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Goal Setting
January 8, 2024

3 Steps to Help You Plan for a Successful Change in the New Year

Post By:
Lisa Rigoli
In-House Contributor
Leadership Coach & HR Consultant
Element of Change
Guest Contributor:

Psssst … This one is for those of you thinking about making a change as you prepare for your annual performance review.

It’s amazing the difference a year makes.

This time last year, I was spiraling. I didn’t know my next steps, after I found out my position as an HR Leader for a Fortune 200 health care company was being eliminated.

I mean, damn. Right before the holidays. 

I tried my best to think positive, but I’ll admit: It was one of the most difficult transitions of my life. 

I loved my job, I loved my colleagues, I loved the work. I was heartbroken.

While I knew I had options, I wasn’t sure which direction I would take – until I decided to bet on myself and my vision, and turn my side gig into my full-time gig. 

Once I made that decision, the pieces began to fall into place – but not without a lot of intentional planning. 

Around this time of year, those of us who don’t have plans in place, may make knee-jerk decisions as we anticipate our performance reviews. 

Wrestling with decisions like, should I stay knowing: 

  • There are limited professional opportunities. 
  • My compensation is no longer competitive. 
  • There is so much turnover in the position directly above me that I have to prove myself to another leader every six to 12 months. 

Don’t put yourself in that position. 

Here’s my three-step system you can use when approaching a change, so you can be as intentional as possible when making a change. 

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This is the same three-step system I developed during my nine years at Target as an HR Leader, and it’s the same system I used to confidently launch my business, and what I use to help leaders in transition, like you.


Step 1 IDEATE: Get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper while visualizing what’s possible.

Step 2 PLAN: Be intentional with how you craft your commitments – without overcommitting.

Step 3 IMPLEMENT: Practice deliberate scheduling and execution to meet your quarterly commitments.

At Target, we planned for the next quarter, in the current quarter. Here’s what that looked like for me this year:

In October, I ideated what was possible for January, February and March of 2024. I used specific journal prompts to get my thoughts out of my head and down on paper.

In November, I planned out five commitments for the next 90 days based on my journal entries.

In December, I implemented everything I ideated and planned, by scheduling it on the calendar to make sure I could confidently execute my five commitments for the first quarter. 

When you IDEATE, it’s an opportunity to THINK BIG – and I recommend that you’re specific. 

To get started, you can use journaling prompts to reflect on the last quarter and be intentional as you head into the next quarter. Try using this prompt: 

What worked well and didn’t work well in the last 90 days?

Next, it’s time to PLAN. 

When you PLAN, you have the chance to really whittle down your list of possibilities. When I go into my PLAN phase, I usually have about a dozen potential commitments. I know that by the end of the month, I need to get those down to five.

My go-to commitment statement is: I commit to ….

To do this, think about how you can develop each commitment into a SMART goal. If you’re not familiar, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Think about what you want, how you will measure it, how you will get it, how it plays into your overall commitments and when you will be able to accomplish it. 

Now, it’s time for you to IMPLEMENT. 

Put any key systems you need into place so you can be especially deliberate with how you spend your time: Book key meetings, order supplies, hire that coach😉.

This can be as old-school as writing down your schedule on a desk calendar, or you can lean into the tech and use a calendar app. 

You’ve thought big and IDEATED, you have your PLAN – now let’s get that plan on the books. 

By making your PLAN concrete and scheduling time for your commitments, you set yourself up for success. 

When you’re intentional about your future, you can be confident about your path. 

Still not sure about your next steps? I’m an email away. Click here to reach out and let’s talk about how I can help you create a plan for your future.