Sunday, January 4, 2009

No good intentions for 2009, but goals!

After the recap of the last year, its time to look forward into 2009. As written in the last post, the Plan A is settle down more or less as soon as I found the right place, the right people (especially one ;), its the right time ... well, if everything feels right. But this Plan A is not only hard to "specify" but also hard to influence. And until Plan A takes places, I need a Plan B to spent my time and possibly positively influence the outcome of Plan A. So Plan B will be my guidance through the time, something I can specify, follow on and measure progress ... well, this sounds like a project :)

This was more or less the thoughts I had yesterday when I wanted to put down my good intentions for 2009. Well, good intentions like "stop smoking" (which I don't do anyway) or "do more sports" are not only fuzzy but also hard to remember in the end of the year - or pretty much sooner. So I tried a differnt approach: inspired by the Management by Objectives style of our company, I defined a couple of goals I'd like to achieve in 2009. I also tried to define milestones and measurement scales for most of goals. And in order to track the progress of these goals, I set up timeframes for every individual goal.... well, this sounds even more like a project :)

So I put down all my goals, with timeframes, notes on measurements, priority etc in a structured form and created a project plan for this - how nerdy! (as I've already mentioned yesterday on twitter/facebook). Btw. for project planning I use the free and open GanttProject, which totally matches my needs.

Did I inspire you, to do it the same way? Well I can give you some examples of how I define my goals. Of course I don't want to put down every goal here, because some are very private, things I either want to achieve just for me or I like to surprise others with.

Ok, how did I structure my goals?
At first, I categorized them into the five main categories: Health, Job&Career, Soul&Wellness, Brain, Money.
In those categories I put down everything I'd like to achieve, like "loose weight: 8kg", Thats the overall target, I defined 3 milestones for this, 3kg until end of February, 3kg until end of May and 2 more until end of year. I prioritized these steps, putting the top priority onto the first two milestones, the last is more or less optional. Another goal that is easily measurable is the "start the day with 100 pushups", at the moment I do 70-80 every day.
Spread accross the five categories I defined 7 high-priority goals. These are the goals I put most of my energy in. And several normal-priority goals, followed by some low-priority goals which are nice-to-haves. Over the year, I put down notes on each goal and keep track of the progress. I don't expect to achieve 100% of all of my goals, but I'll do what I can to achieve the 7 top goals and most of the normal goals, so lets see how this will work out :)

So here are 6 of my 7 top goals
  • Loose at least 6kg down to 82kg, or better 8kg down to 80kg
  • Drink less alcohol (at most on 2 days/month, with no more than 5 Beers/day, only exception is the Wacken festival :)
  • Accomplish the IT Specialist Certification Level 1
  • Certify for Lotus Connection Admin
  • Improve my French skills by working through the self-learning material I have, or better: perform the B1 telc certification 
  • Save a certain amount of money (I won't tell you how much ;)
Some other goals are
  • Do sports regularly (3 days/week and 4hrs/week)
  • Some travel targets for vacation (USA, some weekend city trips in Europe)
  • Improve my Russian skills (and possibly certify, same as for French, but French is more important)
  • Learn Italian (at least a bit)
  • Read several books (planned 5 until end of September)
Thats quite some stuff to work on, but the year has yet begun!
Lets go!

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