This year I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about goals. It’s that time of the year that is perfect for goal setting. That zone when one year ends and another one begins. A time for review and for forward planning. Also a time when we can get a little caught up in dreaming how the future year will look.

I recently read the book by Matthew Michalewicz called Life in Half a Second and it talks a lot about goal setting. I realized that whilst I’m very goal driven, I haven’t set many goals in recent years and I miss it!

So this year I’m not making any new year’s resolutions, rather I’m going to set some goals. But I wanted to take a look at how others are approaching goal setting in a way that is most conducive to actually achieving the goals. 

So being me, I’ve done some further research and fortunately some of the people who most inspire me are sharing their approaches at this time.  I received an email about Noah Kagan’s year review,  saw Dan Norris' blog review of 2016 and I’ve also listened to Tim Ferris’ podcast episode on 2016 – What I’ve Learned.

Noah approaches his goals by setting a bucket list for the year – you can check it out on his blog. He also chooses a word for the year which I like the idea of and have researched further

Dan Norris set clear goals for each business and reviewed how he went in 2016. Sometime his goals manifested in totally different ways to what he anticipated and I love how he shares his achievements and misses.

Tim Ferris does a quick 80/20 analysis by looking at his calendar day by day and asking himself what are the 20% of activities, experiences or people who generated 80% or more of positive emotions? And what are the 20% of activities which generate 80% of the negative emotions and stress? He then tries to spot commonalities. He also talks about how he blocked out lots of space this year to give him opportunity to say yes to things. Plus, he asked friends what he should do more and less of this year to get their input.

It’s so interesting how everyone approaches their year review and goals so differently.

One thing I noticed is that although my impulse was to write a big list of things that I want to achieve this year, everyone seems to be focusing on a few key items rather than an exhaustive list. I can see the wisdom in this approach and have refined my list accordingly. This is not necessarily to say I have forgone goals but rather I have realised that many of my initial goal list actually sit under some bigger goals and seek to define them.  So by focusing on the big goals, the smaller ones become more of the “how” than the “what”.

My goal list for 2017 is still a work in progress (and potentially still a little long), but this is how it’s shaping up so far:

Word of the year: happiness


  • Go on an overseas holiday with my family 
  • To have harmony in my household 
  • To learn the piano
  • To make healthy choices 
  • To spend more time on our home 
  • To successfully publish a book
  • To continue growing my knowledge

Work: Work requires a new year review of it’s own and some further planning, but here are my high level goals:

  • To grow my business by 20% in 2017
  • To be more structured with my work hours and focus my time wisely
  • To build my personal profile

Each of these goals then have a series of sub goals and each of those will in turn too. I’m effectively using Matthew Michalewicz’s goal pyramid to expand my goals out into smaller parts  I’ve also decided to break my goals down into monthly actions in order to achieve them. I think this will help to keep them top of mind and to keep me focused.

I’m conscious also of having SMART goals (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, time based) so on my detailed plan my goals all have specific numbers and dates assigned to them. 

I’m a big believer in focusing our efforts on things that we want and in turn this will focus our thoughts and our actions to accomplishing them. I can’t wait to get started on my goals this year! Let me know if you are sharing your goals too!