At the beginning of 2020 I wrote one of my first blog posts on this site. The post looked at my word for 2020 – intentional. In that post, I mentioned that I had some pretty big personal goals for the year, “blog every day, read 50 books, run a sub-24:00 5k, etc.” While I didn’t go into much detail or elaborate any further in the blog, I did share these as goals.
Recently, I listened to Jim Collins on a podcast. He talked about goal setting and measuring the effectiveness of his goals. There will probably be another blog post in the future which will dive a little deeper on this topic, but for now I wanted to focus on two ideas Collins shared.
Jim Collins is meticulous and incredibly disciplined. He actually has a spreadsheet where he tracks how he spends his time each day. That time is allocated into three blocks – 50% creative time, 30% teaching time, and 20% other “random stuff” that needs to be completed. During any 365-day period, Collins ensures there are a total of 1,000 creative hours. (I used this idea to create a 2021 goal.)
Collins also revisits goals he sets and gives them a grade. This assessment holds him accountable and allows him to determine what is working and where he needs to improve.
So, I wanted to first go back and grade the success of my goals for 2020. I wanted to blog everyday. This actually happened for the first three months of the year. Then, as we got deeper into the pandemic, I got away from blogging daily. So, I’m going to give myself a C on that one.
Goal #2 was to read 50 books in 2020. I ended up reading 22 books last year, so I’m going to give myself a D for Goal #2. Could I have read more books? Yes. Am I still pretty pleased with reading 22 books last year? Absolutely. I knew my goal was lofty, and that has helped me with one of my goals for 2021. More on that in a minute.
My third goal was to run a sub-24 minute 5K. On that one, I’m not going to grade myself. There were so many 5Ks cancelled last year, that I had a hard time finding a reliable race to run. I’m going to place more blame than is probably warranted on the pandemic, but that’s just life sometimes.
So that was 2020. What will 2021 look like? I’m going to set three goals for this year. I wanted to continue to focus on writing because I genuinely enjoy the process. Instead of the rigid approach that I’m going to write a blog post each day, I’ve decided to take a page out of Jim Collins’ playbook. I’m going to say that in any one month period, my writing minutes need to average 1000 words per day. That might be writing a blog post, creative writing, or any other form. So, I’ve fired up a Jim Collins-like spreadsheet to track my minutes.
Goal #2 for 2021 will be to read at least 25 books. I’ll admit that the 50-book goal I created for 2020 was an arbitrary number. I did read 22 books last year and feel like I could add three additional books to that number this year.
Goal #3… I’m going after that sub-24 minute 5K goal this year.
So that is my assessment of 2020 and my look ahead to 2021.
2021 here we come!