For the past few years I have compiled a list of "New Year's Resolutions" to work towards. While there is nothing wrong with having resolutions and working towards them, I feel that I'm outgrowing them. A resolution is defined as "a firm decision to do or not to do something" whereas a goal is "an aim or desired result". Having an aim and achieving a specific result is becoming more and more important to me than just checking things off a list.
This year I'm taking "resolutions" to the next level. Borrowing a system from Chris Guillebeau, I've defined several goals by category -- Lifestyle, Health, Learning, Writing, Blogging, Financial, Travel, and Business -- and, using a spreadsheet, I will keep track of progress throughout the year.
What follows are several (but not all) categories from my annual review spreadsheet. I intend to review all of the goals in each category at the end of each quarter (April 1st, July 1st, October 1st). This will allow me to see which goals I need to reevaluate and which I need to focus more on to make progress.
- Location independent; nomadic; frequently moving around
- Minimalistic; few possessions; everything on my back
- Active; frequently outdoors; hiking and exploring
- Frugal; financial independence; online income
- Writer; blogger; improved quality of writing
- Value provider; helping people
The Lifestyle category is somewhat of a special category. It basically states what I would like to see in my lifestyle by the end of this year. Its goals are much broader. The goals in the other categories should assist in making the goals in the Lifestyle category possible.
- Run a marathon
- Improve posture and remove muscular imbalances
- Run 15 – 20 miles per week
- Stress-free lifestyle
- Meditate every day
- Yoga every day
- 1,000 pushups every day
- Swim 500 yards in under 10 minutes
- 80 situps in 2 minutes or less
- Run 1.5 miles in 10 minutes
- 25 pullups without rest
- Learn at least one foreign language fluently
- Improve my handwriting
- Attain 1500 WPM reading speed
- Master Arithmetic
- Learn Algebra
- Learn Geometry
- Learn Trigonometry
- Learn Calculus
- Gain a better understanding of physics
- Read and review 12 books
- Publish 1 free eBook
- Publish 1 non-free eBook
- Write at least 1 guest post
- Write every day
- Publish a personal manifesto
- Write and share 365 positive thoughts
- Redesign and make the site the “home base” for Raam Dev
- Write at least 104 posts (2 per week)
- Increase traffic from ~7500/mo to ~15000/mo
- At least 1,000 RSS subscribers
- Document my lifestyle transition and make raamdev.com a resource for others looking to make a similar change
- Visit at least six countries
- Gain a global perspective (various currencies, traditions, rules, local and international laws, customs, etc.,)
While this could be looked at as a gigantic "New Year's Resolutions" list, it's different in that I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about what's important, defining next actions, and then reviewing them periodically throughout the year. I'm sure I will modify the system to fit my own needs as the year moves on, but Chris' system seems like a great starting point.
Grab the Annual Review Template and try it for yourself!