How I Plan My Goals


Starts here.

I was asked recently (thanks Erick!) how I manage, plan, and set my goals for the upcoming year and whether I have any systems or applications in place that assist in those elements.

The honest answer is that I don’t have any formal and/or consistent pattern of goal setting that I could tell you is the definitive “John Saddington Model for Goals” as it simply changes every single year and I try different methods constantly.

But the power of goal setting isn’t up for debate – I know of no one who’s been successful (however you may define it) who hasn’t had personal and professional goals and then walked towards them. It almost doesn’t matter how you manage them as long as it works for you.

Now, how does one discover what works for them and what does not? The process of discovery is quite simple:

The process by which you make and achieve your goals can be easily identified by the creation of positive and consistent momentum. In other words, whatever process you use it must constantly create momentum toward those goals. If you are not then your system is most likely broken.

What system, then, have I used historically? Here are a few patterns that have emerged:

  1. Write it Down – I’ve spoken about this a few times and most of us know that there’s power in simply manifesting an idea locked in your brain and bringing it out into the light. Putting it down makes it real. It’s dangerous and it may even scare you, but writing it down is the first part. I start in a notebook, like the one pictured above.
  2. Tell Others – A goal worth achieving is a goal worth telling others about because your goal is freaking awesome, right? If it’s not awesome then you need a bigger goal. Telling others creates accountability, but it’s not enough.
  3. Ask for Help – It’s not enough to tell others (although you should tell lots of people), you need a much smaller group to help you achieve it. Your goal is yours personally but making it happen will most likely take a tribe. The mechanics of this are pretty obvious so I won’t bore you with more detail.
  4. Refine and Review – Any goal you have will most likely need to be reviewed and refined as you walk towards it as there’s very few goals that are perfectly crafted right out of the gate. I review mine constantly because if I don’t I forget them (imagine that) or attempt to create new ones to take their place. I have a nasty habit of creating great goals and then creating more, and more, and more, and more. Does that ever happen to you?

And that’s about it. If you use some neat goal-setting app on your iPhone then fantastic. If you don’t, great. Without the right ingredients you’re sunk and out of luck.

I hope you achieve everything you want to in 2013 – make it a banner year.