Last year I published an article about New Year resolutions, or my version of this tradition which I call my New Year Goals List. For more than twenty years I’ve written annual goals, usually a set of 5 to 10 which I hope to accomplish in the ensuing year. This ritual occurs in December, often around the holidays, but always before January 1st. These goals are written on a small piece of paper, added to prior annual goals, neatly folded and placed in a bedside drawer. From time to time I review these goals, usually once or twice during the year. I often flip back to prior years to ponder where my priorities might have been at that time, if they have evolved in any meaningful way, and if I missed something from years past which should reappear in the future. Granted my goals may seem modest to some and perhaps challenging to others. Regardless of exogenous perspective, the annual goal list seems to work for me, and may work for others too.
Typically my goals include some mix of personal, business, health, family and charitable. Last year, some of my goals included:
- Write a second business book
- Take 3 interesting vacations with family
- Spend at least two weeks in a warm climate
- Publish at least 25 articles – 15 on Agency Marketing
- Wake up weight of 180
As the New Year is upon us, I decided to review my goals for the year, and ponder priorities for 2012. My second business book was completed with the help of three colleagues. It is called Sell More & Work Less and will finally ship in January. This sales and marketing tips book was fun to write and moved along at a faster clip than my first book. I was able to take four trips this year, including Sweden/Denmark, Newport Beach, CA, Naples, FL and Seattle, WA, in part because StartUpSelling, Inc. is a completely virtual business allowing for the time and flexibility to travel.
I published 35 articles (20 related to agency marketing), safely eclipsing my goal, gaining momentum and motivation as I neared and subsequently surpassed the 100 article notch from efforts over the last three years, hardly Hemingway, but my attempt at providing some interesting content for others to consume. Which brings us to the final goal on the list, a seemingly simple yet illusory target. Repeating a similar performance to last year, the scale read 183 on this the 30th of December. Granted, some extra effort over the next 48 hours and a disciplined two day diet regimen might put this goal within reach. Unfortunately, as we all know, the holidays tend to be a better time to gain than shed. The former sentence sounds good as I write it, though the latter seems an obvious rationalization and a meager attempt to excuse this near miss again.
And what are some of the goals on my 2012 New Years Goals List?
- Write a 3rd business book
- Start on my first novel (that will be a radical departure from business writing)
- Finalize a television show script (now completed but undergoing refinements)
- Three weeks in a warm climate (with friends and family)
- Wake up weight of 180 pounds
I find this annual goal ritual to be helpful and rewarding, motivating and humbling. It helps keep me on track and measure my results during the year and from year to year. Try it and you might find it helpful too. I’d like to wish all of my family, friends, colleagues, contractors and clients a happy and healthy New Year!