These were my ten BIG goals for 2016.
- Write a daily blog post
- Give a speech every week
- Payoff our debts
- Create a side hustle
- Get involved in a community
- Complete Free Code Camp
- Publish a book
- Learn to play an instrument
- Raise money or give my time for cause I support
- Read a book every week
Here is a review of what I accomplished and what I didn’t accomplish in 2016.
1. Write a daily blog post
In 2016, I took a significant step back in my daily blog post goal. I wanted to write post every single day. At my six month review, I was only 26 posts behind schedule, but like many of these goals my performance began to fall off in the final few months of the year. There is always a number of things that can impact your performance but the bulk of my struggles to maintain my goals seemed to occur when my gym at work closed and then I changed jobs, and location, at my company. Daily exercise is one of the anchors in my life. Once that anchor was released, I began to struggle with consistency in other areas of my life. I recently fixed my exercise anchor and I think that’s part of the reason that I’m writing more often.
2. Give a speech every week
I was doing better than I could have imagined with this goal. At my six month review, I was right on target to complete this goal. When I switched jobs, I had to leave my Toastmasters club. I also took on too many Toastmasters responsibility and suffered from burnout. I didn’t attend a Toastmasters meeting for a few months until I went to club meeting at my new build during the month of December. I’ll probably get involved with one club in 2017 but I’m going to have a more reasonable speech goal of about a speech a month.
3. Payoff our debts
We’ve created our plans but this is a long-term goal that won’t be completed in a year.
4. Create a side hustle
I’ve been busy with other goals, new jobs, and all of the things I have on my plate. This is something I really need to do but I’m never going to achieve it by simply talking about it. 2017 is when I finally make this happen.
5. Get involved in a community
From my six month review:
“It’s funny how things happen in life. When I first chose this goal I meant to get involved in the Pittsburgh Startup community. Their events and locations have not been convenient to my schedule. Though I did happen to become involved in a different community: Toastmasters. Last year, I presented at the Fall Conference and this year I participated in the International Contest Speech Competition, completed my first year in club leadership at one club, helped start another club, earned two awards, and lead a breakout session at this Summer’s TLI Conference.”
I got too involved with Toastmasters and I suffered from some serious burnout around September and October. At that time, I took a step back from Toastmasters and got out of some of my commitments. I think I will get back involved because I like working on my public speaking. I just need to learn to say, “No,” to opportunities thrown my way.
6. Complete Free Code Camp
At my six month review, I was on Free Code Camps’ Random Quote Generator project and I’m still haven’t moved past that project. A month after this review, I began refocusing on Data Science and Python programming which I stuck with for the rest of the year.
I know I want to continue learning Data Science but I’m always drawn to Free Code Camp because I love the mission and the track.
7. Publish a book
This is the most disappointing goal from 2016. I have a lot of ideas for this book. I feel like I’ve writer a few good posts related to this book but in 2016 I struggled to make any progress on my first book.
8. Learn to play an instrument
I have nowhere to practice. The guitar is too loud to practice at night when the kids go to bed. I know this sounds like an excuse and really it is. I’m sure there is a way I could figure out some time to practice or buy an electric guitar with an amp so I could practice with headphones. In the end I have more pressing goals to accomplish but after writing a book this is probably the goal I’d achieve if I didn’t need to worry about earning a living.
9. Raise money or give my time for cause I support
As a charity runner during the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I raised almost $500 and the Light of Life Rescue Mission Marathon Team raised over $120,000. I personally didn’t raise as much as I would have liked but earlier this year I didn’t think I was going to do anything.
That was the only charity event I completed in 2016. I’m thinking about what I can do for 2017 but sadly I have other things that are more pressing.
10. Read a book every week
At my six month review, I was on my 27th book. Then I tried reading George Washington’s biography, A life. I still haven’t finished the thing and I think I ended 2016 by reading 30 books.
In the end it was a disappointing end of 2016. At least in terms of the amount of work I completed towards my BIG goals of 2016. After the first seven, or eight, months, I struggled to complete anything towards my goals. I feel the cause of this second half of the year breakdown was due to the lack of a routine and the loss of my exercise anchor. At the end of 2016, I spent a good amount of time thinking about the themes in my life that have led me to past success. In 2017, I’m planning to focus, not on hard goals, but process and direction. I believe focusing on my process, anchors, and routines will allow me to have a good deal of professional success in 2017.