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Goal Setting: Results from 2015. Looking to 2016

goal settingI have a confession to make. For years I have been telling my clients to write down their goals. Guess what I wasn’t doing for myself? Yeah, I wasn’t being consistent about writing down my own goals. Busted!

This year, I decided it was time to practice what I had been preaching. Actually, in early January, I saw an article on using Evernote to track your goals, and hey! Evernote!

Using the handy template in the article, I set eight goals for 2015. Now that we are near the end of the year, how did I do? Not bad, actually. I didn’t succeed at all my goals, but I achieved the big one: 12 presentations in the year. I exceeded that one by making 17. I didn’t just make the presentations; I made a plan on how I wanted them to help achieve other goals (like growing my income and my newsletter subscribers). Results were mixed. I’ve got a healthy new client pipeline to start out 2016, but I only achieved half my goals of new subscribers.

I also had a goal of publishing Buried But Not Gone by the end of June. I didn’t make it by the end of June, but I did publish it in October. I had a few other writing-related goals, including taking an online class (I took two) and creating my author website.

My weight loss goal was less than successful, but I have been exercising regularly and making my Fitbit 10K steps a day goal, so we’ll go with that.

All in all, I have to say goal setting worked. Even if I had only achieved my presentation goal, it would have been a good year. I’ve been wanting to do more speaking, and setting a numeric goal forced me to keep that in mind and pushed me to approach organizations I might not have. I’ve also discovered that the more you speak, the more opportunities come to you. As I started setting goals for 2016, I increased my speaking goal to 18 for the year. Since I already have nine scheduled, I may have to increase it again. The other difference between 2015 and 2016? All but one of my 2015 presentations were free. Half of the ones so far in 2016 are paid. Nice!

Although I can’t say it was because of making goals, I have stopped doing some things I’ve done in previous years. I’m no longer editor-in-chief of TeleRead. Yes, I miss that, but it’s freed me up to focus on other things. I never would have finished my author site while I was working for TeleRead. I just didn’t have the time or energy. I’m not sure I would have started designing my own covers. Having specific goals kept me on track when my role with TeleRead ended. I didn’t have to wonder what I would do next. I already had specific goals and tasks in mind, so I wasted no time.

I’m convinced. Writing down your goals instead of having them vaguely “in your head” works. I had thought keeping on top of my tasks and knowing in general terms what I wanted to accomplish in a year was enough. It wasn’t. Writing them down and checking in on a regular basis is important.

I’m looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish in 2016. What about you? What are your 2016 goals, and how can we help you achieve them?

Image credit: under a Creative Commons license