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While the new financial year is a line in the sand that is important from a taxation perspective, it can also be a useful point to take a step back and take stock of the bigger picture – your personal and professional goals.

Goals are important from a personal standpoint and essential when it comes to running a successful business. They can provide a clear focus for your efforts, a way to track progress and be a powerful motivator.

Dealing with change

The past couple of years have been a period of profound change, impacting the way we work and live but the reality is there will always be circumstances beyond your control. Your situation is ever evolving, as are your hopes and dreams for your future.

Personal finances and goals

While Australian household financial comfort improved around 3 per cent through the latter half of last year, that may not have been your experience, particularly as the costs of living have steadily increased.i You may be a little behind where you would like to be and wanting to step things up a little or make some adjustments to take into consideration any changes in circumstances. For those whose financial positions have taken a turn for the better, that creates opportunities and it’s worth thinking about what that means for your short-term and longer-term goals.

Even setting the financial side of things aside, it’s important to review whether what you aspire to has shifted. Our values and aspirations change as we move through life and it’s important to check in and see if your goals still resonate as strongly as they once did or whether you need to redefine what you want to work towards.

Goal setting for business

If you run a business, you have made it through ‘interesting times’. Some sectors have prospered while others have been decimated. If it’s been a while since you have thought about your goals in relation to your business, the following tips will help you raise your head above the day-to-day ‘noise’ and adjust your objectives.

Here is a good process to follow which will help you ensure your goals – whether they be personal; or for your business – are still fit for purpose.

Step 1. Review and re-evaluate

The first step is to review your goals, assessing what is REALLY important to you. Reflect on why you set your goals in the first place and make sure they truly reflect your objectives. The goal of building your business to generate a certain amount of revenue may be more about the satisfaction of achieving sustainable growth than a dollar value. Equally, your dreams of early retirement may be more about spending more time with loved ones which you don’t necessarily have to retire to do.

Take into consideration the events of the past 12 months and how they have impacted – positively or negatively – on your progress towards your objectives. If your goals are still as important to you given your present circumstances, think about what it will take to achieve them.

Step 2. Redefine

This is where the real change happens. Allow yourself to redefine what success means to you. That can mean accommodating a change in direction or circumstances; or even letting go of a goal that is no longer relevant or adjusting to accommodate a new goal. It’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve, moving the goal posts does not always mean setting more ambitious goals. It’s fine to pull back a little – particularly if it makes the goal more achievable.

Step 3. Re-engage and commit

The final step after you redefine your goals is to commit to them and fully engage in the goal in order to reap the benefits of the process you have just undertaken. This step can be as simple as breaking your goals down into a series of milestones and creating a process and support structure for achieving them.

In no time at all you will be seeing positive outcomes from your efforts and lining up for that winning kick into your newly aligned goalposts. – GOAL!

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