Goals by Age, not by Year.

I get asked about goal setting a lot. Today being New Year’s Eve, a day notorious for audacious goal setting, allow me to share how I do goals. Perhaps it may help you like it has helped me.
I do not set goals that start on January 1st. My goals, a.k.a. resolutions, get set on February 12th, the day I entered this world back in 1980. Instead of setting my 2016 goals, I have a list of things I want to accomplish in the 36th year of my life.
Here is what it looks like:
Last December, about 3 months from my birthday in February, I created a note in Evernote titled “Year 35” where I kept track of the things I want to accomplish as a 35-year-old. I started listing things here that would be great to do. They included people I want to meet, places I want to go, things I want to learn, challenges I want to overcome, etc.
On my birthday, I go through the list and make it official. There are always things on there I no longer want to do. I delete those. Things that I cannot accomplish in age 35 I move to another note I created called Next 5 years. The “Next 5 Years” has a bunch of stuff I thought I would want to do one day, but as my life evolves, or better, as my life unfolds I no longer want to do some f the things I once thought wee important or would be fun. I’ll refer to this list when I start creating my Year 36 note (which I created a few days ago).
I refer back to the list “Age 35” at least once a week to see if I made any progress (to date, with two months left, everything on the list is checked off J). When/if I did, I created a bullet underneath that goal. When I accomplished the goal, I check the box and write a little summary about it. These are fun to look back on and reminisce.
Here are a few things from Age 35:
✓Work at IMG Academy
  • Date completed: December 19
  • Hired as a leadership coach
✓Complete 6 classes of MA in Performance Psychology with >3.5 GPA
  • Completed 6 classes with 3.8 GPA
✓Publish 40+ coach notes
  • 41 total notes, and counting. Notes have evolved from long form (1000 words) to less than 500 words per post, 3 days a week.
I am currently working on the Age 36 list. One thing I notice when looking at my pasts list is this: I need to dream bigger. I think we all could dream bigger. What do we have to lose?
Here’s to your best age ever.
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As a Leadership Coach at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, James Leath teaches athletes from the professional ranks all the way down to elementary school about character and leadership of self, team, coaches and critics. His widely read blog at jamesleath.com is a top resource that educates athletes, coaches, and parents in sport psychology and personal development. James is currently finishing a graduate degree in Performance Psychology.