At this time of year, individuals and organisations often turn their attention to their goals for the coming year. When it comes to establishing such goals, it is important to keep in mind that “the devil is in the detail”.

Ideally, goals should be aligned with your values and achievable – or, in other words, “within the realms of possibility”. Some of the most important documents regarding goals are an organisation’s vision and mission statements. By setting out an organisation’s aspirations and goals, a vision statement helps potential customers to judge whether an organisation can meet their needs and expectations. In the space of a few sentences, a mission statement establishes an organisation’s purpose, including its basic objectives and how these can be accomplished.

Effective vision and mission statements have certain features in common; for one thing, they are clear and transparent, so that potential customers do not feel like they are “in the dark” about the company’s goals and offerings.

However, such statements should not only sound convincing, but should also be reflected in the organisation’s work practices, or “put into effect”.

Ultimately, it is crucial to invest enough time into the formulation of clear, effective vision and mission statements and not “cut corners”, as doing so would only result in losses in efficiency in the long-term.

One thing that applies to all goals, no matter what form they take, is that establishing habits is key to their achievement. Developing effective habits will be one of the best ways to take advantage of the opportunities that the coming year will “have in store”.

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