Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Happy New Month - How to Examine Your Goals - Inspect and Adapt

I love beginnings. Several years ago I started celebrating each new month. I figured if celebrating the New Year would motivate me to start new great goals, why not celebrate each month? In fact, I even wrote about this in Goodbye New Year's Resolutions, Hello Monthly Habits.

This week on the Love Project, the theme is Self-Awareness, and the Week 5 Assignment is to pick one word to describe yourself. For me, that word is goal-driven. (I hope that's considered one word, even though it's hyphenated!) I'm very analytical, too, as you'll see! (Hey, I just realized, this is probably where the word "anal" comes from. At least I'm hoping when someone describes me that way they are just shortening the word 'analytical' rather than using it as a short-cut for a$$-hole... Hmmm.. But I digress.) If you're an analytical, goal-driven, type-A kind of person, too, read on!

My "Big Goal" for 2011, is to host The Love Project, and so far, so good! But with goals, it's important to break them down into manageable pieces, measure, reflect, adapt -- make sure you are accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. In agile software development (my line of work) this is called doing a "retrospective" and then we "inspect" and "adapt." I'll demonstrate using my goal as an example, but you might want to substitute your own resolutions or goals and go through these steps.

First, figure out why you want to accomplish the goal.

Why I want to host The Love Project:

1) To help me heal from the recent grief of losing my Dad and my friend, Craig.
2) To help make the world a better place by spreading resources and ideas about love.
3) To help get content and visibility for a new book about love.
4) To learn more about blogging and growing traffic.
5) To expand my own knowledge and capacity to love and be loved.
6) Get more visibility for The Laptop Dancer Diaries.

Next, reflect on what did you do in January to accomplish your goal.

1) Blogged almost every day, including an assignment each Saturday, Website Wednesday, and Friday Funnies related to theme of the week.
2) Learned more about SEO and other blogging techniques as time allowed.
3) Became a Guest Blogger on Pick The Brain.
4) Bought loveproject2011 domain, but have yet to create the Website.

Reflect (with measurements if possible) on how well your objectives are being met.

1) Green: If grief recovery could be measured, I would give high marks here. Doing something productive and meaningful, reminding me of my Dad and Craig has helped move me away from feeling sorry for myself and into a much happier place.

2) Yellow: I have found lots of great sites and resources, but I'm not satisfied that I'm getting the word out as much as I would like. Traffic and subscriptions have increased by about 20%, but I hope this will get a lot higher.

3) Red: Though I put together a rough outline, I have done hardly anything about my new Love Project book. I also haven't created my new Love Project Website yet.

4) Yellow: I learned more about blogging tools and techniques, but the more I learn, the more I know I don't know.

5) Green: In doing the exercises, writing, and searching for sites I felt inspired, happier, and like love was always in the forefront of my mind.

6) Red: I did sell a few books and got some good reviews, but I don't think those sales originated because of the blog.

Reflect on what you'll keep doing and what you'll change

1) Blogging every day takes too much time and potentially is too many posts for subscribers. Blog less frequently, but at least 3 times a week.

2) Comment more on others' blogs. I found a great post today (and a new Love Project Participant), Aidan Donnelly Rowley of Ivy League Insecurities.

3) Highlight great Love Resources, perhaps with an eBook or a special page, so this won't get lost amongst the posts.

4) Create the Love Project 2011 Website if I have time.

5) Look into other marketing ideas for The Laptop Dancer Diaries.

6) Promote more often and ask for help with promoting by posting:

Join The Love Project, Spread the Love: http://bit.ly/aJWbG0

If you made it to the end of this post, you are probably a goal-driven type yourself, so do me a favor... Participate in the easy Assignment 5 of The Love Project and leave me the one word to describe yourself!


shirlnutkin said...

this is a great way to look at goals - and putting them "out there" is great support. in your what you'll keep doing/change list.

one other thought is to have some "mini-metric" within your monthly goals - even if it's just something like - "Look into at least two other marketing ideas a week for The Laptop Dancer Diaries.

Yvette said...

You're right, Shirley! Goals should really be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Driven.

I have a tendancy of trying to do too much.

The goal I'm focusing on for February is (for the Love Project) is:

Comment on at least 15 blogs a week, inviting those that are about love, self-improvement, or bettering the world to come and join in The Love Project.

The others are more the "if I have time" type...