Looking back, looking forward: Goals

At the end of every year, I review the goals I set for myself for that year; and in that process, I also set new goals for the upcoming year. These are not to be confused with “New Years Resolutions”, which everyone forgets about by February (I’ve written about this here).  These are SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and tangible.

I began setting yearly goals back in 2008, with that year being written on the back of an envelope and stuck on my bulletin board. It’s evolved now to a longer thinking process, spreadsheet, and regular check-ins. David (and Chris Guillebeau) got me thinking about and in the habit of setting goals. Why set goals? I have this fear that in life we often say “oh yeah, we should ______ sometime” but that ‘sometime’ just never happens because life is busy and we wake up 20 years from now and that opportunity passes us by. So each year, I intentionally think about, what is it I want to happen this year? What do I want to make sure I do this year? Then every month or two, I review the goals and make sure I am working toward them.

My goals are broken down into:
– Health & Fitness
– Creativity
– Finance
– Friends & Family
– Learning
– Outdoors & Travel
– Other
– Work
goals

2014 Goals Review

I’m not going to list out and review all 37 goals (which is way too many); I fully met about 15 of them, vaguely met about 8 of them, and totally missed 14 of them. Some good ones that I met were bike to Attleboro, hike 2 new mountain, spend time with my parents, and max out my Roth IRA.  I fell just short of reading 15 books for the year, and totally missed playing guitar 5 days in a row 2-3x. But, it was a busy (that whole wedding thing) and good year.

2015 Goals

This year also ended up with 37 items listed out! Again, too many, but some are small, simple things, and some will take a lot more work. This year I will finish the blanket I have been knitting for the last 9 years; I will write at least 10 blog entries (get ready!), get my wedding pictures printed, and visit a National Park. There’s more, but I will spare you the long list.

What about you? What are your goals for the year? Even though it’s late January, it’s not too late. I challenge you to think about what you’ve been meaning to do, write it down, hold yourself accountable, and make it happen!

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7 thoughts on “Looking back, looking forward: Goals

  1. good post 🙂 i’m not a resolution-er either. but, i do have some habits that i’d like to fine tune and be more consistent with (connecting with gratitude daily, meditating, getting up early, reducing screen time, mindfully listening to others, positive thinking…). i figure a month is about how long i need to make each a true habit so, i picked 12 for the year which should manageable. oh, and totally with you on the spreadsheets and documentation thing. definitely need that to keep myself accountable! good luck with your goals. looking forward to reading more posts this year! 🙂

    1. Ooo, Jocelyn, I like those. They sound like they’d fit into a “character” or “habits” category. Perhaps I should consider adding that to mine. My question though, is, at the end of the year, how do you know if you’ve met those goals? I also like the one-per month thing. Thanks for sharing!

      1. good question 🙂 i asked myself that, too since the only way i’ll be sure to follow through and to see how much progress i’m making is by keeping track on paper (plus, i kinda just love spreadsheets and lists). in a nutshell, i’ll use sort of a daily “yes/no” check mark system on my calendar, along with keeping narratives in a journal. i mapped them out by month on a google doc. with a detailed explanation under each goal. some things are more measurable than others (exercise, time limits on screens, getting up early…) i tried my best to make even the more “attitude” type goals quantifiable (like: express gratitude for 3 specific things daily, meditate 5 min per day, spend 15 min per day de-cluttering, focus on 1 conversation per day to listen more intentionally, consciously see the positive in at least 1 “difficult” situation per day…). i realize some goals are a bit vague but, still figure they’re worth working on 🙂

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