The Finance Leader Podcast

Setting SMART Goals for 2024

January 09, 2024 Stephen McLain Season 16 Episode 1
The Finance Leader Podcast
Setting SMART Goals for 2024
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Please download the Goal Setting Workbook that follows this episode: here

Imagine seizing opportunities as they arise, armed with a growth mindset that turns challenges into stepping stones for success. That's what we're unpacking today—how to nurture the mindset and habits that will steer us toward our most ambitious goals for the year. We'll revisit the SMART method, aligning our career and personal aspirations, even as life’s curveballs come our way. By maintaining focus and staying accountable, we're setting the stage for a year of unparalleled achievements. So, subscribe, share, and join our brigade of excellence; together, we're not just planning goals—we're setting the foundations for a legacy of leadership in finance.


Episode outline:

  1. Why we set goals and not new years’ resolutions,
  2. Our mindset is our greatest asset,
  3. What is your big goal for 2024?
  4. Use the SMART method for goal planning.


Please connect with me on:

1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter: smclainiii
3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant
4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiii

For more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com

  1. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.
  2. I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Stephen McLain:

Happy New Year again. It's time to set a plan for what you want to accomplish in 2024. This is an amazing time of year the possibilities are endless and the dreams are big. I hope your new year has started off well. I want to remind you that New Year's resolutions often don't get you to where you want to be, but a purposeful goal planning and goal setting process will Use the smart method for goal setting so you check off your goals throughout the year. I love this time of year. Let's get started. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the Finance Leader Podcast, where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host, Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. Please consider following me on Twitter, facebook, instagram and LinkedIn. My user names and the links are in this episode's show notes, thank you. This is episode number 115, and I'll be talking about goal planning and goal setting for 2024, and I will highlight the following topics Number one why we set goals and not new year's resolutions. Number two our mindset is our greatest asset. Number three what is your big goal for 2024? And number four use the smart method for goal planning. Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins said setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into the visible. Happy New Year. This is an amazing time of year. We get to have a fresh start and a fresh approach to our relationships, to work, to our career and to life. It's a mark on the calendar for new beginnings and endless possibilities. Oh, this is such a great time of year. I dream and think endlessly on what I want to get done and how I want to do it. But it takes a plan and it takes planning and assessing plus updating that plan continuously. It takes coordination, it requires establishing your priorities and it takes commitment plus accountability. What do you want to achieve in 2024? Most of you know how I feel about new year's resolutions. New year's resolutions are frivolous, often unachievable, unrealistic aspirations with no basis and no plan. They are made by people who do know they need to make a change or need a big accomplishment, but don't use a proven process to plan their goal into achievable pieces. This is why I focus so much on a formal goal-setting process, because when you think through and make a plan, you will have a better chance of success. Please download the show notes that follow along with this episode so you can capture key thoughts as we build on a goal-setting plan together. In this discussion, our goal-setting always begins with our mindset. What is your current mindset? Are you ready to tackle 2024 with its challenges and its opportunities? I want you to adopt a growth mindset. Always, you must believe in yourself, that you can overcome any obstacle and that you possess near unlimited potential, that you decide how far and how much you can achieve, that nothing can stop you, accept you, and I want you to believe that you can achieve and win, and that you can believe in yourself and that you can advocate for yourself and how much you can bring to the organization that you are working with right now. So, after we have addressed our mindset, where, then, should we focus when it comes to goal-setting? Please review and update your long-term goal. After that, I would recommend reviewing your professional foundation, which I cover in my Advanced Career course on Finance Leader Academy. Your professional foundation is mindset, becoming a professional, critical soft skills, your technical skills, business acumen and your credentials, which includes your advanced degree and a professional certification. Please ensure your professional foundation is secured. Other skills I suggest developing always would be leadership and your executive presence, and ensure you include earning continuing professional education or CPE credits if you currently hold a professional certification, don't wait until the end of the year to try to get all your CPEs completed and turned in on time. It often doesn't work that well. This year, I want you to become a more confident finance leader who takes more control of your career and your actions. Leadership is never a title or a role. It's about positive influence. It's about making a difference on your team and in your organization. It's about doing a little bit more to partner and collaborate with others to bridge gaps in understanding and communication. Strive to grow your finance leadership in 2024. I want you to be more confident, more ahead of others, ready to make a difference on your work projects and ready to go to the next level in your career. What will it take for you to become more confident and more in charge of your career and in your life? I want you to review your long-term goal, which is what you want to accomplish in the next 10 to 15 years. Write a statement outlining where you want to be, which includes both in your personal life and in your career. You don't have to be super specific, but in a general sense where are you going? What do you want to do? What drives you? What is your passion? Where do you want to pour your energy in to see the results you want in the next 10 years or so? Also, we want to make sure your personal life is aligned with your career goal, and I always advocate talking this over with your family and your significant other. You want to be aligned with the special people in your life. Family and personal considerations are important due to planning around important milestones. For example, maybe you are planning to get married this year. That may be the big goal of the year and everything else is placed on hold for next year. Getting married, along with all the other big tasks in your life, is a huge undertaking and focusing on that is just perfect for this year, and that's okay. Please make sure you have aligned your personal and professional goals with your family. It's very important. Goal setting requires a thoughtful, purposeful plan. Planning never ends. We don't set a goal and then forget it. We set our big goal for the year and then we break it down into small pieces that we can easily achieve. I want to encourage you to use the SMART method for your goal setting. I talked about this last year in episode number 102. Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, achievable, realistic and Time-Based. More on this later. I want to briefly share what I want to do in Finance Leader Academy this year. I have three objectives this year. The first and this is always the case continue to build more confident finance leaders. This is my passion. I want to help finance and accounting professionals to achieve their professional goals and their career potential. I want to see you achieve your long-term goals. Number two, if you did not know already, I have partnered with an Army colleague of mine, mark McMillian, to bring an amazing resource to organizations that can help with conflict management. Mark is a retired Army officer like me. He is a speaker and author who travels to organizations to talk and train about a range of issues. On Finance Leader Academy, you will find his on-demand course available on conflict management. And three, finally I want to help small business owners and how they align their strategy to an effective accounting and finance system. Small business owners often have a limited staff helping them with accounting and finance, so they need to learn a lot on their own until they can grow their business and finally afford a larger accounting staff. I have a free small business guide available to help with aligning the strategy with an effective finance system. So we stay on progress with our goal setting. This year I will be conducting a mid-year goal review challenge in June. This year I will share more throughout the year. You can put your name on a list so you can be Reminded. You can either go to finance leader academy calm to sign up, or you can go to the link in this episode's description. More on this challenge later. I am very excited about this, so please join me in reviewing our goals at mid-year, thank you. Now let's talk about goal planning and goal setting in 2024. Number one why we set goals and not new year's resolutions. I don't have much belief in new year's resolutions Because they often have no plan behind them. They are often declarations without a plan and without a commitment. As soon as they are declared, they are often just as quickly abandoned. A resolution is something we want to do, but don't commit our entire selves to achieving it. They are dreams without substance, a whim without a plan. I want you to set up and plan written goals instead of resolutions. I want you to have a plan instead of an impulse that has no chance of success. Let's thoughtfully write out realistic but achievable goals and objectives. Let's begin this year with a plan for what we want to do in a coordinated support structure that can help us in completing them. Number two our mindset is our biggest asset. Our mindset determines everything. It determines how we see ourselves, how we conduct ourselves in a project, how much we advocate for ourselves, our level of confidence and how much we believe in ourselves. Our mindset is powerful, so that is why it's our biggest asset and could be our biggest liability and the worksheet for this episode. I want you to write down a statement regarding your mindset. What is your current mindset? Are you ready to take on the new year? Are you worried about something? Well, anything stop you from accomplishing your goals this year. We need to get our mindset right before we get anything else done. Do you believe in yourself, to believe that you can make a difference? Do you see yourself as a leader? What do you think will try to stop you from accomplishing your goals? What do you plan to do to overcome those obstacles? If you change your mindset, you will change your outcome. Number three what is your big goal for 2024? What is your big goal for the year? You have set a long-term goal and this year, you probably have one goal in mind that you really want to accomplish. Write it down and break it up into small, achievable pieces. Coordinate and plan it out over the year. How will you accomplish this goal? What resources do you need? Do you need help from anyone? Can your organization help you with the resources or with mentoring? And don't forget to plan out your CPEs for this year. Don't be short when you have to re-certify. Number four use the smart method for goal setting. I shared the smart goal setting method last year in episode number 102 and I wanted to share it again here in this episode. Make sure you download the worksheet that goes along with this episode so you can fill in your thoughts. Smart goal setting is a method of setting goals that is widely used in business and organizations. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. These five criteria are used to ensure that goals are well-defined and achievable. Specific a specific goal has a clear target or outcome that is well-defined it should answer the question of what, why and how. Measurable a measurable goal can be quantified or tracked in some way. This allows for progress to be monitored and the goals achievement to be evaluated. Achievable the goal should be realistic and attainable. It should be something that can be achieved with the resources and capabilities available. Relevant, a relevant goal is one that aligns with the overall objectives and mission of the organization or individual. Time-bound A goal should have a specific deadline for completion. This creates a sense of urgency and helps to focus efforts towards achieving the goal. Using the smart criteria when setting goals can help to ensure that they are clear, achievable and aligned with the overall objectives of the organization or the individual. It can also help to increase motivation and focus, making it more likely that the goal will be achieved. The goal achievement requires a well thought out and coordinated plan to map out our approach. It requires a growth focused mindset and it requires commitment. If you use the smart method and update your progress throughout the year, you can accomplish anything, even if obstacles try to get in your way, because your mindset will be strong and your plan will be solid For action. Today, let's start planning and setting our 2024 goals if you have not done so already and if you have, you are never quite done let's continue to refine and reformat using the smart method. Please make sure you download the free Goal Setting Guide on financeleaderacademycom, and the link is in this episode's description. First, write out a statement just for you on your mindset for this year. Get your mindset right before you do anything else. Is there anything you need to address with your mindset? Next is to write out or refine, your long term goal. I want you to look out 10 to 15 years on what you really want to accomplish. This is a big one. Then write out your big goal for 2024. After that, break down that big goal into smaller, achievable pieces using the smart method. Plan out your other goals using the same method. Please consider your personal goals along with your career goals and finally, ensure you align with your family and your significant other. After you have a written plan, make sure you find a way to hold yourself accountable and please join me for the mid-year goal review challenge. More information on that will be released as we go through this first part of this year. Today, I talked about goal planning and goal setting for 2024, and I highlighted the following points 1. Why we set goals and not new year's resolutions. 2. Our mindset is our greatest asset. 3. What is your big goal for 2024? And 4. Use the smart method for goal planning. Goal setting is important, so we have a plan and we have to stay on track. It's critical to accomplishing what you really want to do when it comes to goal setting. Begin with your mindset and your long term goal. Consult with your family and your significant other to align the timing of your goals so you consider family milestones and events that may alter how you view your career and professional goal setting. Next, we break down our goals into smaller, achievable and realistic pieces and we find a way to hold ourselves accountable. And don't forget to review your habits so you can stay focused and accomplish what you want to get done in this year and beyond. I believe in you and I believe in this community of finance and accounting professionals. Good luck and write out your plan starting now. Next episode I will be talking about getting focused so we can accomplish what we want this year. I hope you enjoyed the Finance Leader podcast. I am focused on helping this community to become more confident finance leaders capable of transforming organizations. You can find this episode wherever you listen to podcasts. If this episode helps you today, please share with a colleague and leave a quick review Until next time. You can check out more resources at financeleaderacademycom and sign up for my weekly updates so you don't miss an episode of the podcast. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you.

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