How To Set Fantastic, Achievable Goals for 2008

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Ever since I started We The Change 3 short months ago, I have written several articles on productivity.  Some of these articles are among my most popular, and I am constantly approached by readers and friends with follow-up questions concerning how to become more efficient in daily life.

This topic is very close to my heart because I am an entrepreneur, and if I did not create and implement effective productivity habits I would get lost in a sea of inactivity.  Not that you need to be your own boss to integrate wonderful efficiency tools; on the contrary I believe anyone and everyone can benefit from these types of systems.

The way I am going to approach this article—which concerns annual, monthly and daily goal setting—is by treating you to my own personal organizational system concerning the 2008 objectives for We The Change. 

The only thing I will omit is the actual numbers (concerning things like income, subscribers and traffic).  The only reason I am not including them is that some people (and I mean my girlfriend Irina here) think that my lofty goals make me seem arrogant.

LOL, well, the truth is that the numbers do not really matter for the purpose of this article.  The main thing I hope you get from my sharing of personal goals is the organizational system I use.  I have found it to be most effective, and I use it for every business, project and venture I am involved.  SO, here you go:

We The Change 2008 Annual Goals

Top Line Objectives

• Highly profitable
• Recognizable brand name
• Platform for interviews of top thought leaders across mind-body-spirit continuum
• Platform for spread of products and services relating to: the environment, self-improvement and consciousness

Specifics

• Earn xxxx from We The Change brand
• Attain xxxx status in terms of Technorati blog rankings
• Attain xxxx status for Alexa website rankings
• Serving a community of xxxx subscribers
• Serving xxxx annual page views
• Conducting weekly interviews with TOP authors, speakers and thought leaders
• Attracting synergistic relationships with relevant advertisers, sponsors and affiliates

OK, a couple of notes here.  First, I ALWAYS begin with the annual goals and then work my way backwards.  If I were doing a 5-year plan, I would likewise begin with the visualization of where I want to be in 5 years, and then slowly work my way in reverse. 

Second, notice that I term it “We The Change brand” instead of merely a blog.  This gives me the sensation that I am creating something bigger…something significant:  a brand name. 

My next task is to create a monthly goal for January.  I do this with the mindset of “what can I do in month #1 to move myself in the direction of achieving the 2008 Annual Goals”:

We The Change January ’08 Goals

Top Line

• Subscribers: xxxx
• Income: xxxx
• Technorati ranking: xxxx
• Alexa Ranking: xxxx

To Do

• Complete site re-formatting
• Initial advertisers and affiliates established
• More and consistent social networking
• Write 3-4 high quality articles each week
• Secure 8 fantastic and relevant interviews
• Create WTC letterhead and business cards
• Establish podcasts

After I feel good about my monthly goals, I generate a weekly goal with the mindset “what are the most important things for me to accomplish this week in order to make sure I achieve my overall objectives”:

WTC Goals to Complete by Sunday, January 6

• Site re-formatting complete
• Initial advertisers and affiliates contacted and established
• One hour of social networking completed every day
• Established weekly publishing schedule; written at least two articles for next week

On Sunday night I will review these weekly goals, pat myself on the back for a job well done, and create goals for week 2 which I will complete by the following Sunday (and which will get me closer to accomplishing my January objectives).

I hope you are getting the sense that with this system, I am always moving myself forward—and I am intentionally creating proactive routines, instead of being reactionary.

The last organizational step is this: every night I create a daily task list for the following day.  Again, I do this with the mindset: “what can I do tomorrow to get myself closer to achieving my weekly goals”.  Here is what it looks like:

Daily Task List, Wednesday January 2

• Create Great article for Thursday (which you are reading, incidentally)
• Create solid publishing schedule for next two weeks
• Deal with advertisers/sponsor issue:  Secure 4 of them!
• Social network:  at least one hour
• Review Guy Finley website (an interview I am posting next week)

When the morning comes, I have a detailed list of all the things I want to accomplish for the day.  The most important thing about the system is this:  I go through each day as mechanically and robotically as possible and simply complete the daily tasks I have created for myself

This productivity system has a common-sense flow and takes all the mind work and clutter out of daily living.  I rarely question myself during the day because I know that what I am working on is part of a greater plan:  a well thought out network of annual, monthly and weekly goals that plays out on a daily basis. 

I do not fret that I am being unproductive because I know that I am being proactive, as long as I follow the daily plan.

This may sound like it takes an exorbitant amount of time, but it really does not.  Yes, I recently spent about a half day working on all my annual goals (I do this process for many areas in my life), but at the same time I created my January and “week 1″ objectives. 

Once this yearly task is done, I feel confident and set– and I know all I have to do is follow the path I have laid for myself.  I am taking all the guess-work out of whether I am productive or not!

I have found this system of goal setting to be very, very effective.  There are more details that I left out, such as “what happens when things come up during the day, and you can not complete the daily tasks” and “how do you organize yourself during each day” and “what tools and products do should you use for organization”. 

These are important questions, and are certainly built into my plan….but they are fodder for another article.  This

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one is done :)

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Here’s to a great, and productive 2008 for all of us!!

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9 Responses to “How To Set Fantastic, Achievable Goals for 2008”

  1. ZHereford says:

    Thanks so much for this Todd!

    For someone who tends to spin my wheels, this is both practical and inspiring.

    Z

  2. Great article. Best wishes for 2008

  3. Todd says:

    Thanks Z and Tejvan!

    My good friend Evan just emailed me a fantastic response to this article, and I would like to post it here. He makes some excellent points:

    1. In terms of goal setting, it is critical to shoot for big-picture, annual or long term goals that are unsafe or very hard to actually satisfy. By reaching farther than you believe you can climb, you will almost certainly achieve substantially more than had you stuck to safe objectives. Further, you will feel the great sense of satisfaction that comes from truly challenging yourself and succeeding. Recognize that setting broad and difficult long term goals does not imply failure if you are not able to fully achieve all of them – the goal setting is to push you forward and to challenge you – all of which make the acts themselves not only productive but greatly rewarding, creating a deeper sense of self-worth and appreciation. Then, when you look backward to see whether you succeeded, I would not limit analysis to whether you achieved the high level goals articulated, but more importantly assess where you were when you started and what you have accomplished. I would apply the same challenging mind set to the shorter term goals, provided that you can make the specific enough to have a pre-determined path to achievement, wanting to be more task oriented in the short term.

    2. In your long term goals for the website, I would careful to focus extensively on the physical side of well being, as there is no mental, spiritual or other qualitative happiness or wellness without physical health. Granted, it is a very circular argument, and all components of well being are interrelated, but in my limited experience, your ability to be self-aware, to understand or think about what is around you, to feel happy and connected, and to think of others first, is directly related to your physical well being. In fact, I would proffer that the more physically fit one is, the more selfless and broad minded one is able to be – there is just simply a limit to one’s senses, to one’s cognitive ability and one’s spiritual engagement when the physical is not out ahead of the curve.

    My humble reactions.

    EM

  4. Brad Baggett says:

    Great article Todd, I have been out of the loop for a while and it is good to get back to the great reads I have from We the Change.

    You focus on the long term is excellent and your pathway is clear and concise. I really can take a lot for your ideas on productivity. It is nice to have like minds out there!

    http://www.JuiceofChampions.com

  5. Peter says:

    Interesting to see how you operate Todd! 2008 is going to be a great year – look forward to seeing how We The Change grows.

  6. Kristian says:

    Very impressive and inspiring. I am new to the blogging world myself. Your post gave me some terrific ideas. Thanks.

  7. Todd says:

    Brad, Peter and Kristian– THANK you, much appreciated!
    Todd

  8. [...] posted an article not too long ago titled How To Set Fantastic, Achievable Goals for 2008 in which I provided readers with a very detailed account with how I “get things [...]

  9. Chantelle says:

    Great One…

    I must say, its worth it! My link!http://martin.weblogplaza.com/ ,thanks haha…

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