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Goals Goals Goals

Issue: 004Jan 4, 2024

Hello 👋,

Happy New Year!

Just a quick reminder that you've received this email because you signed up to my newsletter on my website. I write about solo entrepreneurship, running a small business, and the tools we use to get work done. I hope you find it interesting.

I'm a little late preparing this newsletter. I had every intention of hitting the keyboard over Twixmas (when did this become a thing?), but for one reason or another, I didn't quite manage it, and I'm OK with that.

Luckily, I remembered how to turn on my Mac Mini and am back at it — so far, so good. Normal formatting will resume in the next issue, but for the first edition of 2024, I want to discuss "goals"!

If, like me, you've always struggled to set your annual goals, there are better times to be online than January. LinkedIn and other social media are awash with list after list of people's 2024 goals — your common or garden goals and those of the BHAG variety! I'll be honest; it can get a bit much.

While the lists might repel me, I see the value of setting goals — especially as a one-person business where I don't have a co-founder on hand to keep me accountable.

I am also fascinated by the processes people go through to arrive at their goals for the year. Reflecting on the past year to inform the following seems eminently sensible — I've just never been one to commit to the process that well.

However, that changed with a recent email from the AppSumo founder, Noah Kagan, in which he described his process for goal-setting.

First, he defines four areas he wants to set goals for in his life. His are:

  1. Work
  2. Health
  3. Personal
  4. Travel

He then goes on to define three types of goals per category. If you like and follow this method, you may have more/less of each, but the approach really got me thinking. The categories are:

  1. Numerical — This is a total number target (e.g. £100k in annual revenue).
  2. System-based — This is a specific frequency over a period of time (e.g. 2 x a week). He believes these are good for building long-term habits when you're unsure about the exact numerical goal.
  3. Progress-based — These goals are of a directional nature, for example, growing a subscriber base, but the actual number of subscribers isn't important.

Here's his finished quadrant:

Despite my internal resistance to the process, I followed the method and, after a couple of thirty-minute sessions, landed on a set of goals that feel achievable and worthwhile. Some might call this personal growth!

He goes into much more detail in his seven-minute YouTube video. It's worth watching until the end as he shares five things that he believes will help us all achieve our goals.

Do you conduct an annual review? Do you goal set? If you do, I'd love to learn more about how you do it and how you keep yourself on track.

Thanks for reading,

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This is the web site of Keir Whitaker — I'm a UK-based marketing consultant, coach and advisor and founder of event series Craft+Work.

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