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Originally posted on forbes.com

As a new year draws closer, leaders across industries are turning their attention toward self-improvement and professional growth, and January is an opportune time to lay the groundwork for a year brimming with accomplishments and progress. Whether you’re at the helm of a multinational corporation or leading a small team, the initial steps you take during the first month of the year can set the tone for the next 11.

Here, 20 Forbes Coaches Council members recommend steps for leaders to take in January to ensure they can navigate the year ahead with purpose and efficacy. Follow their tips to set yourself up for success in 2024.

1. Remove One Thing From Your To-Do List

Subtract instead of add. So often, we think we need to do more, but what if this year you let something go? Success is often about shedding old ways of doing things so that we can step into a more effective way of being, working and leading. Remove one thing from your to-do list and create space for your best thinking to emerge this year. – Heathere Evans, Pivot, Inc.

2. Select Your ‘Word Of The Year’

Each year, I select one word; it’s a word that will become my theme of the year—something I want more of in my daily life. I have clients who select “doing” words, such as “focus,” “time” and “leader.” I have other clients who select “being” words, such as “present,” “calm” and “trust.” This word becomes the anchor for the year ahead, a theme to direct our actions. – Sara Gilbert, Strategist Business Development

3. Create A List Of Desired Connections

List out leaders you would ultimately love to connect with (or have a stronger relationship with), such as a company executive, industry expert or thought leader. Next, identify your power capital, including expertise, experience and relationship capital, that each leader values. Then, you can create strategic win-win connections and transition into the role you really want to have in this world. – Sherri Thomas, Your Leadership Lab

4. Set Intentional Time Aside To Set Goals

I recommend all leaders set intentional time aside to set goals. First step: Take inventory of their accomplishments over the last year and genuinely celebrate those wins. Second step: The goals they didn’t achieve can be evaluated, and a decision can be made whether those are carried forward or expired for the year to come. Third step: Create new goals to strive for in the coming year. – Alecia Wellen, Alecia Wellen Coaching

5. Conduct A Comprehensive Assessment Of Your Team

Begin the year by conducting a comprehensive assessment of your team’s strengths, weaknesses and dynamics. This can involve individual assessments, team surveys and feedback sessions. Identify any challenges or gaps that may have arisen during the previous year, especially considering the unique dynamics of a hybrid work environment. Remember, what brought us here won’t lead us there. – Weixi Tan, Workplace Asia

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