I imagine I would feel smarter writing with a pen like this.
by Luke Goldstein
A few years back a friend of mine showed me her pattern for setting goals each year. On her birthday she would create a list of things she wanted to get done before her next one. The number of items on the list were equal to the number of years she just turned. I thought this was a fantastic idea and jumped on it.
My first year I was able to complete many of the items on the list, but not all of them. I found the trick was not to put too many big items on it because they might take up most of your year just trying to plan them out. Also, don’t make everything something that is paid for. Once again you will likely find yourself behind the eight ball at the end of the year solely because you ran out of money trying to buy your list.
The other big problem I had with this method was it gets longer each year. That might be fine once you’re retired and have all day to work on those goals, but dealing with a full-time job, marriage and a beginning writing career, that doesn’t leave a wealth of time on the table for goal keeping.
This past year I only managed to complete eight of my goals (out of 36), but a couple of them were pretty large ones: Self-publish my first novel and make a baby (the latter is still cooking, due 4/7/13).
I decided after my birthday a couple of weeks back to change my outlook for setting goals this year and went for something a little more within reason for my lifestyle: 12 goals for 12 months. This allows me to make the goals a little more substantial, but not feel like I will never have enough time to get them done. Here’s what I came up with for 2013:
- Finish reading 24 books (This was one of the goals I was able to finish last year and I liked doing it, so back on the list it goes)
- Go on 3 legit hikes (“legit” meaning I need to break a sweat and pack a snack, although if I don’t keep in shape this could mean just heading out to the mailbox)
- Reach 12 new states on my Donation map (I’m trying to make a donation to a charity in every state in the US, then one in each country around the world. Not doing to bad now, but this goal on the list helps keep me reminded.)
- Get new tattoo (Already have it designed, just need to have the disposable income for it. It will be my fifth, which might sound like a lot, but it takes me years to get new ones, so I don’t foresee being a completely inked up Grandpa one day.)
- Finish wedding album (My friend, Amber, took absolutely amazing photos of our wedding and engagement, but even a year later we haven’t gotten them arranged into a physical or digital book. Gotta fix that.)
- Build baby book (Not going to wait until Logan is over a year old before we knock this out. This one might even be done before the wedding book.)
- Submit/Self Publish second novel (Starting writing the first draft already. This might be lofty, but it should keep me going.)
- One painting/art piece per week (Art is another hobby of mine and I chose it as the one to focus on for the next year, outside of writing. Hoping scratching out one piece per week will help me develop my style and voice more. Also, it’s a great reason to justify buying more art supplies.)
- Get van for daycare (My wife runs a home daycare and she definitely needs a mode of transportation that allows her to take the kids out on day trips. Will make sure this does not have creepy tinted windows or old, faded ice cream stickers on the side.)
- Visit one new place (Using this as a motivator to go on a road trip or just get out of town to somewhere new at least once during the year.)
- Reconnect with family members (Having a child of your own kinda puts things like this into a certain perspective.)
- Find new therapist (Having a child of your own kinda puts things like this into a certain perspective. Who knew that reasoning would work twice?)
How about you? Do you have goal lists that you set every year? What would you like to get done and what type of lists or apps do you use to keep you on point?