Whether for business or personal reasons, a lot of targets are set at this time of year. Companies set sales targets, production targets etc. for the next 12 months and marketing budgets for the next year’s campaigns are finalised. On a personal level, many people make promises to themselves that they will achieve certain things related to their health, personal development and career goals. So much has already been written on these topics with the advice ranging from ‘how to get immediate results’ to a ‘10 year plan’ model that it can all become bewildering.
Personally, I prefer a mixed approach. I think it is good to have a long-term vision based on core values (but first, of course, we have to know what those are) and I think we should also look at what can be achieved by taking immediate action. Somewhere in the middle are the mid-term goals; the things that take a little longer and require persistent effort.
Learning a language is a good example. The long-term vision might be to attain a reasonable level of fluency and confidence, whereby conversations can include a range of topics and business presentations can be made without having to search too much for the right vocabulary or grammar. Immediate action might consist of getting together the necessary resources for making a successful start. This might simply mean getting a special notebook and pen, dictionary, mobile phone apps, useful websites etc. The mid-term goals might not be so easy to define specifically in this case but in order to achieve them a good degree of persistent effort will definitely be required. The thing about learning, in general, is that as soon as we take even a short break we start to forget.
So, rather than saying ‘This year I'm going to learn English’, and getting to the end of 2018 and realising that you haven't achieved it, I think it is better to take some immediate action, plan and programme some regular and frequent learning activities, get together the resources needed and to realise that this decision needs to last for more than the next 12 months.
Whatever targets you set yourself for 2018, I wish you lots of short-term victories and masses of motivation to carry you through the year and beyond.