My Goals, Priorities and Planning Process for 2012

January 8, 2012

In a follow up to my previous blog post ‘A review of my progress in 2011’ I wanted to outline some of my goals and priorities for 2012. One thing to note is that I am not going to share the full details of all of my goals as some of them are obviously personal, but it’ll give you a decent idea of my focuses and my planning process.

This year, I tried to focus less on creating detailed goals and more on what my key areas of focus should be. Priorities can change so quickly throughout the year that even a 6-month plan can become irrelevant quite quickly.  I’ve found what matters the most is having a high level plan of where you want to be going and then simply having very focused weeks and days throughout the year.

This year I just laid out my key areas of focus, some key words for each (just to crystallise my ultimate vision for that area) and then some goals for each area (less detail than ever before).

I will also strive to achieve my goals through creating permanent habits, one small step at a time.  Leo from Zen Habits writes a lot about this and a few months ago it really clicked for me. Leo actually writes a lot about not having goals at all (How to Have the Best Year of Your Life (without Setting a Single Goal)) which I did try earlier in the year but I really struggled to stay focused, so I am trying something in between. Aras of focus, less detailed goals and a big focus on creating permanent habits. Maybe 2013 will be the year of no goals, but I feel I have to try a balance first.

My Areas of Focus

The value of defining areas of focus is that it keeps you thinking about the bigger picture and having a healthy balance. No point being the fittest guy in the world whilst your relationships are going down the pan and vice versa.

Below are my areas of focus:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Relationships
  • Personal Growth
  • Ella
  • Passions
  • Contributions
  • Wealth

Note: I keep my career and work related goals separate to this process (that’s for another post!).

Health and Fitness

I’ll go into detail for health and fitness but then just post my goals for the other areas of focus.

Below is an example of my keywords for health and fitness which should give you an idea as to why I do this for each area of focus:

treat my body with respect; eat well; drink plenty of water; make good choices on food types and portion sizes; exercise regularly and hard (and enjoy it); stay active; sleep well; be lean, be injury free; live long.

My keywords get me excited and motivated and help put in perspective why the area of focus is important to progress in.

My Health and Fitness goals for this year are:

GET TO AND MAINTAIN A WEIGHT OF 13 STONE

DEVELOP HEALTHY EATING HABITS THAT BECOME SECOND NATURE TO ME (I know in detail what this means to me)

DEVELOP THE HABIT OF EXERCISING REGULARLY AND ENJOY IT – FOCUS ON FUN AND INTERESTING ACTIVITIES

RUN A HALF MARATHON SOMEWHERE BREATHTAKING

And that’s it. No go to the gym 4 times a week, stretch twice a week, do cardio twice a week, bench press and squat x, y times – just some high level goals.

For example, my only focus for January is to develop the habit of drinking 1.5 litres of water per day and skipping breakfast / eating a light lunch (I will focus on the 1.5 litres of water habit first). That’s how I am balancing goals and habits.

If I am sitting back in December and I can feel good about the above goals, it will be amazing progress.

Here are some of my goals for the rest of my areas of focus.

Relationships

I don’t want to post my goals for this area as it’s quite personal but I have chosen family and friend relationships to specifically focus on and the key focus will be on having great, fun experiences and being present / in the moment.

Personal Growth

I have quite a lot of goals for personal growth, but then I am kind of obsessed about it. :) I’ve been the most detailed here and have potentially put down too much but I can be mindful of that come the end of the year. I guess I felt I had to get them out of my head and on paper.

DEVELOP THE HABIT OF RISING EARLY AND GOING TO BED EARLY

DEVELOP THE HABIT OF WEEKLY AND DAILY PLANNING

READ A MINUMUM OF ONE BOOK A MONTH AND CONTINUE THE HABIT OF READING MANY BLOGS / ARTICLES ON A WEEKLY BASIS

EXPAND MY NETWORK (ONLINE AND OFFLINE) – CONNECT AND DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACHIEVED WHAT I WANT

WRITE AT LEAST 25 ARTICLES ON MY BLOG, PROMOTE AND BUILD THE READERSHIP – TURN IT INTO A GOOD ONLINE IDENTITY

LEARN TO MEDITATE AND DEVELOP THE HABIT OF REGULARLY MEDITATING

GROW BY DEVELOPING HABITS, ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME – BE PATIENT

CONTINUE TO EMBRACE MINIMALISM

WORK ON MYSELF – BE HAPPY, CARING, KIND AND SUPPORTIVE OF OTHERS

LEARN THE BASICS OF FRENCH AND VISIT FRANCE TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE 

Ella

GO ON A REALLY NICE AND SPECIAL SUMMER HOLIDAY TOGETHER – MAKE IT THE BEST TRIP WE’VE EVER BEEN ON

ENSURE THE TIME WE SPEND TOGETHER IS QUALITY AND FUN – BE PRESENT AND ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY – MAKE EACH DAY AND WEEK COUNT

Passions

DEVELOP A NEW INTEREST THAT I CAN GET PASSIONATE ABOUT

WORK ON A PROJECT RELATED TO AN INTEREST I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT

Contributions

DO SEVERAL KIND ACTS THAT ADD VALUE / MEAN A LOT TO PEOPLE

ACTIVELY VOLUNTEER AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO PEOPLE

Wealth

It’s not appropriate to go into detail here but I have some goals around living below my means and building my wealth to X amount.

Wrap Up

Achieving what you want in life isn’t black and white. I’ve tried so many ways to set goals, achieve things and to manage my priorities and time. It’s all a learning process and you have to just try things and then adjust when you notice what works and what doesn’t. The above feels right for me in 2012.

Throughout the year I will come back to my progress and reference these goals to keep myself honest and accountable.

If you have set goals for yourself in 2012, it’d be great to hear from you in the comments and if you need any help / assistance, feel free to comment or email me.

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