The Goals Spreadsheet

Credit: Flickr / SaraYeomans

At the end of the year, my coach had me make a list of 40 goals for 2017. They range from the very professional to the very personal. From the serious to the purely for fun. Of course, I broke them into sections and put them in a spreadsheet. At the start of each month I do a “commitment journal”, where I think about what I hope the next month will bring. As part of that I’ve taken to going through the list and updating it. Marking the completed ones green, the in progress ones orange, and the at risk ones red.

As of the last update, 10 goals have been marked green. 13 are orange. 6 are red. But to look at it that way misses the point – I’ve been finding it a powerful and interesting exercise to return each month to the things that I found important at the start of the year – even if many of them would not make the list if I wrote it again today. Even if it doesn’t capture many things that I have achieved – because I had no idea they were coming.

I’ve generally been much more into the process than the goal. I think it’s easy to have some big ideas, but if you can’t break things down and somewhat enjoy what it will take to get there it will never happen. So this is the kind of thing that I would find pointless without someone else being involved in some way. I wouldn’t make the list for myself, I wouldn’t do the monthly journal without someone to send it to. But it’s surprising to me how often I return to it the following month and how much of what I wrote down has actually happened.

Have I got more done because of these processes? Probably not. But I have a better record of what that looked like, and I feel a better sense of progress – and that’s something.