In last week’s post, I wrote my overview of 2015, looking back at what went well and what didn’t go so well. This week I share my goals looking forward to 2016. Following the basic format outlined by Chris Guillebeau, I write down the major goal categories and set several specific, measurable goals for each. So without further ado, here’s what I will attempt in 2016!
Purpose: In 2016 I will seek to be more well-rounded. I will focus on connecting with loved ones, improving my level of fitness, becoming more centered through meditation, and increasing my focus within my work. My primary area of focus for work will be to complete and promote my new book, Seven Years Running (7YR).
Outcomes: At the end of 2016, I will have published, or be in the process of publishing, 7YR.
Theme: 2016 is the year of The Book!
Most Important Goals in Each Category
The categories I’ve selected, and the top goals in each category, include:
Friends and family. Visit and/or contact loved ones regularly.
Health. Maintain a consistent workout regimen.
Writing. Finish Seven Years Running.
Business. Build audience and land a publisher for 7YR.
Travel. Tag seventh continent (Asia).
Learning. Learn book marketing by completing Launch a Bestseller course.
Spirituality. Meditate consistently.
Service. Consistently help others who are pursuing their dreams.
Measurable Goals in Each Category
Friends & Family
1. Visit at least 12 old friends individually this year by December 31st. Since we have such a nomadic lifestyle, this may mean making some special trips if necessary. Lately I’ve seen a lot fewer of my friends face to face, and that needs to change!
2. Spend a week with my grandparents this summer.
3. Write or call a loved one at least once per week. Before e-mail came along I used to be really good at writing old-fashioned letters. Before Facebook came along I called people a lot more often. This year I’m going to get back into the habit of connecting with loved ones often through letters and phone calls.
1. Run a 10K race in 60 minutes or less by October 31st. Despite my long legs, I’ve never been a fast runner, and I am more of a hiker. I feel better when I run regularly, though—especially when I am not near good mountains to hike in. I’m going to find a 10K to run before Halloween, and train to do it in 60 minutes or less.
2. Maintain a regimen of four to six workouts per week. In addition to running approximately three times per week, I’ll also plan to do some strength training, hiking, yoga, cycling, and other types of workouts for a total 30 to 90+ minutes of exercise four to six days each week.
3. Drink 3-5 liters of water daily.
4. Be able to do 10 push ups with two-second pauses at the top and bottom of each push up by April 1st. Ideally sooner than that (yeah, my upper body strength needs lots of work).
5. Purchase new set of hearing aids by April 1st. My current aids are getting old and I’m tired of not being able to hear properly.
1. Finish writing Seven Years Running by April 1st. This book has been in the making for far too long and I’m ready to put it out to the world! I’m confident we can have it ready for publishers by April 1st.
2. Publish at least one blog post per week. I’ve been pretty good about posting regularly to my blog in 2015, and I want to keep that momentum through 2016. I’ll continue to share updates about the earthbag house, write about our travels, share thoughts on random topics and explore new themes!
3. Guest blog at least once per month. Aside from my own blog, I’d like to begin writing more for other people and reach out to a wider audience.
4. Write every day, at least 250 words. I want to stay in the habit and write at least something every single day. Ideally much more than 250 words, but that’s my absolute minimum. Except during November…
5. Win NaNoWriMo. I came very close to winning NaNoWriMo in 2015, but during Thanksgiving week I got really sick and couldn’t look at a computer screen without getting a raging headache, so I fell short of my goal by just over 5,000 words. In 2016 I intend to participate again and write at least 50,000 words in the month of November (an average of 1,667 words per day). Ideally this will be the rough draft of my next book, to be announced!
1. Grow Seven Years Running audience to at least 5,000 people by October 1st (the sooner and the more, the better). In order to attract a literary agent and then a publisher for our book, it will be very helpful if we can show that we have a long list of people already interested in reading our book. So, um…if you haven’t done so already please sign up for book updates by entering your email at the end of this post!
2. Find a literary agent by July 1st. As soon as our manuscript is ready I will begin the process of finding someone to represent our book to the publishers.
3. Land a major publisher by December 31st. We hope to have a contract signed by the end of the year at the very latest!
4. Speak at least 10 times by December 31st. I want to become better at public speaking and will actively seek out places to speak beyond the Toastmasters clubs. This year the likely theme will be stories from and about Seven Years Running.
5. Start a podcast by August 1st. Once the big work of finishing the manuscript and finding an agent is off my plate, my next big business project will be starting a podcast, most likely for my travel website which is currently mostly neglected due to too many other projects.
6. Create a product to sell, or find a good product to promote as an affiliate by December 31st. I’d like to create something to serve the audience on my travel website, or if I find something that someone else has already done better than I could, team up with them. My site revolves around helping teachers travel the world.
7. Get organized with publication and daily activity schedules. I need to plan out what I’ll be publishing on my blog and how I will allocate my time each day to stay on top of the various projects I’m involved with. I plan to have at least the first 90 days planned out by the second week of January.
8. Hire an assistant by July 1st. I will start delegating the things that take up time from my more valuable endeavors and could easily be done by someone else. I’ll start out by hiring helpers from Fiverr for smaller tasks and see if I can work something out with one of the better ones for more long-term help. (If you’ve never used Fiverr and this sounds interesting to you, CLICK HERE for my referral link to the site which will get you your first $5 gig for free.)
9. Write down 10 new ideas daily. I want to train my brain to generate lots of ideas fast. Maybe I’ll come up with good ones faster! I first heard about this practice from one of James Altucher’s books.
1. Tag seventh continent (Asia). Keith and I have been to the other six continents—some of them two or three times now (Keith has been to Antarctica five times). Asia has eluded us so far. Time to claim her in 2016!
2. Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I’ll plan this in conjunction with our Asia trip, which will most likely be to Thailand. It’s a bucket list item.
3. Tag at least one new state in the U.S. Most of my untagged states are up in the Northeast…
4. Go to Norway to attend a friend’s wedding. If I can make it over there for my friend’s big day, I will! Norway has been on my list of places to see anyway…
1. Complete Launch a Bestseller course. I want to become a book marketing genius this year, and I think Tim Grahl may be able to help me.
2. Learn basic Thai before Thailand trip. I would like to be able to get by with common greetings, numbers, and useful phrases for shopping, getting around, eating, finding accommodations, etc. I often try to do this before traveling to a country where they speak a language I don’t already know, but this will be my first stab at a tonal language—with a non-Latin alphabet, no less!
3. Get SCUBA certified. If we are in a place where there is a reputable company offering SCUBA certification in Thailand, I plan to get it. This has been on my bucket list for a long time.
4. Read 12 non-fiction books. I want to read an average of one book each month that will teach me something new. Hopefully I will also find some time for some good fiction reading as well.
1. Develop daily meditation practice. I’ve tried meditation off and on but never keep it up long enough to notice any difference. However, I’ve heard over and over that it’s a common practice among nearly all the top performers of anything. People swear by it. I want to get into the habit of doing it every day for at least five to ten minutes or more.
2. Get out in nature at least once per week. I want to hike, walk, birdwatch, paddle, ski, or run out in the country weekly.
3. Go backpacking at least once by October 1st. Keith and I haven’t been on an actual backpacking trip for over two years now! Lately we haven’t been near any good backpacking sites at the right time of year. (We thought about doing it in Theodore Roosevelt National Park this past summer, but the millions of ticks make it not such a great backpacking destination in my humble opinion. They are truly awful. My skin is tingling just thinking about it.) If I have to, I will travel somewhere to go backpacking in 2016.
4. Attend an arts event at least once a month. This could include visiting an art gallery, attending a play or concert, or any other fine arts activity to feed my soul.
1. Help someone in my Location Indie (LI) community at least once a month. I love watching motivated people moving toward their dreams, and I know how frustrating it can be to try to achieve something without any help. LI is full of people pursuing their dreams, so if there’s a way I can help someone move forward, I will.
2. Volunteer at least four times this year. I’ll seek ways to give back to the communities I’m involved in at least once each quarter.
3. Donate 10% of profits to worthy causes I care about. I’ll probably use GiveWell.org as a starting point for finding good causes to donate toward.
Well, there you have it. Maybe too ambitious. Maybe not ambitious enough. And things are bound to change throughout the year, too, as obstacles and opportunities present themselves.
I plan to review my goals on a quarterly basis (I already have reminders set up in my calendar), evaluate my progress, decide where to change course, and set up plans for tackling the next quarter. Right now, my primary task is just setting up systems to hopefully make all of this work right.
Have you made your resolutions for next year? Have you set up a plan or found an accountability partner to help you meet your goals? I wish you much success!
I’m excited about 2016! Let’s do this!
- Header photo – Angkor Wat by Dennis Jarvis via Flickr.