As we look back on 2021, we might be thinking about the delta variant of COVID, masking, toilet paper shortages, and working from home.
But for me, as I look back, I have to start with the goals I set for myself in December of 2020. I had some pretty aggressive goals around fitness, traveling, entertaining, and reading books (along with a few other things).
I started my annual goal-setting process in late 2019, so I have now been through two annual cycles. What I’ve learned is that written goal setting produces significant progress and accomplishment. Setting goals that are realistic with a tad bit of a stretch—and then tracking them daily—requires a lot of discipline, but for me it has been transformative.
I’ve accomplished so much more than I ever imagined possible. In our annual New Year’s card that we send to family, friends, and business colleagues, I’ve never received so many follow-up emails with comments like “I don’t know anyone who packs as much ‘living’ into life as you do!”
So here is a small “tale of the tape” as they say, of how I did against my goals:
Sleep 7+ hours 7.92 avg hours
Work out 208 days a year 299 days (181 rowing days, 194 Peloton rides, plus walk/runs –I try to do at least 2 types a day)
Golf 36 rounds (3/month) 76 rounds (*Golf handicap dropped 3.3 strokes)
Meditate every day 363 days (missed 2)
Donate blood 6 times Donated 4 times
Run 2 half marathons Completed 2 half marathons + a 10K
Average 8,000 steps a day 3,852,322 steps (avg 10,554 a day)
Read 52 books Read 90 books
Write 250 handwritten notes Sent 511 handwritten notes
Saw my grandson Eli 31 times
Had dinners with family 29 times
Had 52 dress-up dinners with Jack and/or friends
Bucket List Items
Visited 2 Presidential Libraries (Nixon and Reagan)
Visited Athens, Greece (where I ran a 10K)
Visited all 5 National Parks in Utah
So how did you do against your goals? It’s possible that your goals were just in your mind and you didn’t write them down. What about giving it a try this year? Write them down! It’s not too late to set some goals for yourself.
I set goals in a few areas: physical (which includes exercise and sleep), social (dinners, connecting with friends and family), travel (trips), personal development (reading), and caring (giving blood, writing thank-you notes, and staying connected with friends and family). There is a balance of fun and challenge.
I purchase an “At-A-Glance” monthly calendar and track my goals daily. At the end of each month, I recap what I’ve done in the back of the calendar, so I can see how I am progressing. Many months, as I am tallying up my exercise or my sleep, I realize I didn’t do as well as I had wanted … so I can “course correct” for the following month. I weigh myself daily (to keep myself honest) and during that last week of the month, it’s amazing how much more disciplined I am with my food and exercise! Some months I lost a few pounds and sometimes my number was higher, but overall I lost 3 pounds during the year, which made me happy.
I plan to make 2022 my best year ever and have a long list of places to go and people to see. What about you? What do you want to accomplish this year?