Goals are tricky and tough to stick to.
You never know when something can happen in your life that causes you to change your priorities and values. I suppose this happens more when you’re younger and still trying to figure out your direction in life.
Periodically,, I used to make a long list of goals and pledge that I was going to turn my life around and finally become my best self. I’ve since learned a plan l like that is destined to fail and that the less goals you have, the more effective you are, as change requires a period of conscious effort before a behavior can be ingrained.
On a 3-6 month timeline, I think it’s usually realistic to achieve 1-2 goals of reasonable impact. When I was job-hunting with daily-sustained effort, it took me about 2 months to find a good job that fit. That was my primary goal at the time and took up most of my concentration. I made very minor progress on my other goals to reach 50 books read and improving my golf game by the end of the year.
From my experience, it’s wise to concentrate on 1 goal per three month period. If you complete the goal early, that’s great. Then you can put your full concentration on the next goal. However, this doesn’t mean you have to drop all your existing commitments–just put them on maintenance. For example, if you are exercising consistently, continue to do that and monitor your behavior, but you don’t need to find some a new workout routine or put on 15 pounds of muscle at the moment. Later, you can if you so choose.
So starting out in 2015, I had been going to the gym pretty consistently 2-3 times a week for a couple months. So I wanted to concentrate on solidifying that goal and making sure I was working out 3 times a week.
By now, I’m pretty solid with that so I’m prepared to add a new goal:
To get 1,000 email subscribers for my new website I’m launching. It’s a site about personal finance with an emphasis on the early retirement/financial independence movement. I have a long-term ambitious goal to be financially independent by the time I’m 30, and I wanted to use this new site to track my progress.
I like the idea of tackling a new subject, writing about it, and then engaging with other people who are interested in similar things. I also have a plan to write a book on the subject to synthesize my thoughts, share it with people, and perhaps make some side income.
So I pretty much have 4 main priorities right now:
-Build the new website (1,000 email subscribers by EOY)
-Workout consistently (3x per week)
-Maintain productivity at my job. (Get all my tasks done on time)
-Save money. (Save/Invest 60% of my income.)
Everything else is not important. Of course, I will take time to spend time with friends and relax from time to time. I’m not trying to go completely insane here, but as far as goals go, I know what I need to do to move things forward.
I’ve come to realize that success comes from focus. A recently popular book call Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less has helped to remind me of that truth. So I’m excited to really make progress with the new site, while maintaining my existing habits at work and in the gym.
Let’s slap 2015 in the face.