Time to Set 2023 Goals and New Year’s Resolutions

By Steve Saltzgiver, Fleet Success Ambassador

Welcome to 2023!

I must keep reminding myself that we are now in 2023 and it’s time to put 2022 behind us. This used to be important when we used to write checks to pay our bills, but it has been some time in our digital world since I’ve written a check!

During my career, I have always had a zeal for success, and although this comes from my upbringing and parents that always motivated me – I also think it is something innate that I cannot turn off. As I am writing this, I am dealing with the recovery of a broken rib and lung puncture due to having a head cold and cough in December. Who knew you could cough so hard you could puncture a lung? As I say this, I am reminded of the times my wife and mother told me that I cough much harder than a normal person. Well, there is a lesson in this somewhere that relates to my zeal for success and going beyond what is expected!

It is funny as I reflect on my career, that many of my bosses reminded me at times to not work as hard as I always have. I know this sounds crazy coming from a boss, but I have always had such passion for work I have difficulty knowing when to turn it off. So, I worked long days and rarely took vacation time. This led me at times as a leader to overwhelm those who reported to me, and so I have had to learn to slow down and take a breath over the years.

This past December reminded me of this quirk as I spoke at my father’s funeral. My father (and mother) were a tremendous influence on me personally and during my career, and are probably responsible for this incredible work ethic and passion.

As I enter 2023, it is a stark reminder that my parents’ direct influence and motivation have ended since both passed away in 2022. However, the memories will continue long into the future as I review the past years and work to set goals (i.e., objectives and key results or OKRs) for the future.

Setting Goals and Objectives

Every year since I can remember, I have taken time out of my busy schedule to set three groups of goals and objectives. My goals are separated into spiritual (God), personal (Family), and work (Career). The third category, “work” is then expanded to incorporate my and the company’s goals and objectives together and how I can help myself and the team achieve these goals. Early in my career, I recognized the value of “mind-mapping.” A good definition according to mindmapping.com is:

  • An effortless way to brainstorm thoughts organically without worrying about order and structure. It allows you to visually structure your ideas (goals and objectives) to help with analysis and recall.
  • A Mind Map is a diagram representing tasks, words, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept or subject using a non-linear graphical layout that allows the user to build an intuitive framework around a central concept.
  • A Mind Map can turn an extensive list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable, and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain’s natural way of doing things.

This exercise is always a good starting point if you are looking to set your goals for 2023. The use of a mind-mapping tool is an excellent way to solicit ideas by yourself or with others.

Building a Mind Map is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of our brain(s) – it is a creative and logical means of notetaking and note-making that literally ‘maps out’ ideas.

Most managers have used mind-mapping tools and did not even know it. For example, a common mind-mapping tool in business is performing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis shown below:

2023 Goals

Example: SWOT Analysis Diagram https://www.inspiration-at.com/mind-mapping/

Once you have identified all your ideas using a Mind-Mapping tool, then the next step is to organize and prioritize the ideas you wish to accomplish. Once pared down to a critical few, your mission is to prioritize these ideas into 3-4 OKRs (i.e., Goals and Objectives) along with measurable KPIs (i.e., Key Performance Indicators) to focus your valuable time and attention in the coming year.

My personal preference is to make these OKRs memorable and easy to remember so you or your team can more easily relate to them. For example, many know that I like to create powerful acronyms that link the OKRs together into a single “mnemonic” theme. A couple of examples used in the past while managing fleets are as follows:

2023 goals

Next, I like to use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound) goal format to design and shape my OKRs into something real and visible. Below are examples of these SMART goal statements:

2023 Goals

Below is an actual example of the SMART goal [or WIGs (Wildly Important Goals)] I previously used:

2023 Goals

Further, define the KPIs you will use to measure and track these ideas – preferably weekly – to show progress and continuous improvements. Using the “RACE to SUCCESS” theme right are the actual metrics used to track and measure these goals and objectives.2023 Goals

Lastly, take the extra time with your regular team one-on-ones to break these organization OKRs into individual smaller goals where each team member can influence the greater OKRs.

For example, Fleet Analyst extracts data from your Fleet Management Information System (FMIS). A few simple SMART goals for the Fleet Analyst may be as follows:

  1. Run query of FMIS OKR data and review for accuracy by Thursday each week.
  2. Once reviewed and scrubbed, forward updated KPIs to team by Friday close of business.

Accountability and Reporting Cadence

It has been said that an unwritten goal is just an unaccomplished dream, and without a reporting cadence OKRs will simply be forgotten.

So, once the OKRs are set, then you must hold a weekly cadence to review progress by department, and individual contributor, and then modify (if needed) and set a new action plan (if needed).

Lastly, establish a process to report results to all team members so everyone remains focused and on track with the OKRs. The reporting cadence should be a closed-loop process and should include team celebration time as goals are achieved, identify opportunities for improvements, and finally a discussion to create action plans based on progress and opportunities. Being tasked with reporting your results drives accountability!

Below is a pictorial of how the reporting cadence may be set up for your organization.

2023 Goals

Obviously, this is an oversimplified review of how to set your new goals and objectives. If you would like me to jump on a quick call to discuss this in more depth, please contact me.

Let me know your thoughts!

To learn how RTA can help you and your fleet achieve your goals in 2023, schedule a free demo with our Sales team!

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