Goal-setting 101: What are your thoughts on this?
It’s that time of the year again when you sit back and assess what happened this year… what you want to happen next year… and what the differential needs to be, to make this happen.
You know what I mean — it’s the proverbial Goal-Setting season.
To be honest, I’ve never been good at setting goals.
To me, setting a goal is like making a wish before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake.
I admire people who can do this — people whose visualization powers are so strong they can conceptualize something in their mind, and then turn it into a reality.
But it’s just too intangible me.
Let me clarify what I mean.
I have often had ideas of businesses I wanted to start, and projects I wanted to get off the ground. And many of those projects saw, and will continue seeing the light of day.
But I guess what I’m referring to are the more “conventional” things you hear people advising you to do, like “write down your income goals.”
For me, I just don’t operate like this.
I’m very practical, and in the “here and now.” And in some cases this is a blessing… others, a curse.
I’m far more comfortable writing down “Action Steps” I’m going to take, to earn more… rather than “Do this much in business next year.” Or “I will make ‘this much’ next year.”
For instance, this year I lost 16 pounds, and I will continue eating the right % of protein, carbs and fats, for this trend to continue. I’d like to lose another 10 pounds and that’s it.
But if I write down “Lose 10 pounds,” I find this too esoteric.
For me, it’s much more effective to say, “Lose 5 pounds by March 15th,” or something along those lines.
This is much more specific, task-oriented, and focussed than “Lose 10 pounds.”
I guess, what I’m saying is, for me… I would rather aim for bite-sized chunks of goals… and have daily “action to-do’s” that get me there… as opposed to having big, audacious goals you here about so often.
Perhaps that makes me an underachiever, but I just think better in terms of “tasks” than goals.
Having said this…
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Here are a few of the things I’d like to get done next year:
1. I’d like to get back to writing more daily tips and blog posts:
I wrote less posts this year, than ever. I had a LOT of consulting projects and new personal projects that took up a TON of my time. And many of these projects will still continue next year.
However, I need to get back to writing if not daily, than at least 3 times a week.
There are a few reasons why I want to do this:
– Stronger relationship with you
And frankly, if I want to release more products or offer more services (and I do), you’re more likely to buy them, the more you hear from me.
– More free traffic to my blog:
The more (interesting) stuff you write, the more traffic you get. There’s no mystery to this.
– The more I write, the better I write:
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve probably done more writing this year than I imagined I even could.
BUT… writing short, snappy e-mails keeps you sharp.
It’s like taking foul shots – it’s not “that” much work, but if you do it often enough, the payoff is huge.
The discipline to do it, is greater than the actual effort to do it, in a sense.
2. As I said, I do want to knock off those remaining 10 pounds:
I’m probably in the best shape of my life today, and that says a lot at age 50.
And since my metabolism is naturally as slow as mud… the amount of work I have to do, to maintain all this, is quite a lot.
But I like how I feel and how I look. And my orthopedist told me, “Hey, if you think you have a lot of aches and pains… you should see how badly my INACTIVE patients feel. So keep up the good work.”
So there’s really no down side. I hope to be at my goal weight of 165-166, by sometime in April.
3. The other thing I want to do is to take some more time off.
We’re nearly empty-nesters now – with only one child still home. And she’s on auto-pilot, pretty much.
And after almost 21 years of being together, my wife and iI still like each other and still have a lot of fun together. So I’d like to vacation a little more.
Sure, I’d like to see some of the projects I’m working on, mature and evolve.
But what kind of a goal is that?
“Continue growing XYZ project?”
See, this is where I struggle when it comes to this stuff.
However, I do have specific tasks on my to-do list, which I update regularly. In fact, I’m old school – I actually write them down and update this list, 2-3 times a week on a sheet of paper.
It contains all the current tasks in my short-term window… and I have 3-5 “big pegs” I identify, that need to be moved, during that particular week.
Then I have another list (on workflowy.com, actually) with my longer-range to-do’s or big project “themes” I work under.
Hey, who knows, maybe these are goals and I don’t even know it.
But I find this whole topic a little challenging, and I feel like I’ve never really mastered it – even after all these years.
Like Bruce Lee said, “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
And this is what works best for me – having things I’m “aiming” at.
The other thing I’ve learned is the best way to make God laugh, is to tell him your plans. So I try and keep “what I’m going to do” flexible and adjustable.
What are your thoughts on all this? Let me know, below.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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listening to: The Weight – The Band (1968)