At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about New Year’s resolutions and how this year I was going to take a more structured approach with them. I also explained who and how influenced me to do that.
About 3 weeks ago I started what would be my personal mid-year review and then I shared in Twitter the thought of sharing my approach with you. This is what I want to do in this post.
During some days in January, I brainstormed about what could be my objectives and the approach to be followed. In the end I selected 10 main objectives (“Become a frequent runner again”, “Read over 15 books / become eReader”, “Toastmasters: become ACB & Pres Dis AG”…). Then each of those objectives were split then in about 8-12 milestones to be achieved, each milestone driving me towards meeting the bigger goal.
For example, regarding the running, the first milestones were moderately easy ones as seen today (“Run 3 days before mid January”, “Measure several tracks where to run in TLS”, “Run 8-10 days in January”…) but they meant a great deal of breaking habits or creating new habits.
Once I had the complete list of goals and smaller milestones, I gave a weight to each of them (delivering the 7th speech towards ACB in Toastmasters was worth 12% of the “Toastmasters” goal) and a due date. If I missed the due date but met the milestone afterwards I deducted some amount out of the initial value (that means, I’ll never reach 100% at the end of the year, but if I’m close enough I’ll be more than glad!).
Spreadsheet with goals, milestones, weights, due dates...
Then I set up a kind of earned value management system to track my performance in respect to those goals. This enabled me to see how I was advancing and how I was supposed to be advancing (sure, I said a kind of as there is nothing related to the cost I incurred in achieving those goals, while the value would be assimilated to the weight).
Finally, I not only had this in written but I shared my goals with Luca. This helps in making myself more accountable with those objectives. Sure, you won’t necessarily want that everybody knows your personal objectives, neither do I. But just showing them to someone may help. To me it worked!
Every now and then I get a question from her like “When did you say you would sign up for the French course?”, “Have you already contracted the cleaning services company?”. Those reminders, together with the due dates help me a great deal in catching up with all those milestones that I keep postponing.
Of course, with some objectives I am way more advanced than with others. But let me tell you that the overall result is making me quite happy with the approach, even tough by the end of June I was way behind the schedule!
Goals achievement vs. plan (end June).
Another outcome of the mid-year review has been that I started brainstorming again with myself in order to add new milestones to previous goals (e.g. more running milestones, new trips, more speeches) and adding entirely new goals.
My humble advice: try something similar that fits you, force yourself a little bit, fight the resistance and reap the benefits down the road. See you at the year-end review!