9-Step Checklist For New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions Checklist
© Guido Vrola – Fotolia.com

This year I’m determined to set better and more effective goals than ever before. To do that, I first sat down and went through the mistakes I made in 2012. This resulted in the 9-step checklist that follows. You are  holding me accountable this year, so hopefully you’ll see for yourself how effective this is.

#1: My Resolutions Must Resonate With My Core Values

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve finally been able to compose a list of the 6 values that are the most important to me. This list will be used to filter all candidate goal for this year’s resolutions. Most of the problems that arose during last year were rooted with miss-alignment between my core and the goals that I’ve set.

Implementation: I did not filter anything out while I was mind-mapping, outlining, and writing my resolutions. Everything was allowed on paper. Only when I started editing, I filtered out more and more goals, making some tough decisions along the way, removing stuff that’s not ‘me’.

Does it mean that something that was removed from the list won’t get done in 2013? Not necessarily. But it does place it at the bottom of my priorities when compared to stuff that did make it into the list.

#2: I Must Be Held Accountable

Anyone that I’ve interviewed for the magazine this passing year, talked about accountability. It’s pretty basic, and I’m heavily counting on you guys on this one 🙂

Implementation: This blog post.

#3: The List Must Be Balanced

My 2012 resolutions where completely biased to business. This year at least 30% of the resolutions must resolve personal growth and pleasure.

Implementation: Remove low priority business goals.

#4: I Must Let The Universe Know

No one can help me reach my goals if I don’t share them. I strongly believe that when you declare your goals in a clear and concise way, both your brain and the universe help you achieve them. Whether it’s by giving you the right ideas, bringing you the right people or offering the needed opportunities. It’s like tuning in to the perfect radio station.

Implementation: This blog post.

#5: Goals Must Be Clear

This one is pretty obvious. Nothing vague ever gets done.

Implementation: I will use Google’s “Objective, Key Results (OKR)” method. I’ll explain in-depth after the checklist.

#6: Goals Must Be Measurable.

This one is also obvious. If something’s not measurable, it’s not manageable.

Implementation: OKR.

#7: Goals Must Be Time-bound.

There must be an urgency to a complete goal. See Parkinson’s Law to learn why.

Implementation: This is a tricky one, as most of my goals are based on an ongoing effort. This has to be broken down. For instance, going from 100 to 20,000 paid magazine subscribers within a year requires a monthly growth rate of 59%. But a 59% growth rate can be measured and worked towards every single month, instead of a yearly basis.

This will prevent me from waking up cold-sweated one morning in June, trying to figure out if I’m on track.

#8: Goals Must Be Actionable

Goals need to have a clear definition of what has to be done in order to achieve them.

Implementation: Action plan made for quarterly and monthly OKRs.

#9: Goals Must Be Described In Present-Progressive Tense

Goals must focus on the positive and be written in present-progressive tense. This is a tip I picked up last week from my good friend Farnoosh, on her episode 73 of her podcast: How Not to Make New Year Resolutions.

Implementation: Instead of saying, “I will make the magazine a success”, I shall say, “I’m making the magazine an even bigger success”. Tell the brain it’s already doing it, and be positive about it.

© Andy Dean - Fotolia.com
© Andy Dean – Fotolia.com

OKR? What The Eff?!

OKR Stands for Objective, Key Results. It’s a system originating from Intel, the chip manufacturer, but was made famous by a small company called BackRub, although you might also know them as Google (honest to god, Google was originally named BackRub).

Here’s how it works (dead simple):

  1. You set an objective that inspires you and gets your juices flowing. The objective has to be time bound.
  2. You define 3-4 key results. Each key result is measurable and clear. These results will serve for focusing, planning and measurement; They must pose a serious challenge.
  3. You will try your best to achieve the key results. As you set very challenging ones, if you hit the 70% line your good. If you hit 85%… You aimed too low to begin with! Gotta keep that brain of yours inspired with great challenges!

Here’s an example OKR:

Objective: I’m making the Inspiring Innovation magazine an even bigger success in 2013. (Notice the positivity + present progressive tense.)

Key Results:

  1. Grow my subscribers base to 30,000 (65% monthly growth rate).
  2. Interview all top 20 leaders of the solo-preneurship world.
  3. Get listed in Apple’s top #5 Business & Investment magazines ranking of the US Store (see how detailed that is?).
  4. Get 2-3 sponsorship deals summing to $100,000.

From the yearly OKR you derive your quarterly OKRs. Some people go as far as deriving weekly and even daily OKRs — I don’t think I’ll go that far, but I’m planning on going monthly.

So there you have it! This is my checklist for creating this year’s resolutions, and I’m almost done. I plan to post it tomorrow, so make sure you come back and check it out — some cool projects going on.

What are your tips for creating valuable new year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comment section below. If you likes what you’ve read, please LIKE this post or click on the Tweet button. I’ll really appreciate it!

Talk soon,


4 thoughts on “9-Step Checklist For New Year’s Resolutions”

  1. Absolutely Spot on, Meron. There has never been an achievement obtained, without personal growth. We ALL are in our current circumstance, for better or worse, because it is all we know to experience. Thus, to have more – we must become more! It can be no other way. The universe Will Not grant you something for nothing in return. We must give to receive, we must grow to become. Continued Success!

    1. Phil,
      I’m so happy we’ve met. You are an amazing influence and I believe you are going to change lives in 2013. Continued success!

    1. Thanks friend. I was trying to find a process that works for me for quite a while – now it’s time to put the rubber to the road and make it happen!
      By the way, your podcast on this subject helped me a ton. Every time I came up with a goal I thought “is this really stretching my ability? Can I level it up?” – you inspired me to aim higher. 🙂

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