I have the ritual of doing an annual review toward the end of each year, and setting goals for the next year for the past decade or so. Much of this work is done in Evernote.
I was (almost) religious about it until 2020 came around and fundamentally upended the world and impacted the way I looked at goal setting (see: Growth vs Goals). Since then I’ve changed the way I look at annual reviews and planning.
I’ve stopped setting goals (ie I want to achieve x by y). What’s the point of goal setting anyway, if it becomes a tedious process, or if your life context changes? It almost always feels like the exercise often ends in me feeling bad when I inevitably fail to reach the goal. Instead, since 2020 I’ve focused on building good habits & micro changes that help me build towards broad objectives I set, with the mindset of incremental improvements trump achievements.
Case in point: one of my goals for 2023 is to write more. I’m not great at putting out content, and I haven’t been consistent. I want to overcome that friction. Hence one of the new ‘good habits’ that I’ve set for myself this year is to write 300 words every day and see where this leads to. I don’t have a milestone to achieve here, so when expectations are low, as the saying goes, the risk of failing is low (hah).
I am also drafting a new update on my productivity stack, inspired by my recent conversation with Claudia Chong (see The Business Times: The sweet, futile search for productivity ).
I am feeling pretty excited for the year ahead, with a renewed focus and energy on fundamentals both professionally and personally. Let’s do this!