It’s that time of year again… now that it’s ten days until Christmas (how did that happen so fast?), I realized that another year is almost at its end. It’s time to reflect on the past year; the places where I have succeeded, the places I have failed, the goals I have accomplished, and the goals that I have not accomplished. And it’s also time to look ahead to the coming year, make new plans and goals, and try to improve myself as a person.
A few days ago, I made a vague list of the goals I’d like to accomplish in 2012, but the list isn’t complete yet. I have a lot of abstract goals on there, like “eat healthy” and “drink more water.” Self-help books and other sources tell you that your goals should be measurable. Thus, a goal like “eat healthy” is too vague. You have to say something like “eat at least one vegetable and one fruit per day” or “drink eight glasses of water.”
It’s useless to say that your goal for the year is to “write a novel” because it’s such an overwhelming goal, especially if you’ve never written anything before. The best thing to do is to say, “I will write x number of words per day (or per week)” and go from there. Breaking goals down into smaller steps and making them measurable seems like cliche advice, but it’s so common for a reason: It works.
Even a goal like “get a job” is too abstract. What kind of job are you looking for? Full-time, part-time, remote, or temporary? How are you going to go about getting a new job? Create a strategy. Maybe you’ll send x number of cover letters and resumes per week. Maybe you’ll start by adding a certain number of people to your network per month.
I think it’s also good to make sure that you don’t put too many goals on your list. Having too many can be overwhelming, especially if they’re all big, time-consuming projects. You don’t want to be angry at yourself for not completing a goal because you have way too much going on in your life. Leave some time for relaxation and fun.
Now back to my goal list… 🙂