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Set a Simple Goal for the Year The fewer words required to explain your goal, the likelier you are to achieve it.

By Jim Joseph

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ezra Bailey | Getty Images

This article previously ran on Dec. 14, 2016.

Every year, right about this time of year, I set out to set a new goal for the new year. I start prepping myself now because it takes a bit for me to mentally prepare so that I can hit the ground running after January 1st.

I like to set a big new goal for the new year, and I try to make it so big that I have to plan ahead. That's how big it is!

Some years I'm unbelievably successful in reaching my annual goal and some years not so much. That's how big it is…my goal is generally something that I may or may not obtain and I'm ok with that. When I hit it, I'm thrilled. When I don't, I wait until next year to revise it again.

Related: The Power of Writing Down Your Goals

I generally set two goals…one personal and one professional. This isn't a New Year's Resolution…this isn't going to last a few weeks and then fade away. These kinds of goals are things that I really aspire to and goals that I think will really transform my life. One goal for my personal life and one goal for my professional life.

Let's start with the professional goal for now.

I forgot to mention that one requirement is that the goal has to be simply stated. There are no complications and no scenario plans for my goals. Simple and straightforward. And game changing.

Previous goals have included getting an apartment in New York City, getting an MBA, running a marathon and yes, sometimes changing jobs.

Related: Reading Books Makes You Smarter, Richer and Surprisingly Healthier

All stuff that is simply stated, although not so easy to execute…but certainly game changing.

So what's up for me professionally this year?

GO PAPERLESS!

I really want to put the printer and the journal and the hard copies aside and keep everything digitally filed on my laptop. And I want to stop taking notes with a pen and paper, and start taking note with a keyboard. Or my smartphone.

I have become so mobile in my role at work that there's really no choice. I can't keep track of all the paper, I can't carry it around, and I can't remember where I've stored it all.

I need to simplify my work life and go paperless. I need to drop the burden of carrying and filing paper, and make everything digital. So I'm moving to a paperless world where I have everything filed in electronic files not file cabinets and I takes notes and compile to-do lists with my fingers and not with a pen.

Related: 12 Tools for Running Your Business From Anywhere in the World (Infographic)

Sounds simple…as it should. Will it be easy? Not at all. Will I be successful? Hopefully, but if not then I'll try again next year. But I have a feeling that I just might pull it off because it's going to change my life. Which is the point. Time will tell.

So, what's your professional goal for the year?

Jim Joseph

Marketing Master - Author - Blogger - Dad

Jim Joseph is the chief integrated marketing officer and president of the Americas for New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the award-winning author of The Experience Effect series, teaches marketing at New York University, and is on the board of directors for the number one branding school in the country, The VCU Brandcenter. Joseph's new book, Out and About Dad, chronicles his unique journey as a father during a unique time in our cultural evolution.

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