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Five Things You Should Be Doing As You Kick Off 2024

By Paige Kassalen

It’s 2024, so let’s set a goal to not wonder where the year has gone, but instead make it a year where we use every minute to the fullest. Instead of thinking about resolutions, let’s think about the actions we want to take over the next year to invest in ourselves.

As the new year begins, think about your game plan for what investments you want to make and how to make sure you’re strategically using your time instead of just letting time pass by. In the first days of 2024:

1. Reflect on the Past Year

To create a strong plan for the new year, you need to spend the time reflecting on where you’ve been. In the first days of 2024, sit down and go month-by-month, taking stock and listing your achievements and challenges from the previous year.

You want to identify lessons-learned and areas for growth, along with what happened organically, and what was a strategic move on your part.

Recognizing your achievements from the past year can boost motivation and provide the momentum needed to tackle new challenges. If you notice that most of the main events happened organically instead of strategically, this exercise can help you go into the new year with an enhanced focus on taking purposeful actions.

2. Map Out Your Milestones for the Year

Each year, you are going to hit many different milestones, and it’s important to map these out at the start of the year, so you can proactively plan for what you’d like to have accomplished by that date.

Examples of these milestones could be your birthday, job anniversary, anniversary of living in your home, or years since graduating university. Really anything that puts into perspective how far you have come, and gives you the chance to evaluate if your progress is on track with your goals.

3. Identify One Major Stretch Goal

Do you have aspirations that seem just out of reach or ambitions you’ve hesitated to pursue? Let 2024 be the year where you stop doubting and start daring.

Setting a stretch goal at the start of the year is important because it serves as the catalyst for personal transformation. By pushing ourselves beyond our perceived limits, we learn that we are capable of big things. Stretch goals help us uncover fears and insecurities that we didn’t know were holding us back from pursuing our ambitions.

This realization helps us start off the new year with no constraints. If we want to do something, we are capable and empowered to make it happen.

4. Select One to Two Skills You Want to Learn or Upgrade

As we kick-off a new year, there’s no better time to get in the mindset of being a lifelong learner.

Learning or upgrading a skill in 2024 is not just a resolution; it’s a strategic investment in our own potential. Each year our knowledge base grows and builds on itself, so what layer of knowledge do you want to add in 2024?

When selecting skills to learn or upgrade, they can be related to our careers, a passion project, or something that will help enhance our lives. Over the course of the year, we will absorb many new concepts, so why not be purposeful about what we end up learning?

6. Write Down a Statement of Where You Hope to Be in One Year

Just like in the first point, it’s important to actually write down what you hope to accomplish in the new year. Writing this down will help you keep yourself accountable and give you something to reflect on as the year goes by.

This statement will be your guiding star as you move through 2024 and ensure you make it to the end proud of what you accomplished and satisfied that you are using your time wisely.

In the opening days of 2024, we want to set the stage for a transformative year ahead. We need to invest the time to properly reflect on the successes and challenges of 2023, map out milestones for the upcoming year, set one major stretch goal, select  one to two skills we want to learn or upgrade, and finally document our thoughts on where we hope to be at the end of the year.

We all have a limited time to make an impact on this planet, so by committing to a plan of action each year, we ensure that we use our time wisely to accomplish our goals.

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Paige Kassalen

Paige Kassalen has an electrical engineering degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Information Systems Management from Carnegie Mellon. Kassalen began her career as the only American engineer working with Solar Impulse 2, the first solar-powered airplane to circumnavigate the globe. This role landed Kassalen a spot on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list along with feature articles in Glamour, Teen Vogue, and Fast Company. Since Solar Impulse, Kassalen worked in the manufacturing and finance industries to create implementation strategies for a range of emerging technology trends from autonomous vehicles to machine learning. She was the Chief Operating Officer at CrowdAI, a start-up named by Forbes as one of the most promising AI companies in 2021. CrowdAI was acquired by Saab, Inc. in 2023, and Kassalen now serves as the Chief of Staff for the strategy division.

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