There's about two weeks left in the year, so it's time for me to begin deciding upon goals for 2016.
For the last four years, I have posted my goals on this blog and updated the progress of those goals monthly as a means of holding myself accountable. Oddly, these monthly updates have become some of my most popular posts, and the amount of email I receive about them is surprising.
There is actually research that indicates that this process is detrimental to goal completion. Studies done since 1933 show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen.
Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you're less motivated to do the hard work needed.
This may be true, but I am not one of these lunatics. I am not fooled into believing that announcing a goals gets me any closer to success.
Rather, I am obsessive and driven and suffer under an indescribable existential crisis. All of these things propel me forward.
I also live in fear of appearing weak or ineffective or allowing someone to say "I told you so."
Announcing my goals only pushes me harder to completion.
Every year, as a part of the goal setting process, I ask readers to suggest goals for the coming year. In many ways, my readers are some of the best equipped people in the world to suggest goals for me. You read about my thoughts and feelings on a daily basis, and you know me better than some of my friends who I see a handful of times each year but never take the time to read this blog.
Some of the goals that readers have suggested in the past have been some of the biggest difference makers in my life.
If you're curious about the kind of goals that I typically set for myself, the goals from the previous six years are below:
I also write year-end review of my goals, which includes completion percentages for the previous years and an explanation of my successes and failures.
So fire away, dear reader. Tell me what foibles and flaws are in need of correction. Set me on a new course. Point me at a new horizon.
But when suggesting goals, please try to think of goals that are measurable.
Last year a reader suggested that I try to be less of a jerk. While this goal was an admirable one, measuring my success on a monthly or yearly basis would be impossible.
It was also kind of mean.