Writing down yearly goals allows you to keep track of them and identify any issues you may encounter with achieving them early. Building a template to capture all the important parts of the goal is critical in ensuring you complete it. Some key areas to think about include using the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and timely), setting up a template and using a goal Kanban board.
I'm sure you have heard this every time you go to set goals, but, the SMART goal system just works. On the other hand, however, trying to word your goals to include all parts of the SMART acronym can become tedious. I prefer to capture the goal in its most simple form and then answer the SMART questions separately in a template like below.
The first question makes you think about the specifics of the goal. What is the definition of done, in other words?
Next diagnosing potential problems with the goal and therefore ways to mitigate or reduce these problems early helps with ensuring the goal is achievable.
Defining how the goal will be tracked is also important as it sets the criteria for progress. Specific metrics or a regular check-in are suitable means of measuring progress.
Note down what improvements come from completing the goal. This helps with motivation and visualising the result of completing the goal. How will your life change if you complete this goal?
On a monthly basis, it is worthwhile checking in on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. I like to use a Kanban board to track this check-in. At the start of the year, all the goals are placed in the "ToDo" bucket and as the year progress I move them through "Doing" and "Done". It is also good to track goals that are no longer achievable or relevant as these can feed into your yearly retrospective or be planned for the upcoming year. I capture these in an "Abandoned" bucket.
For a lot of people goal setting is either difficult or something that isn’t even thought about. Hopefully, this post gives you the motivation and starting point for setting goals for 2021.