Happy New Year! 2011 Goal Setting with GTD

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Happy New Year everybody!

Every year people set resolutions to start on January 1st. I think it is not just a North American trend but I am not sure. It is like a new starting point for everyone to get back on the rails and re-focus on the important things we should be doing.

As a GTD user, I have a suggestion to help with your goal setting and resolutions. Set up a list of things you want to achieve over the year to start. If you are a Remember the Milk user, tag this list with something like #2011, #resolutions, #goals, #dreams. Once you have fleshed out the things you really want to achieve, take each goal and look for a first step that is needed to get the job done. Really think about what needs to be done as a sequence of action steps.

As an example, many people want to start exercising more. A great goal, but HOW do you get started? Well, what kind of exercises do you like to do? Walking, running? Well, how are your shoes? Are they no better than clogs? How about appropriate clothes? So, to get started on achieving the goal of running, for instance, your first action step might be to go to or call the sports store to get new shoes. The next might be to add a scheduled time to your calendar. Or, to check your bank account to see if you can REALLY afford that gym membership…

Getting Things Done is really just about trying to brain storm about WHAT needs to be done to achieve the goal and organizing the steps needed to get there in the most efficient manner.

Good luck with setting your goals for the year!

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One Reply to “Happy New Year! 2011 Goal Setting with GTD”

  1. Hi Larrinski,

    Timely post. I do want to add some info that may help your readers:

    too many times I see people set goals like “I want to start exercise more,” and I know that this format of goal-setting is the major cause of all resolutions and goals failure. The simple reason is that this format is not specific, measurable, or time-bound. In order to see why this format leads to failure, you got to ask yourself this question, what is “more”? If you don’t exercise at all would walking 1 city block once per month accomplish the goal? What if you “start” by jogging once or twice and stop for good after? Goal is still accomplished, right?

    It’s easier to achieve goals that are set in S.M.A.R.T. format (http://www.smart-goals.org/). If you set your goal in this format it would be
    1. specific – run Marathon, as an example
    2. measurable – jog 3/week starting with 1 mile and increase distance by .25 mi every run
    3. attainable – check with doctor to see if this is doable
    4. relevant – I really strive to complete Marathon to prove to myself that I can achieve anything I set my mind on
    5. time-bound – due date 10/15/11

    This is just an example, but you get the point.

    I also highly recommend getting an accountability partner to discuss progress or lack of it and get butt-kicking for getting off track.

    To Your Success in 2011 and beyond!

    You see this is not a goal

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