What are your tips/tricks for making & achieving new goals

We’re upon the new year, a time when many people make resolutions, although few will successfully maintain them.

My wife has been reading books on success, and I got her some stuff to make a “vision board” (I.e. a board where you put up pictures of things you want to accomplish as a visual reminder of your goals).

What advice, strategies, or stories do you have about making and achieving goals or resolutions?

She will, no doubt, come cross the acronym S.M.A.R.T. with respect to goals.

Goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound.

Any “goal” that is set should/must check each of these boxes.

“I want to lose some weight” - is not going to happen.

“I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 6 months.”

This is Specific in amount and time
It is Measurable - we can use a scale and see whether we are on target.
It is Achievable (2.5 pound per month, less than a pound per week).
Is it Relevant? (I’m at my goal weight right now, so it isn’t for me, but someone who is looking to lose weight it would be relevant to them).
It is also Time Bound, there is a specific deadline to achieve, this allows us to see if we are on track and make adjustments to ensure we meet the goal.

Each of these features are self-reinforcing: specific and time-bound automatically allows us to break things down into smaller chunks. A look at the size of the smaller chunks tells us if it is achievable.

In the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) “rules” the goal is 50K words in thirty days - specific and measurable. This breaks down into a weekly goal of 12500 per week. If you want to have weekends off, that is 2500 words per day. Counting words is tedious and is a bit of a road block. Let’s turn that into something a little more understandable and talk pages instead. There are about 500 words on a single spaced typewritten page at 12pt font and one-inch margins. So five pages per week day will achieve the goal. If you want to write more steadily, without weekend breaks, you need to type three and one-third pages per day every day.

You could also throw in Accountable into the “A” bucket: if you have a goal, share it, the other people will cheer you on and it will help motivate you to not have to admit defeat.

There is one key to Relevant, which I glossed over. The goal needs to be personally relevant to the goal setter. If my friend wants me to write a book because he wants to say he “knew me when…”, but I’d rather post on the 'Dope, then that book ain’t gonna get written. If I set the goal to produce a novel because it is something I’ve always wanted to do and I have equipped myself with a specific target and deadline, then very little will stop me. (Note, I’m not saying it’ll get published. That’s a different story altogether.)


I’m going to start with a negative, since I see it so many times:
Don’t frame your objective as “Right now I’m hopeless at languages but I’m gonna learn German in 2019” because, aside from it being a somewhat vague goal, you’re defining yourself as someone who’s bad at languages. And that self-perception is one of the main things that holds people back IME.

So firstly, screw the past: try to think of yourself as a language improver, starting right now.
And I recommend not starting with some lofty, hard to imagine goal like fluency, but some useful stepping stone that you can review in say 1 month’s time.

(Obviously for “languages” substitute whatever your goal is)

Other than that, nothing really to add to DF’s great advice.

I’m not sure what the rules are about mentioning products, so I hope I’m not running afoul of a policy, but I’d strongly recommend you read “The 12 Week Year”

I write my ‘To Do’ projects on the glass door to my garage/shop/beer cave with a dry erase pen.

Doesn’t work for Fuck-All. :frowning: