I like to share my goals with others, both for my own motivation and for others if they need ideas for their own goals. I don’t always reach all my yearly goals, but I think it is better to set too ambitious of goals than ones that you know you will reach.
I set goals in several different categories, and they are different from usual new year’s resolutions. The main requirement for my goals is that they have to be measurable in some way, so that I can track my progress and have a specific set of steps that need to be taken to reach them. Also, if I decide I want to change my goals or that one of them isn’t worth pursuing anymore, that’s ok. They are my goals after all.
Here is what I am working on this year:
Finish my novel (first draft)
Make a plan for a new business venture and launch it
Go on a trip with a friend
Learning & Lifestyle:
Read 26 books
Become N5 proficient in Japanese (N5 is the lowest level of proficiency)
Lose 20lbs of fat and maintain throughout the year
Gain at least 10lbs of muscle
I have more goals than these, but I am mostly sharing them to give you an idea of what I am aiming for, and to help you in selecting goals or categories if you want to do something similar.
But setting goals by themselves doesn’t accomplish anything. There are two more steps to make this an effective process: 1) Make them measurable 2) Review your progress throughout the year.
I only set goals that I can measure in some way. To finish my novel, I need to write 1,000 words every day and write 50,000 words total. My health goals are very numbers oriented as that gives me a way I can track my progress every day. For goals that are not able to be focused on numbers, it is important to plan milestones and deadlines. For creating a new business, I need to decide on an idea, test its viability, and promote the business to bring in customers. All of my goals have deadlines, though if I don’t meet those deadlines, it doesn’t mean I will just give up. I think finding a balance between aggressive and realistic is the best way to set a deadline.
I also recommend at least looking over your goals list once a month. This will keep you on track, and also just remind you of any you may have been putting off. You can do a more detailed review of your progress a few times a year. Then, at the end of the year, look over everything you have accomplished in the year, and what you could have done better on. Props to Chris Guillebeau for outlining this whole process.
Several of my goals are things that anyone can do, even if you never thought you could before. I hope you have not already given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, and consider transforming them into more substantial goals.