I'm a strong believer in goals. You can't willy nilly wish for something and have it come true. You have to create specific, actionable, and time sensitive goals otherwise you have no chance of accomplishing them.
How to Create Good Goals
You could look up how to create SMART goals but that model seems unnecessarily complex. A good goal has these elements:
- Specific – You have to define success. You can't just say “I want to lose weight”. Instead say, “I want to lose 24 pounds”.
- Actionable – You can only set goals for yourself. You can't control how people will respond to you or your goal. A poorly written goal is “Write a best selling book”. A good goal would be, “write a book”.
- Time-sensitive – You have to be able to set an end date. For year beginning resolutions it's sometimes assumed it will take the year.
Once you have a date, a specific measurable goal, and it's time sensitive you'll automatically start doing the math in your head to accomplish that goal. If you want to write a novel which have 40,000+ words you can figure out that you need to write 3,330 words a month or 111 words a day. Not bad. If you start everyday writing 111 words there shouldn't be any reason you can't accomplish your goals.
My Goals for 2015
Unlike last year I want to include my personal goals in this post. Last year I had some very loose personal goals and very specific work goals which left me a bit unbalanced. I focused too much on work. This year I want to do a bit better job maintaining that balance.
- Twenty one-armed pushups. My friend Roy is going to attempt to do the salmon ladder so I figure it's only fair that I also set a physical goal. I have terrible upper body strength so I want to work on that. 10 one armed push ups on each side. Unlike most goals I want to put a short limit on this goal. Due date: April 1st.
- Save $10,000 for a home. I'm making enough money that if I'm wise with my money I can actually buy a home instead of renting one. I don't know where I want to live or what I want to live in (house, condo, tiny home, etc) but I do know that I need to start saving up now. Condo's in my neighborhood here in Denver go from 180-300K so a 20% down payment would be at least $36,000! It might take me a while to save up but at least I'm getting started.
- Run 1/2 marathon. Marathons are a beast. You have to spend a ton of time preparing. You still have to do that for 1/2 marathons but you could have a somewhat relaxed running schedule for 3-4 months and still do pretty well.
- Take a week long vacation and don't check any devices. Unplugging from the computer lets you fully enjoy the moment. I have no idea what I intend to do on this break but unplugging will be huge. I had this goal last year and didn't do very well at it because I didn't plan a week long vacation. Will have to take some time off this summer and do a camping or hiking trip.
- Hangout with a true friend. I moved to Denver about 6 months ago and have met a ton of people. I haven't met that friend where I can just say, “wanna hang out?”. That's my own fault for being too busy with my own projects. I'm going to try to simply hangout with a friend once a week in addition to meetups and other more formal plans.
- Apply to speak at eight WordPress events. Last year I spoke at 5 WordCamps (Phoenix, Minneapolis, Chicago, Maine, & Dallas Fort Worth). This year I hope to speak at at least that many if not more. I already applied to Atlanta and I was confirmed for LoopConf.
- Attend one non-WordPress conference. The WordPress community can sometimes be a bit insular. It helps to step outside of the WordPress space and see what other people are doing.
- Write a book. I read Authority last year and decided I wanted to write a book. I've stumbled plenty of times and even switched from self-publishing to going through a traditional publisher. Despite stumbling I'm still moving forward. It's a ton of work but there should be a physical book in my hands this April.
- Explore podcasting. I believe that podcasting will only continue to explode in popularity and there's still plenty of room for quality content. This goal is still fuzzy because I could possibly do something through work, or with some friends, or even appear on one of my favorite financial podcasts, Listen Money Matters. The goal is also still fuzzy because I don't know what I want to talk about. I'll have to do some soul searching to figure this out.
- Refine the WooCommerce catalog. WooCommerce is massive and over the years we've put up a few products that don't really fit. We currently have 300+ extensions. I'd like to cut the bottom performing 10 extensions and I'd like to add 30 new extensions.
Those are my goals for 2015. Any thoughts on my goals let me know in the comments below! 🙂