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Top 10 Personal Business Goals You Can Set and Achieve in 2020

Change doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. It’s important to set milestones that are specific and measurable in order to make your goal setting a success. Read on to get our ten personal business goals with specific examples and tips to help make 2020 your best year yet.

In this article, we’ll cover:

1. Improve Your Online Image

Commit to strengthening your online brand in 2020. First, make sure you own your domain name, whether that’s your personal or company name, recommends Entrepreneur. Next, think about investing in some high-quality headshots. This will really make your social media profiles and website shine and give you something professional to send organizers when you’re speaking at an event.

Also, spend time gathering the best examples of your work to post online. You can post samples on LinkedIn or your website or create a custom portfolio site. For example, Clippings.me is a free writing portfolio website that makes it easy to drag and drop in links or documents.

2. Become a Thought Leader

It’s never too early to start positioning yourself as a thought leader and an authority in your industry. Reach out to the right people to see if you can moderate or speak on a panel or appear on a podcast or submit a blog post. Identify opportunities to share your knowledge.

3. Find a New Business Idea

Position yourself as a thought leader by coming up with a new idea in your field. And don’t just limit yourself to finding inspiration from industry blogs or social media. Get inspired by people’s work outside your field. Visit a museum, read a new book or see a thought-provoking movie, for example.

4. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Sure, you can do something drastic like going to more networking events or speaking in public. But sometimes getting out of your comfort zone is just about trying to find ways to stretch yourself, even in small ways. It’s also about not underestimating what you can and can’t do.

Surprise yourself in 2020 by setting a professional goal to attempt something new—you may even realize you’re really good at it.

5. Learn a New Skill

Make it a career goal in 2020 to learn a new skill you can apply to your job. You’ll likely meet new people at work and become even more invaluable in your role. Plus, with all the free courses and resources online, education doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. Ask your workplace if they offer training, too.

Mashable recommends the following as the top most-desired skills in today’s economy:

  1. Coding
  2. Excel
  3. Web development
  4. Copywriting
  5. Project management
  6. Public speaking
  7. Google Analytics
  8. Digital marketing

6. Evaluate Your Health

Really look at your physical and mental health and make it one of your top personal development objectives for work. Over 10 percent of employees miss over 21 days of work a year thanks to stress and another quarter of employees miss up to 20 days, Mental Health America found in a recent survey.

Improving your health will make you more productive at work and benefit all areas of your life. Schedule a checkup with your doctor, make an appointment to take advantage of some of those benefits you never touch and call your dentist.

You can also try simple hacks like taking a walk at noon, bringing your lunch more often, scheduling a walking meeting and buying a fun water bottle with a straw or flippy lid.

7. Start a Side Hustle

Sometimes long-term goals don’t necessarily moving up in your current company or getting a better job. Perhaps you want to work for yourself, start a business or transition to a different field. A side hustle will get you there and also deliver much-needed cash to strengthen your financial position and make it easier to leave your 9 to 5, if you want to.

8. Earn a Promotion

Earning a promotion takes planning so it’s definitely a long term goal. Get started now to plan how you’re going to ace your performance reviews in the coming year. Make it a personal work goal to not only meet but exceed your performance metrics. You want to demonstrate your value as an employee of the company, as well as your leadership capability.

Think about taking on new work and new projects, learning new skills, developing relationships outside your department and overhauling your resume, recommends Udemy.

9. Improve Your Focus

Learn how to tune out distraction when you’re on the job. Try turning off your phone notifications while at work. It might be painful at first but you’ll probably end up loving how much you’re able to accomplish each day.

Keep in mind that focus is hard if you’re feeling burned out, so make it a work goal to take all your vacation and personal days in 2020. A long weekend here and there may not be enough. See about blocking off longer periods of time and investing in a getaway that really invigorates you.

10. Boost Your Confidence

Most people deal with feelings of inadequacy. Make it a personal goal to boost your confidence this year. Try asking more questions in meetings—curiosity always sends a good message that you’re eager and ambitious.

Also learn to trust your gut. If your job isn’t fulfilling you, the workplace culture isn’t a good fit or you don’t feel like you’re on track to where you want to go at work, trust that instinct. Maybe it’s time to chat with your boss or start polishing your resume.

Finally, accept that the drive for perfection means you’ll always feel inadequate, advises The Muse. Accept that you will make mistakes and when you do, you’ll learn from them and move on. Embrace this idea and see if it allows you to ask for new responsibilities and take risks.

People also ask:

What Are Personal Development Goals for Work?

There personal development goals will make you even more creative and focused at work:

  • Take time for your hobbies. You’ve probably abandoned past passions in favor of getting ahead at work (or crashing in front of the TV after work). Whether you used to paint, take French classes or play old-school video games, take the time to indulge in a hobby at least a half an hour every day.
  • Embrace the word “no.” Stop overextending yourself. Say “no” outright or reschedule, if you want. That said, do try to make time for personal relationships. Find ways to spend time with friends and family, even if it’s just grabbing a cup of coffee while you’re on the way to a meeting.
  • Journal. If the blank page scares you, try journals with prompts. The Five Minute Journal has lots of rave reviews.
  • Volunteer. Aside from the professional development opportunities volunteering offers, it’s good to meet a completely new set of people and work for a cause that inspires you.
  • Become a mentor. You might learn as much from mentoring as being mentored yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much knowledge you have to share, whether you’re entry level and mentoring a student who wants to enter your field or you’re further up the career ladder.

How Do You Achieve Career Goals?

Here are five tips to achieve your career goals:

  1. Embrace the journey. It can take months, years and even decades to achieve career goals. It’s important to embrace experiences along the way that compliment these goals or simply balance them like travel, volunteering or fellowships. In short, you don’t always have to be too narrowly focused on the path towards your career goals. It’s okay to do things a bit differently.
  2. Know what you’re willing to sacrifice. Know what you’re able to sacrifice to meet your career goals and what you can’t. For example, don’t move far away for your dream job if being separated from your family and friends will make you miserable. Or if you love to travel, don’t commit to a job that will have you firmly rooted to your desk most days of the year. Your career path should feel fulfilling, not draining.
  3. Take struggle in stride. You’ll hit rough patches so know what to do to get through them. Seek out a mentor who can give advice on what he or she did during similar times. Or look for an outlet like physical activity or a creative pursuit.
  4. Give back. Look for ways to pay it forward while striving to achieve your career goals. Look into helping young professionals or students through mentorship or career advice.
  5. Set measurable milestones. This is the essence of SMART goals, an acronym meaning “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.” The time frame should be between six to eighteen months and all goals should be quantifiable and specific. An example of a smart goals for employees is “increase my team’s contribution to revenue by five percent in Q1.”


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