Taking My Own Advice: Setting Goals

Like so many people, the end of one year and the beginning of the next is a time of reflection. Chances are, we are all setting goals for the new year, both personally and professionally.

I found myself wandering through a bookstore earlier this week looking for a journal to write my goals in. I was in search of the perfect journal. Truth is, I don’t do well with everyday journals. I know that doesn’t work for me. I needed something that more hits at guiding principles to keep me moving in the right direction. I couldn’t find anything that was a solid weekly check in.

After spending way too much time in the bookstore, I hit upon an idea that I think might work. I am adopting my 2:2:1 from conferences to manage my personal goals for the year.

When using this for a conference, I focus on:

  • 2 things to do now
  • 2 things to do in 60 days
  • 1 big idea for the year

*Shameless plug — you can read more in detail about it in this blog post.

With a little finesse, I think this same model will help me with personal goals for the year.

A Revised 2:2:1 for Personal Goals


Ideas to Implement This Month


Ideas to Implement This Quarter


Big Idea for the Year

I like this approach because it gives me the flexibility to finesse if I achieve a small goal or priorities change. I also like that it allows me to not have to be so granular that I have to spend every second journaling and righting down my progress. That kind of a system makes me feel like a complete failure because — I stink at it. A final reason I like this is that is has a built-in mechanism through the smaller goals to work on the bigger goal, if that is a path of interest.

I’m going to try this for the first quarter and see what I think. I’ll be curious to see how it works out and what refinements I might like to make in the process.

Also — accountability. I’ll put my goals here, to help me be focused on them. I think it’s important if you have goals you don’t have them in secret.

2 – Things this Month

Prioritize my health every day. It could be a mani pedi, a gym workout, eating well, going for a walk, or even washing my face. Just something each day that puts my health first.

Revisit when I block times on my office calendar and beta test are there better way to block off production time. I think this will help me to focus on the big idea but will also help me be more productive.

2 – This Quarter

Information connection chats with peers and mentors. I want to schedule two or three connections with peers and mentors to get to know them better and build up my resource network of great people.

Break up dissertation into an academic journal. I want to break up my dissertation and submit a paper to an academic journal this quarter.

1 – Big Idea for the Year

Better manage work and personal life balance. I want to put strategies in place to help me better navigate all the work expectations and do a better job separating work from home.

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