It’s January 1. I bet you’ve already heard about a million New Year’s Resolutions. What’s different between goals and New Year’s resolutions? I bet you’ll accomplish more of your ordinary goals. You’re under pressure to complete any goal, but often what we do is make the toughest ones resolutions and then tell everybody. That quadruples the pressure. So let’s just stick to some goals and leave the pressure behind? With me?
One way I do goal setting is to keep track using the 101 in 1001 principle. I set 101 things I want to do and give myself 1001 days to do it. I found the idea on a meme years ago and have kept it up. Sometimes I make it almost all things that I’d love to do but are unrealistic (the first goals that need revision), but usually I’m able to keep a good balance between “I really can do this” and “I need more money or time to accomplish this”. Any goals can be used which is awesome. I try to write update posts when I’ve accomplished a group of goals.
If you’re a reader (even audio books!), Goodreads allows you to set goals for how many books you want to read in the year. If you track what books you complete using Goodreads, it automatically counts down for you. I reached my goal a couple years ago and missed it this year by about 12 books but it’s pretty motivating for me. You can update what you’ve read on the website or with one of their apps.
Want something more in your face? What about a vision board? There are lots of tips on the internet for creating one but you need photos or drawings or magazine cutouts that visually symbolize the goals you want to attain and something to put them on (posterboard, cloth, etc). Put it somewhere you see it and use it to motivate you to make your goals come true.
Write your goals where you can see them every day. I used to print my goals from my computer and put them over my dorm room door. Every time I left the room I looked at them. I also put them on my monitor so I could stare at them as I worked. Worked for me! The wall art image to the left is a different way to post but is really neat.
What about the to do apps like we’ve discussed previously on this website? Make a separate list in Wunderlist, Orchestra, Evernote, etc, and then use it to make the more detailed lists you need to accomplish each goal. Or make a set of lists in Google Drive or Dropbox and link back to them on your blog or into Evernote or a similar app so you can quickly update them.
There are soooo many ways to keep up with what goals you’ve set, but what about the goals you are setting? What categories of goals do you set? I’m big on short, medium and long term goals. There are some things I can accomplish within a couple months. There are some things that I can get done in in 3-6 months. There are some things that might take a year or more. Realize what those things are and be honest with yourself. Like I said above, I set a 101 in 1001 but I also have a set of 5 year goals. The 5 year goals are broken down by month for the next five years. I can alter these as I need to but I don’t say publish a paper the month after I have a goal to start writing. But I do have a realistic goal to save ten bucks a month so I can buy the new SimCity when it gets released. Priorities If you’ve never set a goal before, start with one. Get that done then set two. Rinse, wash, and repeat.
What goals are you setting for the new year? What do you use to keep up with them? Post in the comments!