In 2010, I started a new habit of setting goals for the upcoming year. This year is no different.
I started the process by looking back on 2011. With the year behind me and a lot learned, I’ve now set goals for 2012.
The process of setting goals for an entire year is more time consuming than you’d think. Looking back took me the better part of the day, and after I realized how poorly I’d done it took me two more days to think through what I need to do about it.
Before I go any further, I need to let you in on my goal setting process.
I define a goal as a realistic, measurable change that can be defined in one sentence and is chosen by the person who makes the change.
If I can’t measure it, it’s not a goal. If it’s forced upon me, it’s not a goal. If it’s impossible to achieve, it’s not a goal.
Being happy is not a goal. Eating five vegetarian meals a week is a goal.
Knowing what a goal is, I break my life into seven categories and set goals for each one. The categories are:
- Personal Growth
- Business (or career)
- Financial (which is broken up between income, saving, and giving)
Each category is an area of my life that needs work in some way. And while I make goals for each area, I always keep in mind that they are interconnected with one another and can’t be separated. If I’m unhealthy, my social networks, family, personal growth, and business will all suffer.
In addition, I make a point of limiting my goals to 3 per category. It is unreasonable to think you’ll achieve more than 3 goals per category. I tried it last year and failed miserably.
This year, I tried to keep most categories down to two goals. A few have three, but most are squarely in the two goal camp. If I hit July and have achieved all my goals (unlikely) I may change this, but for now I’m sticking to this limit.
Once I’ve set the goals in each category, I come up with a theme for the year. The theme keeps me focused and is easy to remember. Last year was “the year of massive change” and (while stressful) it reminded me to keep pushing when everything in my life felt foreign.
My 2012 Goals
I’m calling 2012 the year of development. Since I’ve changed almost everything about my life, it’s time to start developing all the changes.
Most of my goals are personal or uninteresting. Things like learning a new language, going on a vacation and starting a family devotional. As far as the blog is concerned, here are a few of my goals:
- Earn $3,000 dollars in one month. To date, I’ve never earned more than $150 dollars in a month from the blog – and most of that is affiliate sales. In 2012, I plan to develop the blog into a major source of income and my goal is $3,000 a month gross.
- Make writing my top income earner. I’ve already written a guide and have been staff writing for two month. In 2012, I will continue to pursue staff writing, write more guides, and work out ways to earn the lion share of my income from writing projects.
- Coach 25 people. I’m currently working behind the scene to launch personal finance coaching. Once it’s live, my goal is to coach 25 different individuals. Couples and families count as 1 person coached. I’ll go into more detail once this goes live.
This year, you can make resolutions (which most people fail by Valentine’s day) or you can set some goals and be the person you want to be. It’ll be harder than you expect and force you to deal with things like procrastination and failure. But if you do it, it will change your life.
I’ll even help you out. Click here to download my annual review template.
What will change in your life in 2012?