Annual Goal Setting

Every year, JT and I take time in January to do annual goal setting. Typically, we go to our local coffee shop and sit for a few hours to talk, brainstorm, dream, and push each other to do things with the upcoming year that neither of us thought were possible.

We've found Michael Hyatt's blog post on goals to be very helpful, so I'll share a snippet here with you:

  1. "Keep them few in number. Productivity studies show that you really can’t focus on more than 5–7 items at any one time. And don’t try to cheat by including sections with several goals under each section. This is a recipe for losing focus and accomplishing very little. Instead, focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.
  2. Make them “smart.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. When I refer to smart goals, I mean this. Goals must meet five criteria. 
    1. Specific
    2. Measurable
    3. Actionable
    4. Realistic
    5. Timebound
  3. Write them down. This is critical. There is a huge power in writing your goals down even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else (not recommended). Henriette Anne Klauser documents this in her fascinating book, Write It Down and Make It Happen. When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
  4. Review them frequently. While writing your goals down is a powerful exercise in itself, the real juice is in reviewing them on a regular basis. This is what turns them into reality. Every time I review my goals, I ask myself, What’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal. You can review them daily, weekly, or monthly. (I review them weekly.) It’s up to you. The key is to do let them inspire and populate your daily task list.
  5. Share them selectively. I used to advise people to “go public” with their goals—even blog about them. But in his 2010 TED talk, Derek Sivers makes the compelling case that telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen. Now I counsel people not to share them with anyone who is not committed to helping you achieve them (e.g., your mentor, mastermind group, or business partner).

Some of our friends have asked for the worksheet we use for our goal setting. It's rather simple, actually, so I've listed it below for convenience. We go through personal goals, then use those same categories and set goals as a couple. In the past, we've put as many as 4-5 goals under each category. This year, we limited it to 1-2, per Michael's advice above. It's actually nice to simplify our goals a bit! 

OUR MAIN GOAL:

Health (insert one word/phrase that describes your goals here)

Macy - Personal Goals

  • Spiritual
    •  
    •  
  • Recreational
    •  
    •  
  • Professional
    •  
    •  

JT - Personal Goals

  • Spiritual
    •  
    •  
  • Recreational
    •  
    •  
  • Professional
    • PhD
      •  
      •  
    • Work
      •  

Marriage Goals

  • Spiritual
    •  
  • Recreational
    •  
  • Financial
    •  

Hopefully you find this helpful! Stick the goals somewhere in your house (inside a cabinet, written on your bathroom mirror, etc) where you'll see it often and be reminded of them throughout the year.

Here's to a successful 2014!