Reflective Goal Setting for a Succesful 2024

Polly Robinson

Polly Robinson Coach

Premium Supplier 20th December 2023
Polly Robinson

Polly Robinson Coach

Premium Supplier

Reflective Goal Setting for a Succesful 2024

The end of the year and the festive break is a natural time to pause and reflect on the past year and consider the year ahead, both for you as an individual and your team.

Time off work over Christmas is the perfect pause we need to take time to step back from the busyness of our daily lives, to reflect on what is important to us and to set the tone for the year ahead. I encourage you to set aside time to reflect and plan - individually or with your colleagues.

This article explores the benefits of reflective goal setting for both our personal and business success and growth. Read on to find some useful prompts to reflect, grow self-awareness, and clarify your hopes, ambitions and plans for the year ahead.

Reflection is a powerful tool to find closure on the things that have happened over the last 12 months - personally and professionally.

Reflection isn’t just a retrospective exercise - it will pave the way for setting impactful goals and steering yourself or your businesses toward success in 2024. By increasing your self-awareness, you will be able will be able to move into 2024 stronger and more confident.

As the motivational speaker Ed Foreman says “If we always do what we’ve always done, then we’re going to get what we’ve always got.” So building self-awareness helps to identify patterns that may be keeping you stuck.

Reflecting on everything you have achieved over the last year encourages you (individually or collectively) to celebrate successes. While acknowledging challenges and failures, helps to develop a growth mindset - in other words, to look for opportunities to change and improve.

If there are things that didn’t go so well or that you feel were failures - try to shift your perspective to recognise what you learned from the experience. Changing our perspective allows us to release old patterns, that no longer serve us - try to see things from through fresh eyes. Try not to take the role of victim and things happening TO us, - we can’t control other people, but we can control how we respond. So put yourself in the driving seat, empower yourself and take responsibility for making things happen or making changes in the year ahead.

Once you’re reflected, it’s time to think to the future - dream big and plan your year ahead.

- Enhanced Clarity and Focus: Goal setting helps to clarify priorities and focus on achieving them.

- Adaptability and Resilience: By learning from past experiences, you will become more adaptable and resilient in the face of challenges.

- Increased Motivation: Clear goals derived from reflection provide motivation and a sense of purpose, driving you and your to perform at their best.


Take yourself out of your usual environment - that’s why using the holiday period is valuable because we are free from the usual pressures of work. If you are doing this exercise for your business and with colleagues - get out of the office - go for a team walk, or go and talk over a coffee or lunch.

Personally, I find time outside - walking, running, cycling or just strolling and chatting with a friend, encourages our brains to slow down. It helps us to feel grounded, and gain perspective - reassessing our worries, enabling us to see the bigger picture and recognise what really matters.

Create the time and space to do this free of distractions - turn off your phone Focus on your breathing for a few minutes before you start to slow your brain down and bring yourself to the present moment.

The process can be a gentle reflective thought process, making notes for yourself or having a discussion with colleagues. I recommend putting pen to paper, it helps to frame the reflections and make your goals concrete. There’s plenty of research that proves that people who write down their goals and objectives are more successful in achieving them.

If you are setting goals for your business or team involve them in the process, and make it a collaborative process to foster a collective commitment. Communicate your grand vision and ask them what theirs is. Agree on shared objectives and what everyone’s role is in achieving them. Set milestones and celebrate small successes along the way.


1. Start by reviewing the past year.

Reflect on some or all of the following:
- your personal and family life

- your career

- your wellness, work-life balance and how you have looked after your mental and physical health

- What have been the highlights of your year?
- What made you happy this year and when were you happiest?

What are you most grateful for?

What have been your biggest successes? - try and come up with at least three.

What are you most proud of?

How did you achieve these successes?

What’s the biggest risk you took? What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

2. Identify Lessons Learned

Is there anything that you didn’t achieve or that you feel you failed at?

What were the biggest challenges of the year?

How did you react and cope in the face of these challenges

What have you learned as a result?

Is there anything you wish you could have done differently — forgive yourself and leave it behind.

3. Set Goals for 2024

Start with the end of in mind - your vision - where would you like to be this time next year?

Dream your biggest dream. If you could wave a magic wand what would you like to happen?

What would you like to be celebrating 12 months from now - a new job? A new home? A new business launch?

What really matters to you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

What are the things that make you happy and you need to prioritise this year?

What should you start doing more of? (e.g. exercising, seeing family, learning something new)

What should you do less of? (e.g. kicking a bad habit, being less hard on yourself)

What challenges might there be along the way?

How can I try to overcome these challenges?

Who do you need help from and what other resources might you need?

How will you look after your well-being - your mental and physical health? Are there new boundaries or habits you want to establish - e.g. making more time for exercise or eating better, or setting new boundaries e.g. being disciplined about not checking work emails during your time off?

4. Define Clear Objectives

With the insights gained, define clear, achievable objectives for the upcoming year. These goals should be SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. They should align with the company’s mission and vision, driving growth and progress.

Next, write down the specific tasks and actions you need to make these goals happen.


* Use the holidays to make time to unplug, switch off and reflect on the year we’re about to leave behind.

* Let go of anything that was difficult or challenging, but take what you learned with you.

* Consider what you want to achieve in the year ahead.

* Set some time-frames and measures for success.

* Write it all down somewhere you won’t lose it and pull it out monthly or at least a few times during the year ahead to see how you are getting on.

* Celebrate the small steps and milestones along the way and don’t be too hard on yourself about things that don’t go to plan.

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