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My Goals for 2012 and How I’m Tracking Them

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I find that for most people there isn’t a lot of resolve there and they quickly fail at their so-called “resolution”. I’m no exception to this.

However, I do set goals for things I would like to achieve over the course of the year. In recent years, I’ve fallen short of several of my goals in several areas. I’ve met some of my goals, but I haven’t done nearly as well as I would have liked.

My Weekly Goals

Usually I’ll set a goal for things like a certain weight I would like to achieve or certain projects I would like to finish or other similar things. Since my diagnosis with Adult ADD (Attenion Defecit Disorder), I’ve been thinking about things in terms of the amount of attention I give them. This has led to a change in my goals for 2012 and how I track those goals.

I’ve given myself a set amount of attention I would like to apply to in certain areas on a weekly basis. Here are those areas:

  • Work 5-hours on Mindful Worship
  • Work 5-hours on Spears Technologies
  • Work 5-hours on my college studies at West Coast Bible College
  • Create something worth sharing
  • Hike for 3-hours
  • Eat high-protein/low-carbohydrate for 5-days
  • Interact socially for 3-hours
  • Encourage others 10-times

There are other areas of my life I want to work on, but these are the areas I’ve fallen short in the most over the past year and want to work on this year. I’ll probably add more areas later on, especially as I find better ways to quantify the amount of attention I invest in the area.

Why Have I Chosen A Weekly Break-Down of Attention Invested?

I’ve wanted to bring my goals down to an area where I feel like I have more control and I can invest more energy and attention. For example, you’ll notice that two of my goals are related to health and fitness (hike for 3-hours and eat high-protein/low-carbohydrate for 5-days). Ultimately, the results of this will be reflected in a decrease in my weight. However, if I set a goal to decrease my weight by a certain number of pounds, it’s easy to get discouraged if I do well and don’t see the decrease in weight (or as rapid a decrease as I would like). However, by doing these two things consistently on a weekly basis, I know I’m moving toward an over-arching goal of improved health and fitness.

Last year I set a goal to publish 25 new Mindful Worship meditations; I only published one and that was way back in January. I also set a goal to write a book in the area of Christian meditation and I didn’t do any work on it at all. Both of these things are too big for me to get my around fully and although I know they are achievable, they seem too big and it’s easy to get discouraged and sidetracked.

I’m Tracking My Goals with Grades

Each of these goals is an ideal. I realize that I’m not going to meet each of these goals every week—it’s just not possible. So, I’ve decided to give myself a letter grade in each area. Here is how those letter grades are calculated:

  • Work 5-hours on Mindful Worship
    Grades: 5=A; 4=B; 3=C; 2=C; 1=D; <1=F
  • Work 5-hours on Spears Technologies
    Grades: 5=A; 4=B; 3=C; 2=C; 1=D; <1=F
  • Work 5-hours on my college studies at West Coast Bible College
    Grades: 5=A; 4=B; 3=C; 2=C; 1=D; <1=F
  • Create something worth sharing
    Grades: Yes=A; No=F
  • Hike for 3-hours
    3=A; 2=B; 1=C; .5=D; <.5=F
  • Eat high-protein/low-carbohydrate for 5-days
    5=A; 4=B; 3=C; 2=C; 1=D; <1=F
  • Interact socially for 3-hours
    3=A; 2=B; 1=C; .5=D; <.5=F
  • Encourage others 10-times
    9-10=A; 7-8=B; 5-6=C; 3-4=C; 1-2=D; <1=F

Most weeks, I should be able to reach a satisfactory “C” level in most of these areas. In fact, I should be able to reach excellent “A” or great “B” grade in most of them. Some weeks I will find that I need improvement “D” or totally fail “F” in an area, and that’s OK and to be expected. No one is perfect. However, by investing a small amount of attention in each of these areas each week, I know that I’ll be moving in the direction I want to move in regarding these areas of my life. A lower grade just means I’m not moving as quickly as I would like while a higher grade means I’m moving along at a good clip.

The other nice thing about weekly grades is that I start with a fresh slate each week. I may get a “D” or “F” in an area one week and then get two or three “A”s in following weeks. By starting each new week with a clean slate, I’m motivated to do some work in that area the next week.

At this point, I do plan to calculate monthly and quarterly summaries.

Questions and Comments

I’ve read dozens of books on motivation, organization, and goal setting. I don’t recall reading about anyone else setting and tracking goals exactly this way, so you may have some questions. If you do, please ask them below. You may have questions about how I chose a particular goal or the details behind one. Ask that below too. You may have ideas for how to expand on this idea; if you do, please share those below for others’ benefit.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Anita Lewis
    1/8/2012 at 9:56 am

    I like the idea of the grading system. This is not a pass/fail system, but one where you can work toward the goal, but still know you did well to achieve part of it. Excellent idea! Like you said, no one is perfect.

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