Biz & Balance
I love January
In January, not only can the weather be absolutely beautiful here in Austin, but the start of a new year also feels fresh and full of potential.
Like many others, I used to make resolutions. But in the past two years, I’ve become much more specific in setting goals for myself. I set big picture goals, and then I set many shorter-term goals in order to reach those big goals. I reassess frequently. January isn’t the only time I set goals, but in my mind, it’s very symbolic, and I place a greater emphasis on goal-setting. In January, I look more closely at what I want to accomplish.
I have big plans
This year I have a series of professional goals I want to accomplish by December 31, 2012. I have big plans for House on Payne! But I also have big plans for me – Cindy Brummer. After all, development of the person is just as important – if not more so – than development of an organization.
I thought goal-setting would be easy, but to be honest, it’s not. That must be why so many people just come up with vague resolutions. It may not be hard to think about what you want, but the key to successfully reaching your goals is to set specific targets along the way.
It’s like a road map
When I need to find a friend’s house or business, I usually plug the address into Google Maps and ask the all-knowing Google how to get there. Google Maps will show you your route and give you clear directions about where to turn and how far the journey is.
Setting goals is much like Google Maps. It’s a route. You have a destination, so where do you turn at 1 month? Three months? Six months? That was the hard part for me – figuring out what steps I need to take in the short term in order to reach my long-term goals.
I’ll share an example. Here’s one of my goals for 2012: Write and sell my own WordPress theme. That’s all well and good, but how exactly am I going to accomplish this?
By January 31, 2012…
- Practice 1 tutorial a week on writing PHP
- Set out goals and features for WordPress theme
By March 31, 2012…
- Attend SXSWi panel on developing WordPress themes.
- REALLY learn PHP
- Plan design of my own WordPress theme
By June 30, 2012…
- Attend WordCamp Austin
- Attend 3 Austin WordPress meetups
That’s a lot! But if I really want to write my own theme, and not just a child theme, I have to put in the time and effort to make it happen!
Goals can’t just be written and forgotten about. They must be examined frequently. I keep mine in a Google document so they are at my fingertips just about anywhere. There’s not excuse not to look at them.
So, what do you want to accomplish this year? How are you going to reach YOUR goals?