the pandemic to logging minutes on my Peloton app, I’ve often found that goals related to movement help me to focus and stay motivated.
What goals feel fun or especially motivating as I head toward a new year? I also like to think about the kinds of things that I want to spend time on over the course of the year. In the past couple of year, my reading goals have definitely fallen into this category. I love to read, but I also like to think about how I can stretch myself with reading, especially since I do so much of it.
What new areas do I want to focus on in the New Year? Over the past couple of years, I’ve had some repeated goals because I’ve liked them so much. While I don’t mind repeating goals, I also like to think about new and fresh goals that I want to add. I find goals in new areas present me with new challenges and learning experiences that I always get a lot of benefit from.
What is most important for me to spend my time, energy, and attention on? Because I have a lot going on between working full time and running my side business, my goals become a shorthand for what I really want to be spending my time, energy, and attention on. When I track my annual goals each month and report out quarterly, these goals are some of the things that I stay the most accountable to throughout the year.
What goals would have a deep level of meaning for me given the personal and professional seasons that I’m in? Some people like to pick a word of the year and for 2024, I’m starting to narrow in on a specific theme that feels both timely and meaningful for me. When I think about what I want to prioritize in the coming year, sometimes I like to pick one theme and then consider how I can set goals with that theme from a range of angles. This question also helps me to reflect on how my goals can align with my larger values.
What are some of the key questions that will be helpful for you as you consider next year’s annual goals?