If you have lots of projects and ideas you want to try, things you want to learn and stuff you want to complete, it may be hard to keep track of everything. Writing you own annual report is a good way to organize all of this so you can track your progress, have a handy reminder of the projects you wanted to do and get all this out of your head.
I first heard about this concept on the “Art of Nonconformity” blog (you can read the article here). The goals were not exactly the same, but the idea stuck with me. I decided to do it on Labour Day since the back to school time has always been a good time to start new things for me, without the distractions of the holidays you would have if you choose to do this on New Year. Also, I know I will probably never work on this day so I can take an afternoon to do this every year at the same time.
Selecting the Type of Goals You Want to Achieve
To start with, I closed all my computers and sat in a nice chair with a pen and a pile of papers. On the first sheet, I wrote a theme that would guide me during the year and that I wanted to improve in particular. This year for example, the main theme will be building my own part-time business on the Internet with various projects I wanted to try.
After this, I took six sheets of paper and I wrote a category of goals I wanted to think about in this review on each. Here are the categories I used this year, in no particular order:
- Sports and Health
- Crafts and DIY
- Future Goals
You can see the clear bias toward doing business, with three of the six categories relating to money in some way. Also, I put in a category for Sports and Health since there are things I want to learn here, and a Craft and DIY category for some of the more important projects I want to do or complete.
The last category, Future Goals, is for the things I don’t plan to achieve this year, but still want to keep in mind for the next reviews. You may have different objectives and goals, so alter the list so it fits your needs better.
Setting Your Goals For The Years
At this point, I took all my sheets with goals categories written on top and I got to work, writing things I wanted to achieve in each category. There’s not wrong answer there, you can always remove stuff later on. This step can go pretty fast if you’ve been thinking about this for a while like me.
I tried to set specific goals where I could so my progress could be tracked and to have something specific to work toward. Of course, some goals have no in-between, like going to a specific workshop or completing a long overdue project.
As an example, here are some goals I set in the Crafts and DIY and Business categories so you have an idea of what I’m thinking about :
- Crafts and DIY
Complete a small robot project (exact project to be defined)
Knitting my first pair of mittens
Finish my rag rug project
Work at least an hour a day on my businesses
Launch one small web application
You can see that my goals are pretty varied and include tasks that will take anything from a few hours to weeks to achieve. The only criteria was that they were all things I wanted to do for next year and that were important to me.
Setting Actions To Take And Wrapping Up The Review
For this final step, I opened my computer to set up a simple Excel spreadsheet. I put my final selection of goals on the left, and a simple breakdown of the actions I would need to go to achieve those goals on the right. This way, if I want to work on a goal, it’s easy to get started.
Also, on another worksheet, I made a simple table to track those goals that can be measured. This way, I can see next year how well I did and what needs to be improved, and make pretty Excel graphs to show my progress. You don’t need to be as detailed, but you may want to note your progress from time to time so you remember it next year.
What Should Be Done Next Year
This is an annual review so I should talk about things I did last year too. But since this is my time doing an annual review, I don’t have any point of reference to compare with last year.
So, at the same time next year, I will speak some more about the annual review to see how many of my goals were really completed and how it helped me (or not) achieve them.This entry was filed under :Goals, Personal Development
September 9, 2009 No Comments