If you are looking for another list of resolutions, I'm afraid this post will disappoint. Promising ourselves to lose weight, exercise more, or stop smoking never work. Statistics show most resolutions made January 1st are broken by January 31st.
So, let's not go there. Instead I want to talk about setting some goals. Goals are different from resolutions in one major way: goals have specific steps to achieve them. A resolution says, "I will lose 10 pounds." A goal says, "I will lose ten pounds by March 1st and here are the steps I will take to achieve that goal. Think of a resolution as a goal without a plan. Think of that as an approach that will not work. It is about to be a new year. Let's try something different on our satisfying retirement journey together.
Because I can't possibly know what your goals might be, I'll use some of mine. The nice thing about a blog is these words will live on in some server somewhere forever. So, I can't deny having declared these goals. All I can do is attempt to fulfill them so I don't embarrass myself. So, for 2011, here goes:
Publish an e-book. My reading and study of successful blogs make it clear that just blogging is probably not going to be enough to push any blog to the next level. Other steps are required to get your name and brand in front of more people. One of the most effective steps is to put together a book. Unlike a traditional book, though, a book for a blogger must be available on-line for instant download. At least at first, it must be free. Its goal is not to make money, its goal is to increase awareness.
So, Goal #1 on this very public list is to have a Satisfying Retirement e-book available, for download, for free, by March 1st. Somebody keep track!
Start a web site to sell my wife's abstract photographs. Betty has so many talents it is hard to pick just one. But a goal requires a focus so I want to work toward developing a web site that sells her incredibly inventive abstract photographs. With a digital camera and Photo Shop she produces true works of art. If enough other people agree we could fund some exciting travel through the sale of her photos.
Goal #2 is to develop a web site to market her photos by May 1st.
Become one of the top 3 blogs in the non-financial retirement niche..by my one year anniversary. I'm not quite sure how I'll measure this. Maybe it will be subjective based on comparisons of subscriptions or mentions on Google. But, it is goal I'd like to set for myself. Why? Personal satisfaction primarily. If I'm involved in something I want to keep growing and developing. This seems like something I might be able to accomplish, mainly because at least 80% of retirement blogs are financially-centered.
Goal #3 is to be a top 3 non-financial retirement blog by my one year blogging anniversary, June 23rd.
Take another extensive driving Trip. I refuse to wake up some day and be upset that I waited too long to get back on the road. We enjoyed our last trip and want to schedule several more, but with one major change. Instead of being a "drive till we drop" trip they will become "drive and stop for awhile." The only downside of the driving excursion we took last Spring was attempting to cover too many miles in too few days. in 2011 the goal will be different.
Goal #4 is to take one driving trip of 3-4 weeks before the end of the year, but cover much less distance than the last one.
Simplify/downsize one aspect of my life. I've mentioned this in posts before but I want to set a firm goal, with a date, to eliminate cable TV from our house. We watch so little that paying that bill every month is silly. But, I keep putting off pulling the plug because I'm afraid I may miss it.
Of course I can always sign up again (at probably a better, new customer rate) if it turns out to be a mistake. So, there is no real downside. I just have to do it.
Goal #5 is to eliminate cable TV by April 1st (when my current contract is up).
Five goals, a few that are ambitious, a few easier, a few more difficult. One thing about a blog is that it is public. There are nearly 5,000 people a month who can hold me accountable.
What about you? Are you prepared to set some goals that will make you stretch yourself and sacrifice to achieve? Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready to commit yourself to having the best year of your life?
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