Photo by photosteve101
It’s so easy to let a new year get away from you. By February, I’m already settled back into old habits and ruts. I want to fight this!
I take an evening and set up some bold but attainable goals, thinking purposefully about the upcoming year.
I follow the format of Chris Guillebeau‘s awesome annual goal setting posts.
This is fun, motivating, and helps ensure that I’m growing every year!
Start with 3 – 7 areas in your life where you’d like to do something new. I’ve borrowed some from Chris, and added a few of my own.
- Family Finances
Then, in each area, create a handful of goals. Remember, you have a whole year to accomplish these, so think big! And don’t worry if these are vague, we’ll focus them in the next step. Here are a few of my areas broken out:
As I enter my mid-30s, I know I’ve got to work harder to stay healthy.
- Run more
- Only eat out on special occasions
- Attend Yoga with my wife
This is a fun one! What do you want to learn this year? Painting? A new language? Computer programming? Make it official!
- Improve my Spanish
- Read more books
- Go on cultural outings with Mrs. Byrd
- Watch classic films with Mrs. Byrd
Friends and Family
Now that my wife and I both work from home, it’s easy to lose touch with old coworkers and friends. We want to change that!
- Host get-togethers
- Babysit nieces/nephews and friends’ kids
- Visit my friends’ classrooms
Of course I have lots of goals for my business. It helps so much to get them written down and official.
- Host a few Byrdseed mini-events
- Write a book
- Re-organize byrdseed.com posts
- Make a shirt, bag, or stickers with my new logo
- Exhibit at more conferences
Here’s a look at the original first draft of these goals:
Focus your goals by adding time limits, hard numbers, or specific details.
- “Read more” becomes “Read 36 books.” That’s 3 a month; much easier to track my success now!
- “Host get-togethers” becomes “Host a dinner once every two weeks on Friday nights.” Now we can put this on our calendar and make it happen.
- “Run more” becomes “Run an official 10k by May.” A timeframe is an awesome way to kickstart a new habit.
First Steps, Next Actions
What is the first baby step you can take to move towards each goal? It should be super easy…
For “Read 36 Books”:
- Pick ten books from Goodread’s Best Of 2014 Lists and 100 Books To Read Before You Die that seem interesting.
- Visit the local library and check out as many as possible.
- Set a nightly reminder on my phone to read 30 minutes each evening.
For “Run a 10k by May”:
- Set up a 10k training program on my Nike+ Running app.
- Search Google for a 10k in March or April.
- Sign up for the run!
For “Go on one cultural outing per month”:
- Search museums in LA for interesting exhibits.
- Find plays at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
- Check the Pacific Symphony‘s schedule.
- Put dates down in our family calendar.
Make It Happen!
It is incredibly motivating to get these written down. And, as each goal becomes more specific, I get even more excited!
I can see my year shaping up to be something meaningful.
And, hey, I know I won’t get it all done, but I bet I’ll accomplish at least half of these goals in 365 days. And that’s better than having no plan at all.
Let me know what you come up with: firstname.lastname@example.org!