It's 2021 and time for a new set of resolutions! I’m a sucker for new years resolutions. I also very rarely accomplish them. Knowing this fact, I wanted to shift my mindset on goals and revamp how I set them. It’s a few weeks into the new year but this process already feels better than what I did previously. It has given me more breathing room and is more flexible when something unexpected happens. Hopefully my system will help you with your goal setting journey. The system I created has three parts: goal setting, shifting the mindset, and reflecting on progress.
The old process
Firstly, my old process was to think of a handful of large goals that I would set at the start of the year. These large goals would be broken down into medium-sized goals that I would work on during the months. And finally, I would break down these medium-sized goals into discrete tasks. More often than not these discrete tasks would be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timebound).
New way of setting goals
The goal-setting hasn’t changed too much from my previous system. But now instead of creating endless tasks, I create three intentions at the start of the week. These intentions may be related to the monthly goals. But might also be related to other aspects of life like spending time with family. From there, I create tasks related to my intentions. The number of tasks has reduced and they’re now no longer SMART. For some tasks, I have a timebox that specifies how much time I want to work on them. And I give myself at least 2 days with little to no tasks. These days are my buffer days in case something comes up.
The mindset shift
Next, I’ve had to shift my mindset to be okay with not completing goals or tasks. I’m aiming to complete 20% of tasks in a given week. Now that I’m focusing on larger chunks of work, I’m making more impact and more progress in a single task versus what I was doing before. This 20% number comes from the Pareto principle where focusing on the vital few would provide the greatest benefit. Of course, no system is static, this number may change over time.
The key is reflection
Finally, for my mindset shift to work, I had to introduce a weekly and monthly reflection. During my reflections, I review the week or month and see what tasks I completed. I check to see if I’m completing tasks that matter to me. And what impact they’re making. I also focus on trends over time. For example, if I’m consistently missing tasks related to a goal. Maybe that goal needs to be changed or is not relevant anymore. The last thing I do is look back on my progress. I see what my past self has accomplished and whether I’ve moved forward from there.
Reflection is the key to this entire system.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy a longer form newsletter. I’d love some feedback on whether you found this newsletter useful. Hit reply and send me your thoughts! Every reply is helpful.
I wanted to introduce a new section where I share what I’ve been learning, things that I find interesting, and some news!
- Phoenix 1.6.0 will have authentication with phx.auth.gen built in.
- Snowpack 3.0 was released on 13 Jan 2021. It comes with a whole host of new features like streaming imports, module bundling with esbuild, and a new JS API!
- I’ve been learning about Tree Shaking recently. It’s a way for module bundlers to remove unused JS code. By doing so it decreases the size of your JS file. Webpack has a great guide on how they do it.
One of mine
I recently wrote about adding a featured posts collection using 11ty. I’m in the process of doing some small design tweaks to my site. And really wanted fine grained control over what posts I show on the homepage. My post has the code snippets you need to setup featured posts yourself!
Until next time! Happy goal setting 🎯!