The Obligatory 2012 Goals Post (And a Look Back at 2011)
Happy New Year! For the past week or so (and probably for the next week or two to come), you’ve been beaten over the head with everyone else’s goals. Now it’s my turn!
There’s nothing wrong with the overwhelming amount of “goals” posts out there – I love reading others’ goals and resolutions, even if we all know that 25-50% or more of these goals won’t be achieved throughout the year (as much as we’d like to believe that isn’t true). To me, having goals is more about the journey and the path – even if you never arrive at your destination. No one likes to fail, but I think the value of goals is that they help keep you on track. Even if you don’t fully accomplish a goal, you can still be successful.
A Look Back at 2011
It’s always good to reflect on your previous year’s goals so that you can see where you were successful and where you may have strayed from the path you originally set out on. Personally, I do better with short term goals (i.e. goals for the day, week, or even month) because I often lose sight of the broader goals. I still think it’s important to have long-term goals, but it’s equally important to remind yourself of them, and to make sure your shorter-term goals are helping you achieve the longer-term goals.
Anyway, here is a brief look at how I did with my 2011 goals:
1) Dominate and enjoy my new “9 to 5” job – I can’t determine whether I failed or succeeded here. On the one hand, I did “dominate” the job in the sense that I was very successful for my first year, but the enjoyment wore off rather quickly. There may be some changes coming soon regarding my status with this job, but I’m not yet at a point where I can share it.
2) Start a new authority site that will eventually earn $2,000/month – This goal was partially achieved given the fact that I started the site and have it fully up and running now. However, I failed in that this site has only been earning around $10/month. Part of this is due to the fact that the niche is competitive and I’m still only on page 3 for my primary keyword. I’m definitely not giving up on this though, and still plan to grow the site in 2012.
3) Lay the foundation for my own “real” business – I can confidently say that I did not achieve this goal in 2011. This is still a long-term goal, but very much “on the back burner” for now.
4) Continue delivering high quality content on My 4-Hour Workweek at least 1-2 times per week – Success! This was one goal that I definitely achieved. Regardless of how busy I was throughout the year, I didn’t feel comfortable going a week without posting something on this blog. This blog is one of the main reasons I stay motivated with my online projects, so it’s important that I maintain regular updates.
5) Finish my Amazon Niche Site Challenge by the end of 2011 – This was a failure, not because I stopped creating niche sites altogether, but because I shifted my focus to AdSense-monetized sites. I am still creating Amazon niche sites, but not at the pace I originally planned. There is still a lot of money to be made with Amazon-monetized sites, however I’ve found it’s easier to find keywords that work with AdSense, which allows me to produce new sites at a faster rate.
6) Earn $100,000 between my online income and offline “day job” income – This was a failure. I think my offline income was fine, but my online income definitely failed to live up to my expectations.
As you can see, my success with 2011 was mixed. The good thing is, I did something related to each of my goals, which allowed me to progress further than if I didn’t have the goals at all. While this is nothing to celebrate, it still shows the value of having goals in the first place. I’m not one to dwell on the past, so let’s move forward with 2012 goals!
2012 Goals: Simple, Challenging, and Achievable
You’ve probably heard about S.M.A.R.T goals before, and while I think those are great criteria for creating good goals, I like to simplify it even further and aim to create goals that are simple, challenging, and achievable. The reason I want simple goals is because I have a tendency to lose sight of long-term goals (as mentioned before), and I believe that having simple goals will allow me to keep my eye on them better.
Challenging goals are important because your success will be limited by how much you push yourself – if your goals are all “slam dunks” and easy to accomplish, you will be limiting your success.
Finally, I want achievable goals because I believe goals are only motivating if you really believe you can achieve them. I could set a goal to play for a Major League Baseball team in 2012, but the reality is that I probably wouldn’t even attempt it due to the fact that I don’t view the goal as achievable.
Here are my 2012 goals:
#1 Earn $100,000 between my online projects and offline “9 to 5” job.
I didn’t achieve this goal last year, so I’d like to go after it again this year. $100,000 is an arbitrary number, but I view it as a milestone for one’s annual income. To reach this amount would mean that I have truly pushed myself to go above and beyond where I’ve been in the past.
#2 Have 250 niche sites created by the end of 2012.
I already have over 50 created, so I’ll actually need to create less than 200 in 2012. Most of these will be AdSense focused, however I am still creating Amazon niche sites as well. This is no small task when you don’t have a dedicated VA and you work a full time job, but I’m going to prove that it’s still possible to do. As a side note, this goal is going to be an instrumental part in me achieving goal #1.
#3 Create a Facebook fan page for this blog.
It’s somewhat insane that in our social media-obsessed culture, I still haven’t created a Facebook fan page for My 4-Hour Workweek. I do have a Twitter account with a decent following, but never really got around to creating a Facebook page. The benefits of having one are obvious, provided you stay active and actually interact with your fans. More than just creating a fan page, I’d like to add a unique element to it, such as sharing good, available niche site domains much like I did with the “newbie niche site month” in the past.
#4 Do some form of exercise every single day in 2012.
This is what I mean by keeping things simple. It would be unrealistic for me to run 5 miles every single day or even attempt to complete P90X again (as much as I’d like to). However, I think I can manage to do some form of exercise every day, whether that’s running 10 miles, or simply doing 10 push-ups. Each day’s exercise amount will depend on how busy I am, but by keeping this goal fairly flexible, it’ll allow me to stick to it on a daily basis.
#5 Earn $100/day across all online projects by the end of 2012.
This goal will go hand-in-hand with goals #1 and #2. If I am earning $100/day online by the end of this year, I will consider the year a fantastic success. It’s not that $100/day is a tremendous amount of money, but if I can get myself to the point of earning $100/day, it will mean that $200 or even $300 per day will be a very achievable goal in 2013.
That’s all for 2012!
As you’ll notice, I only picked goals that were very measurable. At the end of the year, it will be easy to determine whether or not I’ve succeeded or failed with each goal. Obviously there will be levels of success and failure…for example, if I am earning only $98/day by the end of 2012, I will technically have failed goal #5, but at the same time, I’ll have accomplished a lot during the year to get to that point.
What are your goals for 2012? What do you think of my goals? Share your comments below!