Setting development goals for 2019

We’re sure you’ve all heard the cliché, ‘New Year, New Me’. Although we certainly don’t comply with the notion that when the New Year comes around you have to change the way you operate, it’s certainly a great time to set personal and professional development goals. By that, we don’t mean resolutions that will likely be broken by January pay-day, but genuine goals which see you plan ahead for the year and help you to set out what you want to achieve. To help you get started, we’re sharing our top tips for setting your development goals in 2019.

Evaluate 2018
You can’t possibly know where you’re headed, or how to get there, without first understanding your past performance. If you set out goals for 2018, take the time to note if you achieved them, or not, and figure out ways you could have improved. This can be done alone or with a training manager as part of your review, and can help you to identify key areas to improve for the next 12 months. It may even give you better insight on how to achieve your goals by avoiding past mistakes and understanding what works for you.


Growing caseloads can leave you feeling reluctant to take on more work due to a lack of time and often, development will be the first task to slip off your to-do list. Instead, make 2019 the year you prioritise and invest in yourself and your own professional development, regardless of your schedule. According to the Huffington Post, investing in yourself is one of the best returns on investment that you can have, allowing you to thrive and further succeed. So, set time aside to ask yourself what you want to achieve and write it down. After all, a written goal is 42% more likely to happen.


Be realistic
As reported by Forbes, setting goals that are unrealistic or unable to be measured is your first step towards failure.  If you can outline your end goal, break that down into smaller, measurable chunks using SMART criteria– be specific, be measurable, agree the terms, be realistic and ensure you include a timescale. For example, this could be completing half of the required hours for your Professional Skills Course elective modules by June, or perhaps it could be working towards a promotion by utilising Continuing Professional Development courses by the time December rolls back around. Whatever your end goal, make sure it is attainable and outline key signpost moments of achievement to maintain your motivation levels.

Utilise your resources
Outside of traditional training courses, you should be utilising additional resources such as industry-specific news outlets to understand trends and developments, as well as firm-specific research or insights to support or help you set your goals. Or potentially, look to work closely with a more senior or experienced colleague where possible – you can always learn from other people and they can help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Plus, this can help to support your learning and progression as well as giving you a wider understanding of your industry and work completed within your firm.

Setting goals for the year ahead can certainly have its benefits. It can help you to focus and outline what you want to achieve before putting measurable steps in place to help make that happen. It can be hard to stay on course throughout the year as life gets in the way but ensure that you take the time to regularly review your goals and your position, and you’ll be on the right track. So, if you’d like to speak to us about your development plans for 2019 or to book your place onto one of our upcoming courses, contact us on 02920 451 000 or email us infoaltior@barbri.com

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