Goal Planning Tips for the New Year

 Published: January 2, 2020

By: Heather Willden


view of a desktop with sign that reads goal plan action

The new year brings an opportunity for taking a fresh look at the year ahead to assess and plan. This means it’s a great chance to refine your goal planning skills. We asked AARC members to share some of their tips.

Have a foundation

“Being a middle manager, I have to keep in alignment with our organizational goals,” said Holly Tull, BS, RRT, manager of respiratory care at Virginia Mason Memorial.

This means she first reviews the current and five-year plan of her organization’s goals. She then uses these with her team to brainstorm goals they may want to tackle as a department that are aligned with the organization’s goals.

The pattern can continue through the team.

“These can be your goals,” Tull said. “And then, when it is time for evaluations, your employees need to make goals that align with or support your department goals.”

Review goals regularly

Tull suggests keeping these goals up in view for the next year and make it a habit to review them regularly.

“We huddle around our vision boards once a week,” Tull said. “I have made ours electronic so as projects change, any of the staff can have access and adjust as necessary.”

Although, she and her team still have a physical board in case other members of the organization stop by for a quick look.

“It’s visual and right outside my office so, when waiting to see me, you can see major projects and where they are progressing. It also celebrates achievements and birthdays,” Tull said.

Know where you want to go

According to Jack Fried, MA, RRT, director for respiratory care and neurodiagnostic services at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, “goal planning is not as difficult as it often appears, nor is it as easy.”

He explains that you first need an objective idea of what you want out of life.

“Peace on earth, happiness, or simply to be rich are rather vague,” Fried said.

He then shared the following example:

Former New York Governor George Pataki was nicknamed “Mr. President” by his classmates due to his drive and ambition. He went to law school and was later elected mayor of his hometown, an assemblyman, and then governor for three terms.

“My wife, who always wanted to be a nurse, was steered into education by her family,” Fried said, offering another example of knowing where you want your life to go. “After teaching for 10 years and then leaving the workforce to raise our family, she enrolled in nursing school and went to have a successful career as a bedside nurse.”

Be reasonable

“Goals need to be reasonable,” Fried said. “It is true that some people in their 80s run marathons or parachute out of airplanes, but those feats are rather exceptional.”

Fried continues to note that not many people make it to the White House or sit on the Supreme Court, but many still become judges or elected officials at lower levels.

“Many of the people working in my department chose respiratory care as a second career,” Fried said. “They have a balance of work that interests them, a schedule that allows family time and a career that enables them to earn a good living.”

2020 is here and now is the time to set your goals and roadmap for the new year.

Looking for more?

Check out these other AARC stories on goals:

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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