Photo by Ronnie Overgoor on Unsplash. Know where you are going this year!

Setting goals

First, a disclaimer, I hate the words goals and resolutions. For me, they are failure words. They are failure words because we all set them, and few follow through. Life interferes. Our priorities change. Our jobs change. But when these changes occur, we seldom take the time to reset our goals. Despite this, I haven’t found a better word to use yet. However, I have come to like the word destinations. Some place or somewhere I want to get to.

I now think goals are like the destination at the journey’s end. They help keep you focused on where you are trying to end up. And if you don’t have a defined destination that you are moving towards, then you are unlikely to get there. In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road to take, and his answer is: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road can take you there.” But remember also that: “Not all who wander are lost.” So the decision is yours do you want to wander or move toward a destination?

The second reason I hate these words is that we simply write goals down without taking the time to flesh them out with the thought needed to build a plan and identify the tasks we need to complete along the journey toward our goal.

However, 2023 is going to be different for me, I am going to identify my destinations carefully and set smart goals for each of them, so I know where I’m going. Then I will follow the strategies below to ensure my highest likelihood of achieving them. So, let’s start by defining what Smart goals are.

Smart Goals

SMART is the acronym for deciding if my goal description is complete. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. Many goals are too vague to achieve, so we don’t achieve them. For example, if my goal is to become a below-par golfer, This may be attainable, but the goal is meaningless because it isn’t time bound and can be easily ignored.

  1. Specific: Don’t be vague. Make sure it is clear what you want to achieve. The health goal of losing weight is too vague. I want to weigh 210 pounds by December 31, 2023, which is specific.
  2. Measurable: If you can’t measure your goal or progress, you are unlikely to achieve it. Getting to 210 pounds by December 31 is measurable. I Can weigh myself when returning home at the end of January and then do it periodically throughout the year to see my progress. Some of our goals will be whether I did it or not.
  3. Achievable: Can you do it? Losing 15 pounds a year is reasonable, so it passes this test. Losing the 15 pounds and trying to add muscle is not as achievable. So make sure you think it makes sense.
  4. Relevant: Is this goal relevant and consistent with your values and passions? If it isn’t, then you probably won’t pursue this goal. Again, losing 15 pounds is measurable and achievable, but I care if I’m thinner. I won’t try to achieve the goal if I don’t care enough. Relevance is when we ask, “is this important to me?”.
  5. Time Bound: Is there a clear point when the goal is to be completed? Even if you can measure your goal if you don’t have a time element to it. It will be too easy to ignore.

My goals for 2023

  1. Get three paying copywriter clients by December 31, 2023.
  2. Lose 15 pounds from my after-vacation weight by December 31, 2023
  3. Walk to pick up my mail four days per week.
  4. Get my finances in order so I can attend the Rotary International Convention by May 1, 2023.
  5. Attend AG/LG rotary meeting in Socorro on February 3 and 4, 2023.
  6. Golf once round per week and go to the driving range one afternoon per week from February 7 through December 31, 2023.
  7. Attend Rotary District Conference in Roswell In April.
  8. Take a river cruise with Susan in September.
  9. Become comfortable in my new role as IMYM Treasurer
  10. Attend the IMYM conference in June.
  11. Master TANA And Note Making

I have a lot of goals for 2023, but many are yes/no goals and require limited planning and thinking. I could group these goals by my life areas. Such as IMYM, Rotary, Travel, Health, and Finance, so I don’t get as overwhelmed by a list of 11 goals.

Four strategies for achieving your goals

  1. Identify the plan and tasks needed to achieve each goal.
  2. Build some daily, weekly, and monthly habits around your goals.
  3. Review your progress weekly and monthly.
  4. Take action on each goal each week.

Identify a plan for achieving your goals.

You should break down your journey for each goal into major pieces that must be completed along the way. Then for each of these pieces, identify the tasks you have to accomplish.

For example, one of my 2023 goals is to become a paid writer for copy and blog text for others. So here is my breakdown of the intermediate waypoints:

  1. Complete Training. I can’t write for clients until I fully train in copywriting. That training will require me to complete four Projects, each containing several Tasks.
    1. Complete AWAI training in Basic copywriting
    2. Complete the AWAI course 21 days before your first client
    3. Build your business website.
    4. Complete the AWAI Financing course
  2. Develop a Portfolio of sample wrings
  3. Develop a semi-standard response to send in response to job openings
  4. Start LinkedIn writing and commenting presence for marketing (Get better Known.)
  5. Get clients.

Each of these phases has projects and tasks. For example, complete AWAI Basics Lesson 1, etc.

I will describe these strategies in more detail in my next three blog posts.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

– Mark Twain