One year ago, my best friend and I sat down and set goals for the year. She and I have spent the last three years or so encouraging and supporting each other toward our goals. I remember right around the time that she and I got serious about our work, a friend in our community posted publicly that “New Year’s Resolutions were worthless.” I grumbled defensively to myself, but in some ways now, I agree. It is one thing to write down a bunch of resolutions, it is entirely another to set achievable goals for the year.
Back to the goal setting. A year ago, at the end of 2015, my best friend and I made our set of goals. We separated them into different categories: Main Goals, Emotional/Spiritual Goals, Secondary Goals, and Tertiary goals.
There are two things you should focus on when setting a goal, it is best to ensure that it is both measurable and achievable. While saying things like “I want to be a better writer” is all well and good, unless you outline how you’re going to progress toward that goal, it isn’t very measurable.
Our Main Goals were the most important for us to achieve. Mine were things like “Write 500 words a day.” and “Write at least 1 short story a month.” I also wanted to win NaNoWriMo again, and even though I did not accomplish all these goals, I still made a lot of progress.
My Secondary goals included things like “Blog on a regular basis” and “Find regular freelancing gigs.” This year, my blog has grown a lot and that’s allowed me to connect with other creative people, both other writers and artists. Their influenced has helped me to get closer to what I want out of life.
Tertiary Goals were things we wanted to work on, but may not get to in the long run. My main goal in this category was to “Learn more about Graphic Design” which I did some of, but it certainly was not my focus in 2016.
When my friend and I met to talk about our progress, we were both a bit astonished. My goal was never perfectionism, though I did not meet some of my goals, I made progress toward becoming the person I want to be. We had both grown a lot over the last year. If we had not set these goals, kept each other responsible for them, we would not have been able to see how much growth had occurred in the past year.
When I set goals this year, I added one more thing. A theme for the year. For 2017, my theme is Authenticity. Though 2016 was a rather rough year in a lot of ways, but one thing I learned during it, was that I was much happier when I was authentic. So this year, I will continue to focus on trying to be authentic and being the best version of myself I can be.
What about you? Do you set yearly goals? Do you have New Year’s Resolutions?