I thought I’d write a post about the goals I am working on this year and how I’m progressing. In past years I have set “New Years Resolutions”, but just like most people, I rarely followed through on them. This year I decided to make a set of measurable goals which I feel holds me more accountable, and are also much easier to track throughout the year. I also set much more than the usual one or two resolutions and instead made several goals in different areas of my life.

The categories I focused on were Health, Travel, Learning and Lifestyle, Writing, Business, and Finance. I dubbed this year the “Year of the Renaissance”. While of course the Renaissance refers to the cultural movement hundreds of years ago, I was thinking of it in terms of the Renaissance Man, someone who is proficient across several disciplines. Once again, I don’t mean this in the exact sense of the word, but I thought it conveyed that I would be working on a variety of different areas, and it also sounds cool.

For goals to really be useful, they have to be measurable in some way. For most of mine, I set a realistic deadline to accomplish them by. I’ll also be reviewing my goals several times throughout the year to see if I’m on track and decide if any should be revised or dropped. They’re my goals, I can change them whenever I want. For each category I wrote a short description of what I’m trying to achieve with that set of goals, and then within each category I have about 3-5 goals that I’m able to track my progress on throughout the year. Examples of my highlights for each category are “Be in a healthy and trim physique” and “Experience the most travel I have done in a year”.

By the way, the format I’ve laid out my goals is inspired by Chris Guillebeau and his annual review process. I recommend looking into his full process. Since I didn’t have goals set for last year, I didn’t do a full annual review, but I did set these goals at the very end of 2011. At the end of this year, I will be doing the annual review process detailed on Chris’s site.

I won’t list out all of the goals I have set for myself, but I’d like to share some that I think would be good ones for anyone to pick up. It’s still early in the year and not too late to make a change in your lifestyle.

Health:
Run a 10k (longest I have run in recent years is 5k)

Travel:
Visit somewhere I’ve never been before

Learning and Lifestyle:
Read 24 books – currently 4 down, on target and reading A Game of Thrones as of this post.

Writing:
Participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – write a 50,000 word (about 175 page) novel in the month of November.

Business:
Get a job (Check this one off!)

Finance:
Give to 3 charities I like

These are all things that anyone can do and I sincerely encourage you to do one or more of them. They will make you a more well rounded person and are some of the best things a person can do for self development. Feel free to share your own 2012 goal progress in the comments below.