How I’m Setting Goals in 2015

Summary: (Create and Set Manageable Goals) + (Keep Yourself Accountable) + (Review Often) = Success! (Tweet This)

Old Goals

For several years now, I've set annual goals at the beginning of the year. At the end of each year, I reviewed them only to conclude that I didn't accomplish what I had set out to do. Sometimes, I had a good excuse, but other times I look back think that I could have certainly done better.

It's easy to set goals in January, but when I'm knee-deep in taxes in April, the last thing I'm thinking about is what I wrote down back in January. This year, I'm going to do things a little differently. I'm going to try set them on a monthly basis. We'll see how it works for a few months and adjust from there if necessary. I think it's certainly going to be better than looking back a year later and seeing a year of failed goals.

As I came up with this idea of creating monthly rather than annual resolutions, it occurred to me that it might not be unique. Yes, like many of my ideas, some smart person laid claim to them long ago. Here's a three-minute TED talk about 30 day goals from famous Google policy czar, Matt Cutts:

If that doesn't inspire you to set monthly goals, this isn't the website for you.

Even Matt Cutts points out that his 30 day goal was inspired by Morgan Spurlock's show, 30 Days. I can't recommend the show highly enough... it is well worth your time and your money.

So my idea isn't unique. That's a bit of a bummer. Let's focus on the bright side... we now know it works!

How is This Going to Work at Be Better Now?

On the last Friday of the month, I'm going to write down a post about my goals for the next month. On the first Friday of the next month, I'll review how I did the previous month.

There will be exceptions such as when the Friday falls on the first or second of the month. In those cases, I'll push the review to the second week, because I don't want to put myself into a position of having to rush a monthly review that just completed the night before. All the data from the previous month (such as website visits or money earned) may not available right away.

Accountability Matters

I don't know if you'll care about my goals. Perhaps there's some voyeuristic appeal to them. For the most part, I don't care if you care.

My reason for putting the goals out there is to keep myself accountable. If I were to simply keep track in a spreadsheet, what happens in a month if I fail? I spend 30 seconds thinking that I'll try to do better next month and move on. With accountability, I'm going to have to publicly fess up to my failures. That's extra motivation not to fail in the first place.

The second reason for sharing my goals is so that you can share on the journey. Perhaps you'll see that I'm just an ordinary person like yourself... and if I can succeed in my goals you can succeed in yours.

I hope you'll create your goals, make them public, and share them with me and other readers. (The comment section below is a perfect place for that.) Together we'll learn what works.

Setting the Goals

I think it makes sense to set 3 goals each month: two personal and one related to Be Better Now. For example, one month I may resolve to give up soda, lose 5 pounds, and get 10,000 visitors. Another month it could be to make $100 on the side, negotiate some sale or purchase, and get 250 new people subscribed to my RSS feed.

I have no clue how these goals and reviews are going to work. I'm not going to lock a format in stone. We'll give this a shot for now, and if it doesn't work, we'll make changes to "Be Better" (yes, I couldn't resist).

Update: Check out my January 2015 Goals here.

This post involves:

Be Better Now, Monthly Goals

... and focuses on: