My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions [OKRs Included]

My new year's resolution
My new year’s resolutions?
The time has come. After mapping the mistakes I made in 2012 and creating a checklist for better new year’s resolutions, the time has come to reveal the plans for the coming year. So without further ado – here we go:


 Inspiring Innovation Magazine

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.

Personal Brand

new year's resolutions
Soon to be launched…

Objective: I’m creating my personal brand in 2013 by maintaining an active blog, two weekly podcasts and social media outlets.

Key Results:

  1. 50,000 podcast episode downloads for each podcast.
  2. 30,000 addresses in mailing list (including mag subscribers).
  3. 10,000 Twitter followers.
  4. 5,000 Facebook fans.

E-commerce Book series

Objective: I’m co-authoring an e-commerce how-to book series to help people create their first passive income stream while still working at their day job.

Key Results:

  1. Release at least one book each quarter.
  2. Reach a total of 50,000 book downloads from Amazon.
  3. Create an e-commerce business generating an income stream of $1000 per month as proof of concept for readers.

Inspirational App

Objective: I’m creating a social app that will encourage hundreds of thousands of users to take massive actions every day to reach their highest human potential (credit on the term goes to my friend Phil).

Key Results:

  1. Find a partner in crime for this project by the end of January.
  2. App should hit the App Store by June.
  3. Reach 200,000 users by the end of the year

Time management

Objective: I’m drastically improving my time management. This December I created a system to make sure I have a working process,  instead of just putting off fires all the time. It combines the pomodoro technique (to make sure I’m being efficient with my time), monthly planning, and simple measurement of the performance.

This also defines the actions that I’m taking throughout the week for all of my objectives, and guarantees I’ll always have an action plan.

Key Results:

  1. I will be held accountable by creating a section on the site that will be updated daily with my KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) results: How good was my time estimation, and how many pomodoro units have I completed.
  2. Complete an average of 70 pomodoro units per week.
  3. Have an average of -10% – 10% estimation error.
  4. Complete less than 300 pomodoro units on Fridays and Saturdays (that means working less than an hour and a half on weekends) — representing both sanity and successfully completing tasks during the week!

Gaining Health

Beautiful sunrise caught on my morning walk
This is what happens when I talk a walk during sunrise!

Objective: I’m gaining health by keeping better eating and living habits.

Note: Key results could be an improvement in heart rate or loss of weight, but I’m not doing this for a specific result. Instead of results, here are the actions I resolve to take:

Key Actions:

  1. Walk an average of 15,000 steps per day.
  2. Avoid white carbs (sugar, white flour, potatoes, etc.).
  3. Go through the 10 minutes daily invigorator routines every single day.
  4. Take a 1-hr walk outside every day.


Objective: I’m maintaining my inspired, optimistic and positive massive-action-taking attitude this year.

Key actions (mindset is not measurable):

  1. Listen/watch/read inspiring & professional content every weekday.
  2. Attend 3 conventions and connect with similar minded people.
  3. I will not share my dreams too early (why not?)
  4. Take at least one massive action every day.
  5. Get a business coach by the end of Q1.




Objective: I’m dedicating more time to my loved one, Julie.

Key Actions:

1. Tuesday = date nights.
2. Go on a trip once a month.
3. Spend quality time together every day.

Experiences & Good Times

Photo of the Sydney harbor at Sydney Circular Quay

Objective: I’m making sure that I enjoy my life and not dedicate it solely to my hard work.

Key Actions:

1. Check 20 things off my bucket list this year.
2. Spend at least 1 weekend each month with friends and/or family.
3. See 3 great music performances.


So there you have it! These are my resolutions for 2013. What do you think?

What are your resolutions? Share some in the comments section. It’ll keep you accountable!

9-Step Checklist For New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions Checklist
© Guido Vrola –

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 -
© Andy Dean –

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,


3 Life Learned Lessons: Things I Learned About Life In 2012

 lesson learned in life
Reflecting on 2012

It’s Been Hectic!

2012 was an amazing year for me. I left my dead-end job; I started an entrepreneurship magazine; I moved to a new country; I spent 1×1 time with internet marketing gurus Ed Dale and Guru Bob; I attended the ePub conference in LA and met amazing people who have become dear friends of mine; I moved countries once again, and finished 2012 by helping Julie launch her own makeup magazine.

Here’s the funny thing: Judging by my last year’s resolutions I had little hits and a ton of misses. How can a year — where I hardly accomplished any of my plans — end up so great? That was the question I needed to answer in order to make 2013 even better.

I Was Lucky In 2012

I got lucky in 2012, but that’s not surprising given the fact that luck can be created by massive action taking. In 2012 I unleashed some wild action-taking practices, and made sure to grab the bull by the horn. But how can I use my new year’s resolutions to guide and direct the sheer force of action-taking in 2013?

I found the answer to this question at the LA Marriott Airport Hotel, in the hands of Phil Lopez.

All goals are composed of ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’; All of your goals must resonate with your core values. The ‘what’, the ‘why’, the ‘how’ — must all resonate with the ‘who’. Find the ‘who’, and the rest becomes obvious.

Many of my 2012 resolutions where about the lifestyle I wanted to live. As it turns out, I was reverse-engineering this lifestyle goals using the wrong thinking path of “How->Why->What”.

For example:

  • “I hear Pat Flynn is making good money from niche websites” — that’s the ‘how‘.
  • “I want to quit my job and never work for corporate again” — that’s the ‘why
  • “I need to make good passive income to allow that” — that’s the ‘what‘.
  • The result? In 2012 I set to build 3 successful money-making niche websites. I focused on “good” niches, not on niches that I had any interest in.

When you start with the ‘how’ or the ‘why’, your goals are born out of fear, greed, and short-sighted thinking. Ultimately, the ‘what’ does not resonate with you, and the goal is missed. As I hate writing about stuff that I don’t care about, it was incredibly stupid of me to resolve to do just that!

How I Found My Deeper Calling

The correct path to choosing your goals in life, explained Phil, is starting with who you are and then realizing what you want and why. At that point, the how should become obvious. It’s Who->What->Why->How” vs. the commonHow->Why->What”. 

Knightly Virtues
Much like the knights, we all need to define our core values and virtues.

Using an exercise that Phil gave me (and is included in his fantastic new book, scheduled to be released at Q1 of 2013), I finally found my ‘who’. These are my 6 core values that will serve as my compass in 2013:

  • Curiosity
  • Determination
  • Optimism
  • Making a difference
  • Personal Growth
  • Going the extra mile

Putting The Rubber On The Road

Looking at these values, I realized that my problem was not corporate vs. entrepreneurship or freelancing. My problem was that I was not satisfying my core:  I was not making a difference. I was not growing.

Look, I know there’s an endless debate of “Should passion be your work? Should work be your passion? etc.” But reflecting on 2011 and the first half of 2012, I extracted the following three life lessons:

3 Lessons I Learned About Life In 2012

  1. The base of leading a happy life is to enjoy what you do.
  2. It really doesn’t matter how much money you make if you don’t enjoy what you do.
  3. There is no sum of money in the world that is worth wasting your time for.
What's your 2013's resolutions? © Paulus Nugroho R -
What’s your 2013’s resolutions?

It’s now time to create my resolutions for 2013

This year I’m using a different process, combining core values with Google-style goal making. I will share the process and my resolutions with you on my next blog post — I bet it could help you with your own resolutions, so stay tuned!

How about you? Did you make your 2013 resolutions already? Answer YES or NO in the commets section below!