Achieving Your Goals and My Goals for 2016

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Last week, on one mild and sunny winter afternoon here in Calgary, I met with my friend Julie for a walk along the Bow River. We got to chatting and she told me about the book 5: Where Will You Be in Five Years from Today? by Dan Zadra. The book is designed as a work book that walks you through planning out your goals for the next five years, complete with interesting facts and inspirational information. I thought it would be a perfect way to start the New Year, so I went home and ordered it right away.

This book is one of many steps I have taken over the past year to make goal setting, reviewing, and pursuing a regular part of my daily routine. The importance of goal setting is summed up perfectly by a quote from 5, which goes as follows:

According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech., people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as the people who don’t, and yet 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals. Sixteen percent do have goals, but they don’t write them down. Less than four percent write down their goals, and fewer than one percent actually review them on an ongoing basis. Guess which one percent?

In light of these statistics, I thought I would share with you my career-specific goals for 2016 with hopes that they might inspire you to consider some of your own. Keep in mind, it is not just the goal that you want to focus on every day, but also the behaviours that you will have to exercise every day to make your goals a reality. Please note that the goals you set should be S.M.A.R.T., or specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

Goal One – Sleep: I will average seven to eight hours of sleep every night for 75% of every month of 2016. Reflecting on 2015, getting enough sleep has been my number one weakness. After years of sleep deprivation, I can no longer ignore the negative consequences and I am desperate for adequate sleep.

Relevant Behaviours:

  • To support my circadian rhythm I will run a blue light filtering app like Twilight or F.Lux on all of my screens.
  • Begin my night time routine at 8 PM.
  • Lights out by 9 PM if I plan on waking by 5 AM.
  • Prioritize sleep over exercise (I usually love my morning work outs).
  • Reserve most weekends for rest and relaxation, free of alcohol and other activities that negatively impact recovery.
  • Install a sleep tracking app and review data on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to ensure I am on track.

Goal Two – Time Management: I will use a planner to track how I use my time and prioritize action items on a daily basis, ensuring 75% the month consist of no more than the required 37.5 hours per week to complete 100% of project tasks. Time management is a skill that I believe everyone can always improve upon and it remains a primary focus of mine. For more on time management, refer to my post: Studio Life: Improving Upon Speed and Productivity.

Relevant Behaviours:

  • Use a planner on a daily basis to schedule specific times for all tasks in both my personal and professional life.
  • Complete tasks according to priority.
  • Record the time I predict for each task, versus the time each task actually takes to complete.
  • Communicate my progress to team members.
  • Arrive to work 15 minutes early every day to set a tone of focus while the studio is still quiet.

Goal Three – Architectural Internship Hours: Over the year of 2016, I will record and submit 1000 hours of experience that count toward my architectural internship. To date I have recorded and submitted just under 2000 hours that count toward my internship. This will put me very close to becoming a registered architect and will allow me to write the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC) by November 2017.

Relevant Behaviours:

  • Record and review experience hours at the end of each month.
  • Meet with my supervisor to review my progress at each submission time. Discuss strategies for the following submission.
  • Refer to my list of required experience every day to ensure my actions support gaining that experience.
  • Do not allow this goal to compromise my overall productivity within the company.
  • Considering the recession, ensure my intent to gain experience does not take work away from my colleagues in these tight times.

Goal Four – Blogging: Share my advice, experiences, and support with the global design community through one blog post a week, such that my voice reaches 500 unique visitors per month from January to March, 1000 from April to June, 2000 from July to September, and 3000 from October to December.

Relevant Behaviours:

  • 30 minutes per day brainstorming and writing posts.
  • One hour per week researching blogging strategies.
  • Optimize my use of social media to achieve my blogging goals while avoiding distractions.
  • Listen to one pod cast on blogging and entrepreneurship per week.
  • Publish one blog post a week every Sunday evening.

Goal Five – Personal Development: Every single day in 2016 I will carry out and keep a journal of a success routine that ensures the achievement of my goals and the appreciation of the positive things in my life. This ritual, which I had already begun in 2015, was inspired by the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

Relevant Behaviours:

  • Before starting anything else in my day I will:
    • Meditate to clear the mind and relax.
    • Review my goals and the relevant behaviours to achieve them.
    • Visualize the achievement of my goals.
    • Journal, including a list of three things for which I am grateful.
    • Read an enriching book that contributes to personal development.
    • Perform stretches and exercises to encourage blood flow and mobility.
  • At any moment of down time throughout the day I will refer to my goals to ensure I am on track.
  • In the evening prior to going to bed I will:
    • Read more from an enriching book.
    • Journal, reflecting on my day and the things for which I am grateful, as well as at least one thing I learned and one thing I can improve upon.
    • Visualize achieving my goals and having a restful sleep.
    • Meditate to clear my mind and relax.

So there you have some of my major goals for 2016. I challenge you to consider writing down your own and reviewing them on a daily basis. Let me know if you accept the challenge in the comments below. If you feel comfortable, feel free to share your goals with me, along with any tips or tricks you may have for achieving your goals.







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