Reviewing Goals for January 2015

Summary: It's time to review January 2015's goals. Let's break it down and see what we can learn. (Tweet This!)

Every month, I set and review goals for myself. Last month, I explained how and why I was setting goals and the value of setting them on a monthly basis.

I set two personal goals and one business goal for this website. Let's see how I did:

January 2015 Goals

Goals - Baby, Funny
  1. Personal 1: Create a Rough System to Quantify and Track "Successful" Days

    I worked on a rough system to "grade" my days. I even improved it a few times. I'm not quite ready to share it, but I'm happy to describe it.

    As you might have guessed from my article earlier this week: Gamification is Your Key to Self Improvement.

    I have a spreadsheet with various categories (Health, Work, To-Do List, etc) which are broken down into activities (flossing, pushups, etc.). I then have a column for how many points each item is worth. For example, flossing is worth 200 points, pushups are worth 5 points. The points are arbitrary. I give more points to things that I think are more important so that I'll want to do them.

    I keep two running columns for each day... the short-term "to-do"/focus list and a general "feel" list. The general feel list is just a 1 to 10 subjective feeling for a few areas in my life. If I blew off the day to go sledding with the kids, I'm going to get a zero for work. On the other hand, I'll get an 8 or 9 for family. What I found is that I consistent scored almost the same amount of points every day. The only question is which categories the points were scored in.

    The biggest problem is that I only used the system 9 times the whole month. Of course that's 9 more times than I used it over the previous 2-3 years when I tried do something similar in the past. While it was far from perfect, simply setting the goal seemed to help. I went from tracking 0% of my days to 30% of my days.

    Grade C- (72)

  2. Personal 2: Lose 4 Pounds

    I started in at 175.5 pounds. According to my awesome Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, I can see that I averaged 171.2 pounds for the week of Jan. 25-31.

    I nailed it! I even had a 1/3rd of a pound to spare.

    How did I do it? I simply was more mindful of what I ate. I didn't starve myself or anything like that. I simply had the goal in the back of my mind the whole month. That allowed me to replace a few snacks with healthy alternatives. I worked in about a dozen NutriBullet shakes (consisting of Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, and whey protein, and water) throughout the month.

    I wonder what I could have done if I had done any significant exercising other than walking my dog and bumped up the shake to be more of a daily snack. Sounds like food for thought on February's goals.

    Grade A (95)

  3. Be Better Now: Write 7 Guest Posts for Other Blogs

    This didn't happen. Not even close. I wrote half of a single blog post. When I had spare time, I put it to work making the website look a lot better. I recently wrote up next week's full monthly review for January, and I was shocked at all the little things I was able to accomplish on the site.

    There were a lot of design fixes and adding related articles at the end that hopefully keep attention when I do try to attract attention with other blog posts.

    Even though I clearly didn't get what I originally set out done, I still got a lot of very important things done for the site. I'm going to give myself a bit of a break on the grade. While it was poor execution, I think it was more a misguided goal. I'll take a little credit for doing a successful pivot.

    Grade C- (72)

Taking all three things into account, my average score is a 79.6... which I'll round to an 80 to squeak out possibly the lowest B- grade in history.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what the grade is... it's about the fact that I made steady improvement on a number of these things. I improved the system that I use to track how productive my day was and I actually used it several times. I really did lose weight. I improved the look and feel of the website.

That's a lot of improvement that wouldn't have happened if I didn't set goals. That's success by any measure.

(In a future post, hopefully this weekend, I'll draw up the goals for February 2014.)

Image Credit: Barbara's HD Wallpapers

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